Learn all the constellations and brightest stars from a gold medal winner of the International Astronomy Olympiad competition!
- 123 levels teach, train and test your knowledge of all 88 constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union.
- 180 levels teach, train and test your knowledge of 150+ brightest stars of the sky.
- Learn the constellations and stars of the North Sky, Sky Equator, and South Sky separately to develop a sense of their approximate location.
- Three training and testing modes for each level (easy, medium and hard) to help you progress smoothly and guide you to eventually recognize the constellations and stars in the real night sky.
- Opportunity to review your mistakes after completing each level.
- Realistic night sky simulation and beautiful illustrations and animations.
- Combination of learning and gaming. Learn while having fun.
- Explore the mysterious night sky on your own on the Explore screen. You can either tap on the objects (constellations or stars) for more information or click the search icon to easily find what you’re interested in.
- Completely configure the game according to your preference. Adjust sounds & vibrations, change appearance of the sky ( stars, illustrations, constellation lines, borders of constellations, equatorial grid lines, focus ring, Milky Way, etc.), and enable/disable optimized mode, and reset all the settings to their default values and your progress.
Announcement: dear users, Sky Academy 3.0 (Version 3.0.1) teaches and trains not only the 88 constellations and 150+ brightest stars but also 110 Deep Sky Objects (Messier Objects). Have fun learning!
The game is designed to teach the user to recognize all the constellations and brightest stars in the night sky by taking them through a number of levels. Levels are divided into categories (constellations & stars), regions (north, equator, south) and difficulties (easy, medium, hard). Each level teaches only a small number of objects and then trains the knowledge in a quiz game to aid memorization. Later levels also review and retest the knowledge of previously learnt objects.
Constellation levels include the complete list of 88 modern constellations, as defined by the International Astronomical Union in 1922.
Star levels include 150+ brightest stars of the sky. The stars in most levels are grouped by constellations to aid the learning.
Choose the Sky Region
After choosing which object to learn, that is to say, constellations or stars, you can choose the sky region (North Sky, Sky Equator, or South Sky). The stars and constellations to learn are grouped according to their region so that when the user is learning, they can automatically and unconsciously remember their approximate location in the sky.
Choose the Difficulty
Each level is available in 3 difficulties: Easy, Medium, and Hard.
- Easy levels show the lines of the constellations, making the experience less similar to the real night sky, but it’s the first step of learning.
- Medium levels hide the lines of the constellations, but show their precise borders and the lines of the surrounding constellations to help the recognition.
- Hard levels are closest to the real night sky: they only show the approximate location of the objects, instead of the exact shape (the borders), and randomly choose the orientation each time, so that you learn to recognize the objects from another angle.
We recommend going through each difficulty, from easy to hard, for optimal learning experience, unless you have prior knowledge that allows you to skip easier levels.
In each level, you’re first given an opportunity to see and memorize the objects (constellations or stars) of that level. Use the arrows to go through all of them, and click ‘Start’ once you’re ready. The description of each object is displayed on the panel at the bottom of the screen. The panel can be expanded by dragging it up to show more details about the object. After clicking “Start”, an object will be shown and you’ll be presented with 4 options. The level ends when you answer a certain number of questions (shown in the top-left corner) correctly. At the end of the level you’ll have the opportunity to review the mistakes you’ve made before progressing further.
Stars (after completing each level)
After completing each level, you’ll get some stars. One star is awarded for finishing the level. You’ll get the second star for finishing without using any hints, and the third star for finishing without any mistakes. It’s not necessary to collect 3 stars in a level to move further, but it might be a nice challenge if you strive for a very good knowledge of the sky.
Please note, once you finish a level/challenge, you have the opportunity to review your mistakes and enhance your knowledge.
From time to time you will encounter challenge levels, which, instead of teaching you new objects, test your knowledge of the previously learnt ones. There are no hints available and you are given only a limited number of lives to pass these levels. You can try to pass the challenge levels as many times as you want.
The explore screen (third button on the main screen) allows you to explore the sky on your own. Tapping on the objects (e.g. names of the stars or constellations) shows more information about them (e.g. abbreviation, brightest star, area of the sky, bright stars, distance etc.). You can also use the double-tap gesture to quickly hide/reveal all the decorations. The search icon (top-right corner) allows you to quickly find a particular object you’re interested in.
The sky view can be navigated by swiping on the screen, and zoomed in & out by pinching with two fingers. To temporarily hide all the decorations (constellation lines, labels, borders) to experience a more real sky, double-tap anywhere on the sky. Double-tapping again brings back all the decorations.
The settings screen (rightmost icon at the bottom of the main screen) allows you to configure the game. You can change sounds & vibrations, customize the appearance of the sky, and reset your progress. Tap the button in the bottom-right corner to switch to the split-screen mode where you can see the sky as you change the settings.
Sounds & vibration
- Adjust volume of the interface sounds: loudness of button clicks, victory, loss & other sounds.
- Adjust volume of the background music: loudness of music played in the background.
- Choose the soundtrack for the background music. Please note, internet connection is needed to download new tracks.
- Adjust the duration of vibration on the wrong answer: how long the device vibrates after a wrong answer.
Tip: Click on the split-screen button at the bottom-right corner to see the sky while you’re changing the settings.
Some of the settings below apply only to the Explore mode, since visibility of certain sky components in levels depends on the difficulty of the level.
- Show/Hide Constellation names. (Only shown when zoomed-in enough. Tapping on names is the only way to select constellations in explore mode!)
- Show/Hide Illustrations: enable/Disable visual representations (drawings) of constellations.
- Adjust brightness/visibility of the illustrations. (Selected constellation is always brighter.)
- Show/Hide constellation lines: common way of connecting main stars of the constellations.
- Adjust brightness/visibility of the constellation lines.
- Adjust color of the constellation lines.
- Show/Hide boundaries: enable/disable official borders of constellations defined by the IAU.
- Adjust brightness/visibility of the boundaries.
- Adjust color of the boundaries.
- Show/Hide grid: enable/disable equatorial grid lines.
- Adjust brightness/visibility of the grid lines.
- Adjust color of the grid lines.
- Adjust brightness/visibility of the focus ring: visibility of the circle displayed around the selected star or constellation.
- Adjust color of the focus ring.
- Choose which stars will show their names, e.g. all stars, stars with common names, only brightest stars etc..
- Adjust the amount of stars shown in the sky view: the visible magnitude of the faintest star still shown in the app. 4.0 = visible in urban/suburban areas; 7.0 = dark rural areas.
- Adjust the relative size of visible stars.
- Adjust color intensity: how emphasized the color differences of stars are (more red or blue, due to different temperatures).
- Adjust brightness/visibility of the Milky Way.
Enable/Disable optimized mode: the optimized mode uses less battery and speeds up the app, but some parts of the UI will look worse.
Tips that might change your whole gaming experience
- “Play” button on the main page: instead of choosing the object, sky region, difficulty and level, this button takes you to the next unfinished level immediately.
- On the Settings screen, tap the button in the bottom-right corner to switch to the split-screen mode where you can see the sky as you change the settings.
- The game is a bit laggy for your device? This is probably because your phone’s processor is a bit old. On the Settings screen, switch on the optimized mode to use less battery and speed up the app. Unfortunately, the disadvantage is that some parts of the UI won’t look as good.
- Hints: if you’re not sure about some object, you can click the hint button (light-bulb in the top-right corner) to get a hint. It reveals more information about the object (e.g. illustration, constellation lines, border shape). Hints are free and unlimited.
Want more fun? Check out my other games crafted with great efforts.
Currently there are 12 apps available on the Android platform, namely Sky Academy, Morse Mania, Brick Mania, Color Mania, Country Mania, Hop Mania, Jezz Mania, Lip Reading Academy, NATO Alphabet, Braille Academy, Elements Academy and Greek Alphabet Academy and there are 10 apps available on the iOS platform, namely Sky Academy, Morse Mania, Swiss Mania, HopMania, Jezz Mania, Lipreading Academy, NATO Alphabet, Braille Academy, Elements Academy and Greek Alphabet Academy.
Simply download them and try them out!
Excellent, Xiang! I’m downloading it now…. 😀
I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 Have fun learning. 🙂
Can’t wait for DSOs! Any updates on when that’s going to be available?
Hi Duane, we just implemented the teaching and training of 110 Deep Sky Objects (Messier Objects) in Version 3.0.1. We are releasing the new version gradually and please update the app once the new version is available to you. Have fun learning!