The SkyScout is an electronic astronomical instrument made by Celestron. It is intended primarily as an educational device to help users locate and identify celestial objects.
The SkyScout is a handheld, battery powered device about 7.4" x 4.0" x 2.5", and weighs about 1 pound. It has a viewing port, a 3" x 1" LCD display on the side and several buttons for controlling and selecting device functions.
The SkyScout has a 12 channel GPS receiver and orientation sensors that measure location and pointing angle. From an internal database of some 6,000 celestial objects an object is identified simply by centering it in the device's zero-power optical finder and pressing a button. The LCD screen displays the name of the object (star, planet, deep sky object, etc.) and other relevant data. An audio presentation is available via earphones on 200 of the most popular celestial objects.
The SkyScout will also locate an object; the user selects the desired object from the database and red arrows in the viewfinder direct the user to point the viewfinder to the object. The SkyScout also features a "Tonight's Highlights" mode, leading the user through the night's best objects.
The database can be expanded with extra plug-in SD data cards. A USB connection is also provided for online updates of the object database and device firmware.
Price and availability
Skyscout has been known to scratch easily, and battery life is short at about one-half hour.. The sensors inside of it were far too twitchy around anything metal and made it difficult to use. The advent of iPhone/Android and associated astronomy apps have somewhat eliminated the need for this device.
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- mySky (Meade)