Celestron SkyScout wins Popular Science Award
The Celestron SkyScout is probably on holiday wish-lists of a number of people this year. (Certainly one mine!) If you haven’t heard, this device is a portable planetarium that uses GPS technology to determine your location and thus figure out what in the sky you are looking at. (More on the technology lower.)
Popular Science magazine has named their Top Tech Innovations of 2006 and the Celestron SkyScout has won the award in the recreational category.
The device works like this. Imagine you are using binoculars to look at the sky. You point the binoculars at a particular object and you want to know what that object is. The device uses an onboard GPS to figure out where on the planet you are. Then it uses an electronic compass to figure out what direction you are looking in. And finally it uses an accelerometer to determine what angle you are looking at the sky. Then in the viewfinder the Celestron SkyScout can let you know what it is you are looking at. Very cool!