Today, the PBS science series NOVA, a production of WGBH Boston, announced the launch of the NOVA Black Holes App for iPad. The app—available for free from iTunes—
players to hurl stars through the universe at celestial targets in a
quest to earn a star that’s big and bright enough to go supernova and
collapse into a black hole.
by astrophysicist Janna Levin, the game takes players 4 billion years
into the future, at a time when our own Milky Way galaxy is colliding
with the Andromeda galaxy. Given a star born out of this cosmic storm,
the player’s mission is to set the speed and trajectory of this star to
hit its target. The game grows more complicated through more than 50
levels, as the user must navigate increasingly challenging sets of
orbital patterns while meeting new cosmic objects—including small but
dense neutron stars, massive blue supergiant stars, white dwarf stars,
and both stellar and supermassive black holes. The player can use
gravitational assists from these and other objects to slingshot around
the galaxy, but must detect and avoid invisible black holes that will
shred the player's star if it gets too close.
The NOVA Black Hole App allows players to:
-- Learn about orbital dynamics and gravity, the science behind black hole detection, gravitational waves, and more
-- Play over 50 game levels powered by a real physics engine
Earn 12 game badges like the “Black Hole Breakfast” badge, which is
awarded once the player’s star gets devoured by a black hole ten times
during the game
-- Watch videos about what happens to the core of a star as it ages and eventually becomes a black hole
special two-hour NOVA film hosted by Janna Levin about Black Holes is
slated to air on PBS in 2017. At that time, the NOVA Black Holes App
will be updated so users can stream the documentary from the app.
the launch of the Black Holes App, we continue to offer new and
exciting ways for audiences to experience NOVA content through a variety
of digital platforms,” said Paula S. Apsell, NOVA
Senior Executive Producer and Director of the WGBH Science Unit. “We’re
thrilled to give players the opportunity to explore astrophysics
through this fun, interactive game, and hope it inspires them to expand
their interest in astronomy and STEM subjects overall.”
The Black Holes App is the second app to be created by NOVA, joining the highly successful NOVA Elements App
released in March 2012. Downloaded 2.4 million times since its launch,
the Elements App lets users explore an interactive periodic table,
build the elements, play a game hosted by technology columnist David
Pogue, and watch the two-hour NOVA film, Hunting the Elements.
The NOVA Black Holes App is available for free from iTunes or here. To watch a preview trailer of the App, visit https://youtu.be/v5t24IRTXv0
corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Cancer Treatment Centers of
America. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund
for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.
Major funding for NOVA Black Holes is
provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supporting original research
and public understanding of science, technology, engineering, and
in its 43rd season, NOVA is the most-watched prime time science series
on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers
weekly. The series remains committed to producing in-depth science
programming in the form of hour-long (and occasionally longer)
documentaries, from the latest breakthroughs in technology to the
deepest mysteries of the natural world. NOVA is a production of WGBH
Boston. NOVA airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT on WGBH Boston and most PBS
stations. The Director of the WGBH Science Unit and Senior Executive
Producer of NOVA is Paula S. Apsell.
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