Observe and project planet orbits, the moon, asterisms, and constellations, with Stellarium
Stellarium is free program that lets you observe realistic skies. It includes 3 levels, what you can see with bare eyes, or with binoculars or with a small telescope. The program is often used in planetariums.
You can find your way in the sky by dragging your mouse. There is of course a zoom function and an easy to use menu that you can use for dome projections.
Clicking on a city you can set coordinates. The program saves your location. Stellarium includes all the stars from Hipparcos catalogue, our solar system with the natural satellites or the planets. It includes also all Messier and NGC objects.
It features also planet orbits, Equator and Meridian lines, Moon scaling, Asterisms and names of constellations and Constellation boundaries. Observation from another planet is possible.
Projection is rendered as Fisheye, “old_style” (a ground texture and a number of side textures), or spherical panorama.You may like Stellarium even only for the constellation art about the 88 Western constellations stemming from Greek mythology.
The program tries to be as realistic as possible, featuring fog neart the earth’s surface, star twinkling, meteor showers.
* Check also the Full Moon Desktop Gadget