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If you’re like me and love space-related stuff, or if you just like playing God (like me again), you will probably get some kicks out of this piece of software: Universe Sandbox.

Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you’ve created with a super massive black hole.

You can simulate and interact with:

  • Our solar system: the 8 planets,160+ moons, and hundereds of asteroids
  • Nearest 1000 stars to our Sun
  • Our local group of galaxies
  • An unlimited number of fictional scenarios

Tinker with your creation or sit back and watch the effects of gravity unfold. It’s fun, accessible, and easy to use.

I know a 5 year old boy who’s going to enjoy playing with this tomorrow (along with the 37 year old boy that lives in the same house as him) – from what I’ve seen so far it’s a top-class bit of software. Not only fun, but also educational, with detailed information about planetary bodies and the like easily accessible while ‘playing’. Try changing the effect of our Sun’s gravity a little, and you realise our weather could change very quickly as we shoot off into the inky blackness…

Universe Sandbox is available as a free download for home use (Windows only at the moment, unfortunately), though if you enjoy it I suggest you do the right thing and send a little cash their way. It’s what a God would do.