Grenoble, France – Starmap today is proud to announce that Starmap HD 2.1 for iPad, their world-famous planetarium app, has been selected by Astronomy magazine as a Star Product for 2012. In celebration of this honor, Starmap HD is now on sale for half price. Starmap HD features an interactive map of the sky that combines detailed celestial information with a compass, virtual telescope, and 3D animation. Created by a professional astronomer who holds a PhD in electronics/physics engineering, the app’s outstanding quality has been acknowledged by Apple, which selected Starmap for their Back to School promotion. Also available are versions for iPhone/iPod touch.

A mature educational app that has evolved since first introduced in 2008, it was awarded Best Product of the Year by Sky and Telescope in 2010. The current version of Starmap’s Night Sky Agenda series provides an accurate list of celestial objects, including over 2,500,000 stars, that can be observed at the location and time of observation of users, using computations of large harmonic expansions, specially optimized for the iOS mathematical libraries and the retina display of the New iPad.

Unlike other astronomy applications that provide a two-dimensional view of the universe, Starmap HD provides a full three-dimensional model of the mapped universe. When the user launches the 3D mode for the first time, an animation brings him from the Earth to the outer bounds of the Virgo Supercluster, providing a 3D experience of traveling through space. Animations include legends and are synchronized with sound and music effects. A scale slider provides an easy navigation in distances. Touching planets launches an animated journey through space, providing the user with the feeling of being in a spacecraft.

Feature Highlights:
* 2.5 million stars on the map (viewable with large amateur telescope)
* 8,300 stars with physical characteristics
* All known comets and asteroids
* Complete moon map with 9,000 features
* Double star catalogues
* 15,000 deep sky objects (nebulas, clusters, and galaxies)
* The map is not cluttered with too many details and useless decoration
* Details appear when zooming
* All map elements, colors, displayed objects can be modified by users, depending on their skill and what they want to observe
* Tonight View – a list of all celestial objects viewable that night
* Telescope control through Wi-Fi
* Eyepiece view with real size projections of objects
* Fast change of optics with pinch and zoom
* Full Night vision red mode
* Orientation and search arrow
* Alarms on sky object events
* GPS/Gyro and compass support
* iPad Retina compatible
* Lunar Calendar, constellation boundaries, asteroids, and dwarf planets
* Automatic viewpoint sky view with accelerometer and compass
* Clickable map for detailed information

Starmap HD’s 3D model is scientifically correct and optimized for the iPad. All solar system objects are animated on their real and precise trajectories, including the 7 planets, all dwarf planets, the 580,000 known asteroids, the 900 known comets, and more. 5,000 stars can be searched in 3D around the Sun. Users may also search among the 5,000 nebulae in the galaxy. Or, users may locate and explore the 10,000 galaxies located in the Earth’s local galactic cluster, the Virgo super cluster.

Starmap HD provides detailed information on celestial bodies and events such as planets, constellations, galaxies, clusters, nebulas, meteors, comets, and double stars. Entries are arranged by kind and can be sorted by many criteria, such as luminosity or rise time. The Tonight tab provides users with location-based highlights of planets, meteors, stars, double stars and deep sky objects that are occurring in the overhead night sky. Packed with features and details that will intrigue advanced astronomers and novice stargazers alike, Starmap HD provides an easy finder feature that helps the user locate each object in the sky. In addition, the application provides users with specific information on the best times for observation and the optimal means for observation.

Starmap HD makes locating and learning about celestial objects effortless. If a user would like to locate the planet Mars, as the Tonight tab has designated that it will be visible, the user simply taps the Find button. The user is presented with an animated view of the night sky, taking him or her on a journey to Mars. In addition, users may watch a time-lapse video of the future movement of Mars, or they can learn in-depth astronomical facts about Mars, its trajectory, and where to find it in the night sky.

Touching an object on the screen of Starmap launches the compass-based sky search, helping the user to spot the exact position of the object in the sky. Users hold the device parallel to their line of vision as the map smoothly scans the sky as the user moves the device. This helps users quickly and easily identify the object in the sky with the celestial map in the application. The user is presented with a graphical representation of the night sky, complete with a locator arrow pointing in the direction of any desired celestial body. As the user gazes at the sky and turns the iOS device, the user is able to follow the arrow and target guidelines to locate the object’s exact position in the sky. Starmap also allows users to see the night sky over any part of the world, by building location lists using geo-location.

Perfect for educators, students, campers, boaters, families, scouting groups, and more, Starmap HD is a thorough and comprehensive astronomy application that is easy to use, packed with information and customizable according to location. Whether a user employs Starmap HD as an instructional tool, a traveling compass, or a stargazing companion, this application’s uses and capabilities are out of this world.

Simplified versions of the application are available with Starmap, Starmap Lite, the free and ad-supported version of Starmap, and Starmap Pro.

“It is a great honor to be chosen by Apple as an outstanding educational app in their 2012 Back to School promotion,” stated Starmap’s Frederic Descamps. “Starmap HD is a scientifically authoritative, reference app that will really showcase the capabilities of your iPad. If you have ever spent time looking at the night sky, I invite you to take advantage of this special promotion to get Starmap HD at half its normal price.”

Language Support:
American English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 103 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Starmap HD 2.1 for iPad is now on sale at 50% off its normal price for $8.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Reference category. Starmap Pro 3.2 for iPhone and iPod touch is $18.99, Starmap 3.1 for iPhone and iPod touch is $11.99, and Starmap Lite 2.1 for iPhone and iPod touch is free. Review copies are available on request.

Starmap HD 2.1
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Based in Grenoble, France, Starmap was founded by Frederic Descamps in 2008. Starmap is the first handheld, interactive, planetarium mobile application that lets you discover the night sky with realistic maps and detailed, factual information. Starmap has been featured many times on the AppStore since its first version. Descamps is a professional astronomer and has been practicing in the field since his youth. He holds a PhD in electronics/physics engineering, with a thesis in electronics for large particles detectors at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland and DESY in Hamburg, Germany. Descamps started the Starmap mobile application as a hobby, which has now turned into a business. Copyright (C) 2012 Starmap. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

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