January 8, 2008 There are few things that reinforce the unfathomable wonder of our existence as much as pointing a telescope at the night sky. While gazing at the stars is one thing, identifying exactly what you are looking at can present hurdles for the amateur astronomer - a problem that telescope manufacturer Celestron has addressed with the release of the SkyScout Scope, a 90 mm refractor telescope designed for use with the SkyScout® Personal Planetarium® that allows back-yard stargazers to locate, identify and learn more about thousands of celestial objects.
SkyScout technology uses GPS to provide general information, history and scientific data on what you are looking at through the viewfinder, drawing on a database that covers around 6000 stars, planets, constellation, nebulae and star clusters. The cam-corder sized SkyScout® Personal Planetarium® can identify objects selected on the menu screen or locate them by using directional arrows and also includes a built-in Field Guide providing an introduction to astronomy and information on comets and man made space objects. There's also a "Tonight's Highlights" function that lists the 20 best objects corresponding to your exact date, time and location anywhere in the world.
While able to be used as a hand-held, stand-alone unit, the Personal Planetarium®, the SkyScout Scope includes an adjustable mounting bracket specifically for use with the device and has been designed with non-magnetic materials that do not to interfere with the SkyScout sensors. The non-computerized, all-coated glass optic telescope also has a permanently mounted 6x30 finder scope and a 1.25-inch steel tube legged tripod.
The company also offers a SkyScout® Connect product that enables the Personal Planetarium® to be connected directly to other Celestron computerized telescopes.
Currently on show at the International CES, the Celestron SkyScout Scope is available for USD$319.95 and the SkyScout® Personal Planetarium® costs $USD429.