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SkyScout

If you've ever tried to assemble a telescope, point it at the sky and find the Big Dipper, you'll know it's not easy. Here's a brilliant solution: the Celestron SkyScout, a hand-held device that looks a lot like a camcorder. Point this genius little invention at any celestial speck, and it will identify it for you. Alternatively, ask it to find Saturn, and it will point you in the right direction.

In an age when we have GPS on our cell phones and navigating systems on our cars, it's probably not all that surprising that this is possible. But we think it's incredibly cool. The SkyScout uses GPS technology and the Earth's gravitational and magnetic pull to home in on exactly which planet, star or constellation you're trying to identify (it knows over 6,000 of them). It will even suggest that night's best sightings, based on where and when in the world you are. If you want to know even more, you can listen to a commentary (including facts, trivia, history and mythology) about each astral body with headphones. And, as new stars are discovered, a USB port allows you to update the SkyScout with the new information.

At $399, they're comparable in price to inexpensive telescopes, but if you're not ready to commit, come to Verana this winter. If you've ever seen the sky over Yelapa, you'll know why we want one of these!

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