1- Aladin could be thought of as an astronomy browser. Instead of the internet, Aladin browses through astronomy images, density maps, and other astronomy sources, e.g. Hubble images, the Simbad database, and the VizieR service. You select theyour results would depend of course on the connection speed and on how many databases are being utilized. One can apparently download files for offline viewing.

I could superimpose various views in to one and I could open up to 16 panels with images in each.

It was one of only two programs which indexed every star and deep space object in my test sample as well as showing several images of each item. You can also point at a specific location using the right ascension and declination coordinitem you wish to view and it automatically downloads a view of the item selected.

This program provides access to professional quality telescope images in several wavelengths.  In effect you are looking through a very large telescope. The images are downloaded from the internet so some displays take a few seconds to update—ates.  You can bookmark views.

Since Aladin is a sky atlas image viewer and not a planetarium program it has no solar system objects in its index. Obviously there could be images of the solar objects in many of these images but it's beyond my ability to locate them.

Requires Java 1.5 and runs under Windows, Linux, and Mac. 



Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

3- DeepSky 2011 - I had a chance to use this software and it does a lot. While not as smooth or cohesive as TheSky, it does do several things well. With a bit of a learning curve, one gets a list of available targets for the evening so a plan can be made. An image of the object is available so you have an idea what the target is; so when ready, you can view its location on their built-in chart, send the target info to your goto system and enjoy. From the, note of what you see can also be performed. It keeps a detailed log, and you can share online. Be sure to give it a go!