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Technology that Makes Constellation and Star Finding Easy

Amateur astronomy has changed significantly over the past couple of decades. In the days when I first started the only thing you could do to find objects in the night sky was to bring a starchart or almanac of the sky and a red flashlight out with you.

But technology has changed all this and now there are plenty of telescopes and addons for telescopes that will zoom into just about any night sky object at the push of a button. And this technology is not just reserved for telescopes. You can enjoy this convenience with a couple of hand held items manufactured by Meade and Celestron. They are the Meade MySky and the Celestron Skyscout.

The Celestron Skyscout

Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium

The SkyScout uses gps technology to locate anything in the sky. Pretty amazing stuff. But it's not only a locater but an identifier too. You can point it at an object in the night sky and it will tell you what the object is! Just downright amazing.

Person Holding a skyscout

You operate it much like you would operate a camcorder. This picture shows somebody using it.

 

From the Manufacturer
The SkyScout is a revolutionary handheld device that uses advanced GPS technology with point and click convenience to identify thousands of stars, planets, constellations and more.

Identify
Simply point the SkyScout at any star in the sky and click the target button. The SkyScout will tell you what object you are looking at.

Locate
To locate a star or planet, select the object's name from the menu and follow the directional arrows through the viewfinder. SkyScout tells you when you are on target. It's that easy!

Learn
Once you have targeted an object the real fun begins. The SkyScout includes entertaining and educational audio and text information, including facts, trivia, history and mythology about our most popular celestial objects. A fun learning tool for all ages, the SkyScout personal planetarium puts the knowledge of an expert astronomer in the palm of your hand.

SkyScout features

  • Identifies celestial objects with the click of a button.
  • Locates over 6,000 stars, planets and constellations from built-in celestial database and provides scientific information for each object.
  • Provides comprehensive text and audio descriptions providing history, mythology and other entertaining information for the most popular objects.
  • Tonight's Highlights: a customized list of the 20 best objects to view for your exact date, time and location anywhere in the world.
  • Constellation lessons: if the star you identify or locate is part of a constellation like the Big Dipper, you can actually take a guided tour through all the stars in that constellation and even see an onscreen map of the constellation.
  • Built-in field guide includes:
    • Introduction to astronomy: a six part audio lesson on the origin and history of astronomy
    • Glossary of terms: text defining popular astronomy terms including planets, comets, galaxies and more
    • Great Astronomers: text bios on some of the world's greatest astronomers including Galileo, Einstein and Copernicus
    • Man-made space objects: text description of some of the coolest objects man has sent into space including the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Space Shuttle
    • Comet guide: text descriptions about history's most famous comets including Halley's Comet and Comet Hale-Bop
  • SD card slot: for optional Sky Tour audio presentations that provide hours of entertainment on a variety of topics
  • USB port: allows database to be updated with new objects as they are discovered, comets, etc.
  • Simple enough for all ages: just turn it on and it's ready to use
  • Built-in help menu: includes a quick start instruction guide for using the SkyScout
  • Bring it anywhere: compact and light design makes it easy to carry and durable construction makes it safe for rugged environments
  • Backed by Celestron's 2-year warranty

Meade Also Has its own version of a sky locator called The Meade MySky

The Meade MySky

Meade mySKY Personal Guide for Sky Exploration

Manufacturer Description
Meade introduces a revolutionary way to explore our universe. The new Meade mySKY is an easy-to-use multi-media device that will guide you through the night sky better than if you had your own private astronomer standing next to you. Meade's patented technology allows the mySKY to out perform every other hand held night sky exploration device on the market.

Featuring a full-color LCD screen and the added ability to control a Meade computerized telescope, MySky is a fun, interactive, multi-media, hand-held guide to the universe that locates and identifies celestial objects in the night sky. MySky aligns itself by pointing it at a celestial object and pull the trigger to identify planets, stars, nebula, galaxies and more with over 30,000 objects. Your exploration starts with a simple video introduction of how to use MySky. Real-time, Color SkyMaps Guide you to the objects you want to locate. Sandy Wood, the familiar voice of StarDate the syndicated daily radio program, provides you with audio descriptions of the objects you have found. MySky also takes you on guided tours of the best objects in your sky tailored to your time, date and location.

MySky Highlights

The ultimate in simplicity No knowledge of the night sky is needed. mySKY aligns itself without any input from the user. Turn it on, point it at a celestial object, and pull the trigger to identify planets, stars, nebula, galaxies and more -- over 30,000 objects. Featuring open aiming sites that do not restrict your field of view, finding your target is easy.

Multi-media presentation on the full-color LCD screen Your exploration starts with a simple video introduction of how to use mySKY. Real-time, color SkyMaps guide you to the objects you want to locate. Sandy Wood, the familiar voice of StarDate -- a syndicated daily radio program, provides you with audio descriptions of the objects you have found. mySKY also takes you on guided tours of the best objects in your sky -- tailored to your time, date and location.


Product Description
Featuring a full-color LCD screen and the added ability to control a Meade computerized telescope, MySky is a fun, interactive, multi-media, hand-held guide to the universe that locates and identifies celestial objects in the night sky. MySky aligns itself by pointing it at a celestial object and pull the trigger to identify planets, stars, nebula, galaxies and more with over 30,000 objects.

Your exploration starts with a simple video introduction of how to use MySky. Real-time, Color SkyMaps Guide you to the objects you want to locate. Sandy Wood, the familiar voice of StarDate the syndicated daily radio program, provides you with audio descriptions of the objects you have found. MySky also takes you on guided tours of the best objects in your sky tailored to your time, date and location. Positioning Electronic accelerometers to determine pointing Power save features - Advanced power saving features to extend battery life 4 AA batteries required (not included)

Battery Life - Up to 7 hours Just point and shoot to identify planets, stars, constellations and more See images, watch video and hear audio descriptions Take guided tours of the night sky Simple controls that are intuitive and easy to use MySky incorporates full GPS Auto Alignment, which does not require any user input MySky provides information to the user in true multi-media formats - Video, Audio, Still Images, Sky Maps and text Updated object information, tours and program improvements downloadable from the Internet Control your Meade computerized telescope .

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