Star Chart is not only an educational app for Windows 8 it's also a neat one. Star Chart will help you explore the solar system by not only providing you a detailed map of the sky but it will also pull up information on the planets, stars, and travel forwards and backwards in time to see how things have changed or will change.
While Star Chart is available for Windows 8, it really shines on tablets such as the Surface RT. Star Chart is a very nice app for those curious about astronomy as well as for those who are seasoned explorers.
The main view of Star Chart is... well.. the stars. From the Settings bar you can access display and location settings. Display settings are simple and straight forward to cover how much or little information you want displayed.
Location settings can be automatically detected (you'll need a WiFi connection) or you can enter your latitude and longitude manually. It would have been nice to enter locations by your City or address but that might not give you as accurate of view.
From the bottom menu bar you can animate the start chart as time passes, go to the current positioning, enable the Augmented Reality feature, explore the planets, and enable night mode. This is where the Windows 8 tablets come in handy for portability and it's just cool holding the tablet up to the sky and see what's up there.
There isn't a way to go to a specific date and time but you can tap the forward or reverse buttons to advance or backup time. Augmented Reality is a neat feature that lets you hold your Surface Tablet up to the sky and as you move your tablet, the star charts move accordingly.
Need more information on a star or object? Just tap on the name of the astronomical object and an information panel pops up to the left of the screen that offers more detailed information on that object.
Other key features of Star Chart include:
- Tours of all the planets, as Star Chart shows you views of our Solar System that you have never seen before.
- Share your beautiful screen captures, astronomical discoveries and night sky viewing with your friends, with the help of Windows 8 Share.
- A powerful and dynamic search function lets you search the entire night sky, utilizing the new Windows 8 Search.
- Accurately depicts all the stars of the northern and southern hemispheres up to magnitude +10 - a total of over 120,000 stars.
- Features all 88 constellations, with intricate constellation imagery based on the beautiful artwork by 15th century astronomer Johannes Hevelius.
- Allows you to view the sky underneath the horizon, so now you can see where the sun is even at night.
Star Chart has a ton of information on the stars, has great graphics and is an all around neat, educational app for your Surface tablet or Windows 8 laptop/desktop.
There is a 24 hour trial version available for Star Chart that is full functional but has the timer banner at the bottom. The full version of Star Chart is currently running $5.99 and you can find Star Chart here at the Windows Store.