GALACTIC VIEWER is a simple astronomical application designed to help view Milky Way objects in terms of galactocentric positions. Over the past few years I have grown rather tired of the extremely heliocentric perspectives on our Milky Way Galaxy. Try using search engines to pull up a view of the Milky Way Galaxy, and odds are high what you see will be Earth-based. This is somewhat analogous to the 17th century, when the Earth was considered the center of the Solar System! Anything else will tend to be very artistic and not usable for finding, say, Eta Carinae.

Granted, part of the problem is that we know surprisingly little about the galaxy beyond our own solar neighborhood. Stars elsewhere in our galaxy are often too faint or too far to get accurate parallax measurements, and are often obscured by interstellar dust. In fact, we can see almost nothing of the opposite side of the galaxy! However emissions measurements during the past few decades have begun shedding more light on the problem, allowing for this first crude stab at the galaxy's structure.

My hope is that Galaxy Viewer will allow the locations of globular clusters, open clusters, and other popular telescope objects to be more fully appreciated in context with the Sun, the galaxy, and other objects. I also hope it educates users about the galaxy's structure.

This software is essentially freeware and I don't require anyone to register. However if you DO register it for $10 at I will supply you with a free Hipparcos star file containing 110,000 stars that can be overlaid. When this file is detected in the directory, the Hipparcos buttons will no longer be greyed out and will be usable.

>> Download galactic.exe installer (800 KB)
>> Order Galactic Viewer ($10.00)