Star Chart is a free to download stargazing application for mobile phones and tablets running on Android operating systems. The size and version of the Android OS though, depend on the device used. This astronomy app enables mobile device users to view different celestial bodies and other astronomical wonders by providing graphic depictions of star patterns, formed across the night sky.
The Star Chart app taps into your mobile device’s compass, global positioning system (GPS) and, if your device has one, the accelerometer. The presence of those tools in a user’s device allows Star Chart app to project a view of the observable universe in that part of outer space to which the device is directed. The view provided is not the real deal though, but only a super imposed computer-generated composite imaging of actual elements.
Star Chart App Features
This Star Chart app presents the planetary system via its Augmented Reality (AR) feature. However, Star Chart app developers give advice to users that the app’s performance is affected by magnetic interference, including strong magnetic field emanating from nearby electronic devices such as a computer monitor, or a magnet present in the device’s cover. Moreover, a precise location feed allows Star Chart to present an accurate AR depiction of the night sky view from where a user is located.
The SkyView is Start Chart’s default viewing mode, giving app users a close AR presentation of the planets and celestial bodies across the night sky. The viewing experience is akin to stargazing with a telescope from one’s location on Earth.
The app also has a Night Mode feature that turns the black background into red, in order to remove the unpleasant effects of bright colors when viewing the night sky.
Star Chart’s Explore Mode permits app users to travel virtually around the Solar System in which the planetarium experience is from a vantage point somewhere in outer space; as opposed to taking a view via a virtual telescope while on Earth. According to the developer, the perspective delivered by the app is similar to a view of the planetary system while observing from inside a NASA spacecraft. The celestial bodies such as the constellations, stars and other astronomical or Messier objects are still viewable, albeit as background elements.
In Explore Mode, the AR visual presentations for the asteroids, planets, moons, centaurs as well as the dwarf planets are all rendered in 3D graphics, and can be viewed by app users in any angle.
Star Chart Control Features
Navigating the Star Charts app in order to view the observable universe entails the use of basic controls, as the app performs intuitively once the device is pointed upward. The app automatically activates the AR Mode as soon as it detects real time night sky view.
Star Chart users can simply tap on the screen to select and deselect an object to reveal related info; swipe the screen in any direction they wish to move back and forth, and pinch on objects or a night sky location to zoom in and out of the screen.
A Star Chart app running on Android OS allows control via Voice Command, articulated in clear English and communicated via a strong Internet connectivity. Star Chart’s voice control recognises Voice Commands for enabling Night Mode, SkyView Mode or in turning off star labels. App users can tell the app to focus the screen on the exact location of Mars, the Star Vega, Saturn, the International Space Station and a lot more. However, the Star Chart voice control works best in a noiseless environment.