The SkyScout is a revolutionary handheld device that uses advanced GPS technology with point and click convenience to instantly identify thousands of stars, planets, constellations and more. Simply point the SkyScout at the night sky, look through the sight, and, using GPS technology, it will instantly identify the planet, star or constellation you're looking at. You can also locate specific celestial objects by browsing and selecting an object from a list and then following the directional arrows seen through the viewfinder. SkyScout tells you when you're on target.
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 you hand. It transforms the night sky into a personal planetarium for stargazers, families, students, and astronomers alike. It makes learning the stories of the sky - and finding your way around the sky - easier than ever before.
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The "AA" battery-operated Celestron SkyScout is approximately the size of a small camcorder (7.4" x 4" x 2.5") and weighs less than 16 ounces, making it easy to carry and operate. Its patented technology combines a GPS receiver (which calculates the time, date, and location on Earth of the user, based on signals from Earth-orbiting satellites); software that calculates the current positions of over 6000 stars, planets, and other celestial objects from its substantial celestial database; and 3-axis sensors that measure the Earth's gravitational and magnetic fields to determine the true orientation of the SkyScout to the Earth, no matter in what orientation you hold the SkyScout. There's no need to hold it level or point it north to get it aligned on the sky.
When the SkyScout is turned on, its internal GPS system automatically determines where on Earth you are located. You don't have to enter your location or the date and time to start observing. The SkyScout does it for you automatically. Its user-friendly "point and shoot" technology lets you point it at any visible object in the sky and read a scrolling commentary about the object and its history in the SkyScout's illuminated 5-line LED display. The SkyScout comes with compact earbud-type earphones so you can also hear the displayed information narrated for you without having to take your eye away from the SkyScout's non-magnifying viewfinder. Optional speakers that plug into the earphone output let a group of people hear the commentary simultaneously. The database contains scientific information for over 6000 objects, plus entertaining stories for the 200 most spectacular celestial objects.
If you prefer, select an object you wish to view (for example Mars), and the SkyScout's "locate" feature uses illuminated arrows in its viewfinder to actually lead you to that object, then tells you all about it. The SkyScout personal planetarium is a fun learning tool for all ages. It puts the knowledge of an expert astronomer in the palm of your hand. It will dramatically improve how you learn your way around the skies - making astronomy easier and more entertaining. The Celestron SkyScout can be used to accompany a telescope, can be taken on camping trips to explore the night's sky, and can be used as a learning tool for students of astronomy young and old alike. The SkyScout is a great, easy-to-use educational aid for parents searching to answer their child's seemingly "unanswerable" questions about the sky.
The SkyScout operating system and database can be updated from the internet, always keeping you current with the skies. A built-in USB port and supplied cable allow you to periodically update the operating software from the Celestron website, as well as download new data about celestial objects like the orbits of the Space Shuttle or the locations of passing comets. In addition, there is an SD memory card slot for optional "SkyTour Content Cards" that have additional content offerings, such as "Astronomy for Kids."
The SkyScout comes with a soft carrying case for storage and travel, earphones to listen to the audio content, a hand strap for comfort and portability, and a USB cable for connecting to your PC to upgrade the database. The high impact molded case of the SkyScout is partially rubber armored for long life and durability. The 3" wide x 1" high graphic LCD display has red LED backlighting to preserve your dark-adapted vision while still being highly legible. The brightness level can be adjusted to suit your individual preferences, as can the headphone volume. The SkyScout database contains 6000 stars, 100 variable stars, all 88 constellations, 200 galaxies, 100 nebulas, 40 star clusters, 20 satellites, 20 asterisms, 20 periodic comets, 10 asteroids, and 25 stars with known planets. In addition, you can download up to 100 objects from the Celestron website and add 50 custom user objects of your own. Two user-supplied AA batteries power the SkyScout.
The unique Celestron SkyScout was chosen the "Best of Innovations" in the personal electronics category at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in January. It was chosen the best of all the thousands of new products introduced by the major electronics manufacturers from around the world. The SkyScout was also named an "Editor?s Choice" by Popular Mechanics magazine at the same electronics industry show, and was featured in USA Today as one of the outstanding new products at the show. The SkyScout also won the PC Magazine "Last Gadget Standing" award. It was named the new product that is "destined to stand the test of time and become a long time player in the industry." To win this award, voted on live by industry professionals at the CES, the SkyScout beat out new and innovative products from Nikon, XM Satellite Radio, Pioneer, Palm, Logitech, Epson, Samsung, and others. It joins past winners from such well-known companies as Dell and OnStar. And in the May issue of Reader's Digest Magazine that named the 100 best things in America, the Celestron SkyScout was named the "Best Star Finder."