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Explore Space with the NASA App for iPad

NASA App HD for iPad is a great resource to learn a lot about the solar system. The gorgeous home screen for the app features the solar system, including the Sun, Moon, the International Space Station, and all eight planets. Tap one of these ten bodies and you'll pull up a marvelous information page about it that includes a lot of text and a few pictures.

This app works in portrait mode, but don't bother. It belongs in landscape mode, where it was designed to be used.

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When was it discovered? By whom? What's the planet composed of? How big is it? Does it have any moons of its own? Oh, really? Then how'd they get there? All these and many more questions are answered. At the bottom of every entry is a list of key dates for scientific discovery about that body, too.

Oh no! There are only eight planets — where's Pluto? A few years ago, Pluto was downgraded to the status of "dwarf planet" by the various powers that be in the world of astronomy.

Next to the two photo tabs is a tab labeled NASA TV that provides a current stream of NASA's cable TV broadcast. This can be hit and miss, but real space geeks will love it. In a similar vein, there's a tab called Videos that provides archival footage from NASA TV, and other videos produced by NASA.

NASA App HD also provides access to all of the various NASA Twitter accounts. You can find a lot of news, announcements, and links to photos, videos, and news accounts in these feeds, and the app makes it easy to follow NASA's efforts at social networking. The app also includes the ability to e-mail, tweet, or post images and articles from the app to Facebook.

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