I always had difficulty identifying stars in the night sky when I went star-gazing as a kid, so I was intrigued when I heard about the Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium-- a handheld device that lets you identify 6,000 stars, planets, and constellations as they appear overhead. It has the ability to display text and play audio descriptions, including the history, mythology, and other fun facts for the most popular objects in the sky.
The SkyScout works in several different ways:
- Aim it at a celestial body, and the SkyScout will identify it.
- Choose a body by name from the SkyScout's built-in-database, and blinking arrows in the viewfinder will guide you to the location.
- Run the "Tonight's Highlights" program for a customized list of the 20 best objects to view in the sky from your exact location on this time and date.
- Insert an SD card preprogrammed with a tour of the night sky.
Updates to the database can be loaded via USB connection to a computer.
The SkyScout should be available about May 29, 2006, but can be pre-ordered before then from Amazon.com. For more information, check out the manufacturer's website at http://www.celestron.com/skyscout/.