I wanted to be able to select individual stars for further information. In order to do fast lookups of stars near to a cursor or reticle I added a further spatial index to my background stars. Due to the inaccuracies of using right-ascension and declination near to the celestial poles, I used an indexing scheme based on cartesian coordinates. A screenshot is shown below in Figure 1.
More information on the star is shown after a configurable delay, and hidden when the reticle is no longer focussed on the object. This avoids rendering data when it is not required, and allows higher-latency data (such as from the internet) to be shown when ready. Going forward, I should consider a hierarchical indexing scheme such as a Hierarchical Triangular Mesh1, which would give me the ability to find the nearest star at a given level of resolution.
1 "Indexing the Sphere with the Hierarchical Triangular Mesh", Alexander S. Szalay, Jim Gray, George Fekete, Peter Z. Kunszt, Peter Kukol, and Ani Thakar, August 2005