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Hands On Review: "Celestron SkyScout"

The number one question about the Celestron SkyScout is "When can I get it?" The answer is soon! Celestron has already begun filling orders for the SkyScout and have been shipping it to happy customer's world wide. Preorder yours today and receive as soon as possible! The second most asked question, "How does the SkyScout work?" Well here is the answer from Scope City's exclusive hands on look at the latest innovation from Celestron.

The first thing you notice about the SkyScout is how lightweight it is. The rubber coated finish and smooth metallic polycarbonate surfaces give you a comfortable grip. The system seems to just fit your hand.

One tip about powering-up the SkyScout; you have to press and hold the power button for five seconds. The picture shown here is the start up title screen of the Celestron SkyScout. You can even see the gentle glow of the buttons that are fully illuminated when you power-up the unit.

Once the unit is on, it starts "Acquiring Satellites for GPS fix." This is one of the ways that the SkyScout begins to align itself. It even has a menu feature in the GPS mode to show which GPS satellites you are currently in contact with, and their relative compass positions to your location.
The GPS system also tells you the local time, date, latitude, longitude, elevation, and surprisingly the temperature.

There are three primary modes for the SkyScout. As you see from the picture; "Identify: Allows you to point the SkyScout at anything in the sky and helps you identify what object is in the field-of-view", "Locate: Helps you find and locate objects and even constellations in the night sky", and "GPS: Tells you your location, time, date... etc."

The SkyScout also has a "Field Guide" menu that teaches basic astronomy, history and a variety of lessons.

The menus on the SkyScout are intuitive and easy to understand. If you are looking for a planet, you would first choose the "Locate" mode and then using the four-way controller press "Select" to enter that menu, in this case "Planets" then a list of planets will appear.

This picture shows the four-way menu controller. Below are the "Menu" button that will take you back to the first menus, and the "Help" button, that teaches you how to use the SkyScout with a "Quick Start" guide and several other helpful hints sections.

Once you have selected a planet to view, you look inside the optics of the SkyScout. The SkyScout has clear optics with 1x magnification (zero power). So you are using the night sky as your planetarium. The key to using the system is keeping the two circles inside overlapping each other. There are eight red LED lights that will tell you which direction to move the SkyScout in order to locate an object. For example, if the upper left LED were blinking, then you would move up and to the left. Once you have centered the object in the field-of-view of the two circles, all eight red LED will light up, alerting you that you have found the object.

The Celestron SkyScout is the great bridge between owning a GO TO computerized telescope or nothing at all. It has over 6,000 objects in its database, with 200 audio sections to listen to. There is even "Tonight's Highlights" to show you a tour of the great objects available anytime of night or season. With the addition of the Secure Digital Card (SD-Memory Card) slot with future programs, tours and lessons the SkyScout will continue to offer more content coming soon.

What does the button on the top do? It's the "Target" button used in the "Identify" mode. Once you have spotted an object you press the "Target" button to enter the object for identification. This can also open up a menu if there are multiple items in the field-of-view.

Overall the SkyScout is easy to use, fun and educational. Its lightweight and portable design make it great for travel or just your backyard. It has tons of features, lessons, and audio clips to listen to. If you want a fun way to learn astronomy and be outdoors instead of being inside reading a book, the Celestron SkyScout is the solution. Order It Now


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SkyScout Review
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