Aladin Desktop

Your professional Sky Atlas

Aladin Desktop is the main application of the Aladin Sky Atlas suite. This application allows the user to visualize and manipulate digitized astronomical images or full surveys, superimpose entries from astronomical catalogues or databases, and interactively access related data and information from the Simbad database, the VizieR service and other archives for all known astronomical objects in the field.

Created in 1999 by the CDS, Aladin Desktop has become a widely-used VO tool capable of addressing challenges such as locating data of interest, accessing and exploring distributed datasets, visualizing multi-wavelength data. Compliance with existing or emerging VO standards, interconnection with other visualisation or analysis tools, ability to easily compare heterogeneous data are key topics allowing Aladin to be a powerful data exploration and integration tool as well as a science enabler.


Main features: Zoom; Pan; Rotate; Overlays; Multi-views; Many projections (Sin, Tan, Aitoff, Mollweide, etc); Any coordinate systems (FK4, FK5, ICRS, GAL, SGAL, ECL); No image size limit; Million source overlays, Most of astronomical formats (images: HiPS, FITS, PDS, HEALPix map, JPEG, PNG; cubes (HiPS, FITS); tables: HiPS, FITS, VOTable, S-extractor, IPAC TBL, ASCII, etc; regions: XML, STC, DS9, IDL); Powerful tool boxes (images: color map, contours, crop, re-encode, color composition, pixel computation, resampling, astrometrical calibration, mosaic, photometric measurements, etc; Catalogs: filter, split, merge, x-match, scatter plot, etc); VO standards: JSAMP, CS, SSA, SIA, etc; Extendable: plugins, VOApp interface; Fully scriptable; Multi-language; Outreach mode (see screen dumps...)

Aladin Desktop is a software developed in Java and it is able to run on any configuration (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc). So the first step is to download and install it on your machine. However, you may also run it inside your browser if you have installed the Java enable plugin. Both methods require a Java Virtual Machine available on your machine.

Aladin Desktop can also be extended by your own Java plugins if your favorite algorithm is not implemented yet in Aladin core base.

Aladin Desktop is developed by the CDS. The principal authors are listed below without forgetting many contributors:

→ Thanks to acknowledge Aladin Sky Atlas