By Andrew Liszewski
Even if you don’t pursue star gazing as a serious hobby I guarantee everyone at one point has spent some time staring up at the night sky. And if you’re completely ignorant about what you’re looking at the mySKY from Meade will serve as a handheld astronomy professor.
It’s kind of unfortunate the device looks like a toy gun because it packs some pretty serious technology and functionality. Just aim it at any object in the night sky and it will automatically identify it from a database of over 30,000 celestial objects. And using a 480×234 color LCD screen it will also display additional info about the object like photos and videos that are stored on an SD card. To allow for the simple point and shoot interaction the mySKY uses a built-in 12 channel GPS receiver, a magnetic north sensor and electronic accelerometers to determine exactly where it’s being aimed. Alternately you can specify an object you already know the name of and the mySKY will display arrows on the LCD which will help guide you to its location in the sky.
If you are an amateur astronomer the mySKY can even be used to control your Meade telescope with a special interface cable. Once your telescope is properly aligned it will automatically move to whatever you’ve targeted with the mySKY allowing you to see the object up close. (Relatively speaking.)
The mySKY should be available at the end of the month for about $400. While it’s not cheap it’s still pretty reasonable given what the device is capable of.