By Andrew Liszewski
Well technically, I guess stargazing isn’t all that difficult, all you have to do is look up at night. But knowing what all those dots of light are called? Now that’s the tricky part. You could visit your local observatory and have an astronomer explain what you’re looking at, or you could pick up this nifty software/hardware combo called StellarWindow and stargaze from the comfort of your own backyard. It was developed by a group of Waseda University students in Japan, and it relies on a special USB dongle that features tilt sensors and an electronic compass. You just install the software on your laptop or tablet PC and attach the dongle, and once your position is calibrated, the StellarWindow program will provide a detailed explanation of the night sky you see before you. It even features voice recognition so all you have to do is ask it to find a particular heavenly body and the software will tell you what direction to look. The student’s startup company, Fairy Devices Inc., is expected to release StellarWindow before 2009 for about $244.