I was quite pleasantly surprised by Universe in a Sandbox. It is one of the best pieces of software I’ve come across lately; you get the ultimate power, create and destroy galaxies, run virtually any astronomic simulation you want, but most of all, you get to explore and learn about the very universe you live in.
With just a few clicks, you can find out the mass, speed, and pretty much every interesting stat of the planets and satellites in our solar system, and not just them; you can visualize velocity models with a single click, and it’s all pretty much intuitive. However, when loading major simulations, it does tend to ask much from your computer, because it does actual physics calculations, mostly based on Newton’s laws. Other features include viewing the trajectories of comets and asteroids, gamma ray burst locations, and many more, but at its very core, Universe in a Sandbox is a gravity simulator.
Another funky feature is that you can use it in 3D, which is absolutely awesome. It does take some while for your eyes to adjust to it, but after that, it’s a thrilling view. All in all, I highly recommend it for people who like astronomy or are into physics as well as for everyone else who is a little curious, but if your computer is really slow, you probably won’t be able to make the most of it; but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. The regular version is free, the premium one is 29$.
*This is not a paid review, it represents my true and honest opinion.
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Copyright 2011 ZME Science
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