Our team, thinking of this year's hackathon theme, always wanted to build an application to view the stars that was lightweight, easy to use, and viewable from anywhere (with internet access) for educational purposes, as well as to bring awareness to the amount of trash in space and on the edge of our atmosphere. So with that in mind, we started word on StarStruck, an application designed to show you the stars and allow users to re-create the constellations they see every night, while taking note of the devastating effects trash in space have on the viewing of the stars.

What it does

When you visit link, our application's website, it brings you to a login page where you input your username. Upon login, it brings you to our site where you are within a sphere representing the viewable night sky as seen from Earth.

How we built it

For the backend, we used Flask in python for our web server and hosted it on our own hardware so users can view it without the need to be local. With that up and running, we then built the main elements of the program using javascript, mainly THREE.js for the 3D rendering of the sphere and stars.

Challenges we ran into

Our team has limited knowledge of 3D rendering with javascript/html/css, so it was a big step to learn how to do these things in essentially a new language. Most of our time was spent figuring out the in's and out's of THREE.js and using that to make a sphere to cast the stars onto, and once that was created we looked into object physics in javascript for the space debris.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We made the beginnings of a great application, and although not fully complete yet, accomplished much of the backend and start of the frontend of the website. One of the most satisfying things is to finish something that is difficult, and the mesh sphere, which took much of our time, was very satisfying to complete and view in-browser.

What we learned

We learned a lot with using javascript, html, and css to render 3D objects, especially using THREE.js, as well as how to work better as a team and time management between members. Had we not had the members and dedication with our team, we would not have made it this far.

What's next for StarStruck

We plan on creating a fully-functional website, allowing users to view the night sky around Earth and create constellations that they can then go outside and view themselves, while also taking note of the space debris and how much that may impact their view of the stars in the night sky.

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