Star gazers get helping hand with new gadget

Celestron, a company that makes telescopes and binoculars, has launched a new device that will allow users to pinpoint any star and find out what it is.

Called SkyScout, the device is a handheld, portable celestial viewing unit that can instantly identify and/or locate over 6,000 celestial objects such as stars and planets viewable to the naked eye.

About the size of a camcorder and weighing less than 450grams (16 ounces), the Celestron SkyScout enables stargazers to point at any visible object in the sky, press a button and listen to commentary on the object and its history.

The SkyScout also has a “locate” feature that allows users to select an object they wish to view (i.e., Mars) and the SkyScout, using illuminated arrows in the viewfinder, will actually point the user to the object.

The “Tonight's Must-See List” mode will tell the user the 10 “coolest” things to look at in the sky that night, using internal GPS to work out where in the world it actually is.

Officially launching in the new year, “The unit 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”, said Richard Hedrick, senior vice president and CTO of Celestron.

Celestron has yet to set a price or a UK launch date.

We will keep you posted.