Star Chart Instruction Manual
This is a quick guide about how to use the star gazing app, Star Chart. When you begin your journey in Star Chart you are welcomed by a view of the horizon with over 100,000 stars all around you.
Star Chart will now look for your location, as it is doing so you can freely pan across the sky and visit all the stars and planets by giving them a quick tap. Tapping on an object will bring up an information box tailored to the object. For example, you can find out the brightness of a Star or the current distance to Mars.
|Minimises the data box. Tap on it again to maximise the data box again.|
|Closes the data box|
|Allows you to track objects in the sky. This is particularly useful when zoomed in on fast moving objects, such as planets|
|Allows you to zoom in on one object, giving you a much better view of a planet or messier. Once zoomed in you can tap this button again to zoom out|
|This button, exclusive to planets, allows you to visit the planet close up and in full 3D. Discover the majesty of Saturn's rings or fly around the craters of our Moon. To return back to the normal view just tap the icon in the top left corner of the screen.|
Please note that in some cases there may be a lot of data available. To keep it neat the information box is limited in height; to view more data you can scroll through it by moving your finger along the scroll bar or statistics.
By default Star Chart is set to Auto AR mode which allows you to view the night sky in Augmented Reality as you move the device around. If you want to view a section in more detail you can pan and pinch the view with your fingers (this will temporarily disable the Augmented Reality mode until you move the device again). You also have the option to force the device into using Augmented Reality mode all the time or not at all in the Settings menu.
- Opens up a menu which lets you search for any of the planets, stars, constellations and messier objects in our database to make it easier to find in the sky.
- Opens up a settings menu. Here you can turn on night mode, adjust your display settings, measurement systems and how to filter stars as well as setting your location or visit our support page.
Along the top bar are two co-ordinates (3) and the time (4). Latitude (LAT) and Longitude (LON) show the current location set for Star Chart. This should automatically update when you enter the application, however you can manually change this by going to the settings menu (see above).
The time shows the current time, but can be tapped on and be adjusted. Before trying out this feature we suggest visiting Saturn or maybe looking down on Earth from space. Once you're in your chosen location just tap the time display. You can choose what to adjust going from day, month, year and finally hours and minutes (we suggest starting off with minutes).
Next flick the bar on the right forcefully upwards, this will cause it to continually move forwards in time at a relatively slow pace. Now sit back and enjoy space rotating before your eyes!
If you wish to return to the current time just tap the Now button in the top left.
- Equatorial Grid
- This enables a grid overlay which is used to find objects based on their quadrant.
- This setting allows you to enable the blue haze (and sunrise/sunset) for your hemisphere. This mimics the same effect astronomers have to deal with when observing the sky and shows why telescopes are normally in high places and point upwards (less atmosphere and ground lights), or ideally, in space.
- Constellation Lines
- This toggles the lines joining stars to form constellations as well as the lines depicting the area which the constellation occupies.
- Constellation Images
- This option enables the viewing of the constellations as first drawn by Johannes Hevelius in 1687.
- Constellation Latin Names
- This toggles switches the constellation labels between local language and Latin.
- These toggles change whether the respectiveo bject names should be displayed.
Units of Distance
In this menu you can choose whether to display larger distances in either light-years or parsecs (roughly 3.2 light years) and shorter distances in metric, imperial measurements or astronomical units (AU) where 1 AU is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun (roughly 150,000,000 kilometres).
Here you can manually adjust your location by tapping the numerical displays (and direction by tapping on the buttons) or ask Star Chart to pinpoint your location for you. By pressing Update from GPS Star Chart will try to pinpoint your location preferably using a Wifi or 3G connection; however, it will use GPS satellites as a third option. Depending on which method it uses can take seconds or minutes. This process will work in the background as you continue using the application.
Please note that objects will look out of place if you have not set your location or have an incorrect time on your phone. Star Chart will not be able to access any GPS settings if Allow GPS is disabled in the settings menu on your iOS device.
Online Support Page
Here you will be shown our support page with Frequently Asked Questions. If you continue to have problems or if your concerns are not addressed on this page please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information box is a delight for more serious star gazers or even those who wish to understnad the universe that bit more. Most importantly we have Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (DEC) as well as Azimuth and Altitude. These are two co-ordinate systems to pinpoint the object in the sky from Earth. This lets you find them using a telescope in your back garden or use software to calculate the next time it is visible (or use our time travel option).
Depending on the object Star Chart will provide different information, such as diameter and orbital period (the amount of time it takes to make one revolution around the Sun) for planets or absolute and apparent magnitude for stars.