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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Lens Image  
  A presentation of the night sky, calculated for any planet or point in space.  

The key point about this is that it is not simply a planetarium, which has a fixed viewpoint - namely, the earth. The Lens Image is calculated anew for every presentation.

The Lens was perhaps the newest feature of the interstellar cruisers of the day. Actually, it was a complicated calculating machine which could throw on a screen a reproduction of the night sky as seen from any given point of the Galaxy.

Channis adjusted the co-ordinate points and the wall lights of the pilot room were extinguished...

Slowly, as the induction period passed, the points of light brightened on the screen...

"This," explained Channis, "is the winter night-sky as seen from Trantor..."

From Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
Additional resources -

You cannot yet (as far as I know!) buy a program or device that will let you calculate the night sky for anywhere in the Galaxy.

However, you can get software programs like Starry Night that will calculate the night sky view from the major planets of the solar system.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Second Foundation
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Second Foundation
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

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