Aladin Sky Atlas is cross-platform space exploration program using which you can view the images captured through some of the very powerful telescopes located both on the Earth’s surface and in the space. But this program is designed using the Oracle Java programming languages which means that without installing JRE in your computer, it won’t even launch. If you do not want to install JRE (Java Runtimes Environment) in your PC, then you can just use Aladin Lite. Aladin Lite is a lightweight version of the Aladin Sky Atlas that you can access right inside your web browser.
Aladin Lite is not much different from Aladin Sky Atlas. It opens up with the sky view displayed using the DSS2 (Digital Sky Survery) based images of the sky. You can drag around the sky using your mouse and zoom in or out as much as you want. But zooming in excessively won’t make things look any better because the images show very distant objects.
You can switch to the sky images captured through some other surveys or sources by clicking on their names on the left side list of sources. You can also click on the layers icon and choose one of the sources from there. You can choose from a set of nineteen sources of these sky images, for example, Fermi Color, DSS Color, DSS2 (Red), DSS2 (Blue), GALEX, SDSS9, 2MASS, AllWise, Iris, Halpha etc.
If you find a view of the sky that is useful for your research work, studies or any other use, then you can export the view to a PNG image and save it to your computer. But before you attempt to do this, be careful the image is very large and can take a long time to download.
You can visit Aladin Lite website at http://aladin.u-strasbg.fr/AladinLite.