I discussed in parts 1 and 2 an approach to allow efficient selection of nearby stars to a reticle. I originally used an index which divided the sphere volume into 50 equal divisions along each axis, giving 25,000 cubes. This gave a distribution of items per key as shown in Figure 1.
Switching to a Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM), also known as Quaternary Triangular Mesh (QTM), gives a more even distribtion with less cells containing very few stars, as shown for subdisivion level 5 in Figure 2. This results in a more consistent behaviour in selecting nearby stars.
Using HTM also makes it easy to index at multiple levels of detail, such that an appropriate index can be used at a given field of view.