When we were seven years old, Spot Cool Stuff explored a natural history museum with one of those personal audio tour devices our parents were kind enough to rent for us. The way it worked was: Each exhibit in the museum let out a low level radio transmission. Stand facing, say, the museum’s skeleton of dinosaur bones and the audio tour device would tell you about them. Of course, our seven year old self did not understand the technology of it. We thought the audio tour device was some sort of magic creation that could give you a little insight into any object on earth.
The MySky StarTracker is like our seven year old selves’ notion of the museum’s magical audio tour device. Except, instead of telling you about any object on earth it can tell you about any star in the sky!
Point the phaser-like MySky at any group of stars and the MySky will tell you about what you are looking at and display that section of the heavens magnified on the LCD screen (illuminated in red to protect your night vision). The MySky database includes information on over 30,000 celestial objects—not only stars but also constellations, planets, galaxies, nebulae, and the like. Downloaded software updates keep your MySky up to date.
In addition to identifying stars, the MySky has a search mode that will show you where in the sky to find the celestial object of your choice. There are also a over 500 guided audio tours of the universe you can take with MySky, each narrated by NPR Stardate host Sandy Wood.
It all works because MySky has a built in GPS locator that can determine your exact time and location on the earth. Combine that will an internal compass and angle detection and the MySky can determine with amazing accuracy what constellation it is pointed at. Of course, to your inner seven year old self the MySky will all seem like magic.