Here is some info about various planetarium and sky simulation programs.

Product Kind Price Demo Author/Publisher
Distant Suns commercial $30 no Andromeda Software
Hipparchus commercial $50 no sofTouch APpLications
MacStronomy commercial $60 no Etlon Software
MPj Astro shareware $25 yes MicroProjects
Night Sky shareware $15 yes Kaweah Software
Observer commercial $100 email Procyon
Planet C shareware $25 yes Lars Gislen
Redshift 2 commercial $50 no Maris Multimedia
SkyChart 2000.0 commercial $35 yes Southern Stars
Starry Night commercial $34 - 90 yes Sienna Software
Voyager II commercial $159 no Carina Software

Product Kind Price Demo Author/Publisher
Atlas du Ciel free   yes Mario Groleau
Coeli shareware $34 yes Swimming Elk Software
CosmoSaver-Solar System shareware $15 yes MicroRealities
CyberSky shareware $21 yes Stephen Michael Schimpf
Dance of the Planets commercial $95 - 145 no ARC Science Simulations
Deepsky 97 shareware $15 - 30 yes Steven S. Tuma
Deep Sky shareware ? Part 1 2 3 Rich Burke
Deep Space commercial $89 - 129 yes David Chandler
Distant Suns commercial $30 yes Andromeda Software
Earth Centered Universe shareware $55 yes Nova Astronomics
Epoch 2000sk commercial $149 - 179 no Meade
Expert Astronomer commercial $12 no MediaMart; Expert Software
GrayStel commercial 75 no GrayStel Software
Guide 5.0 commercial $69 no Project Pluto
Home Planet free   yes John Walker
HyperSky commercial $50 no Willmann-Bell
LodeStar commercial $100 - 160 no Zephyr Services
MegaStar commercial $129 yes E.L.B. Software
MyStars! shareware $15 yes Relative Data Products
NGCView commercial $50 no Rainman Software
PC-Sky ? ? ? CapellaSoft
PlanetWatch shareware $20 yes Galen Raben
Redshift 2 commercial $50 no Maris Multimedia
Sky Atlas 2000 free   yes  
SkyChart 2000.0 commercial $35 yes Southern Stars
Skyglobe shareware ? ? KlassM Software
SkyMap commercial $49 yes Chris Marriott
SkyPlot shareware $10 yes Gerry Santoro
Sky View free   yes  
Starry free   yes  
StarScape free   yes J M Technical Services
TheSky commercial $129 - 249 no Software Bisque
VRSTARS shareware $15 yes William Graham

Product Kind Price Demo Author/Publisher
Night Vision commercial $20 yes BMT Micro
SkyGate commercial $59 yes AstroGrafx
The COSMOS commercial $49 no MENSYS

Product Kind Price Demo Author/Publisher
Skymap free   yes Doug Mink
Xephem free   source Elwood Charles Downey
Xsky free   yes Terry R. Friedrichsen

Note: prices are in US dollars exclusive of shipping/handling charges and rounded to the nearest doller.

Sky Survey

The ultimate planetarium is the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, a set of images covering the entire sky taken with professional telescopes. The printed version is extremely expensive but it has now been digitized and is available in 10x compressed form on the Web from STScI and NASA and in 100x compressed form on 10 CDROMs from ASP. The CDROM version can be accessed from TheSky; the online version can be accessed from Starry Night.

Other info


Bill Arnett; last updated: 1997 June 3 ; Additions and/or corrections appreciated.