updated 04:20 pm EDT, Mon August 21, 2006
An experienced astronomer can usually identify planets and stars by sight alone; novice stargazers in the field may need to gain experience through hardware that can automatically label certain objects as they fall into view. For those in the field and thus without access to a large telescope that can automatically point to space objects, the SkyScout uses GPS tracking to identify galaxies, man-made objects, planets, and stars depending on the user's Earth coordinates and viewing angle. Additionally, the device can provide a historical background to the object in sight through audio and text. An SD card slot and USB port help keep the SkyScout updated with new audio tours and object data. The unit is available today for $400 at many astronomy and science stores.