iPad game teaches about gravity, astronomy
Tyler Howe/WGBH Educational Foundation
If you have an appetite for cosmic destruction, there’s an app for that.
NOVA Black Holes, a free iPad game developed by the PBS series NOVA, lets you hurl a star at other celestial objects while navigating an increasingly complex minefield of stars, planets and black holes. Each level presents a new target and a fresh landscape of obstacles. And unlike real stars — whose fates are determined by the weight they’re born with — your star grows bigger and brighter as the game progresses until it collapses under its own gravity to form a black hole. That’s the goal.
The game is addictive — there’s something surprisingly satisfying about blowing up a star. As it hooks you, the game sneaks in tidbits about astronomy and physics along the way.
Early levels are easy: Set the