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Stargazing with a bit o’ help from Meade MySky

By on Jun 4, 2007 in On A Whim | 0 comments

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Did many of you know that once upon a time, I had taken up astronomy / star-watching (not the celebrity type that Rach does) as a hobby? It seems to have suffered the fate of some other hobbies of mine like painting and joined them in the graveyard, but this was NOT because of me. It’s just that star watching is SO frustrating in cities, with so much of ‘light pollution’ – even with a good pair of binoculars you’d be lucky to catch something (although whenever I go to any less populated place, I do always carry my star guide along). For example, a few days ago, almost all of the planets were aligned in such a way that they’d have been visible with a bit of squinting around, but extra lights in cities these days makes it impossible to view and admire.

This is the place where uber-geeky gadgets like the Meade MySky come handy, because if their sensitivity and ease of use. This gadget is just like its better known alternative, the Celestron SkyScout. What both of these do is that when you point and ‘shoot’ at a particular stretch of the night sky, it uses built in software to determine where you are and what you’re viewing, and points out objects of interest to you. I understand how handy this can be, because fumbling around with a flashlight and a star map isn’t very convenient.

Coming back to the Meade MySky, what sets it apart from the older thing is that it features a full-color LCD screen, and can be hooked up with a Meade telescope to control it. This fully interactive gadget is just like having an astronomer friend to guide you around. It’s not a toy, but a very useful guide for budding amateur astronomers – at least when you’re starting off.

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