Over on our sister blog Crave, we post about the occasional stargazing gadget for amateur astronomers. But if you aren't willing to shell out the cash for a pricey telescope, night sky projector, or home planetarium, never fear--that's where the wonderful world of free webware comes in. Wikisky was described by the Wired Science blog as "Google Earth for space," which is essentially an apt description. You can use Wikisky (which isn't actually a wiki, for the record) to view and navigate the entire night sky either as a graphical representation, or in legit photographs … Read more
For some years now, we've had a digital telescope gathering dust in a closet somewhere (we're not even sure which one anymore). The reason? We still don't know how to work it.
That's why we're sorely tempted to accidentally donate it to charity and get one of these instead. The "Talking Star and Constellation Navigator" is more our speed--not only does it have a tracking system to find the best viewing angles, but it actually tells you what to do next to find and identify "56 constellations, 66 stars, and 33 deep-sky … Read more
The pages of Crave have seen many a strange clock recently. In fact, we may or may not have imposed a moratorium on writing about creative clocks, even the kind that wake you up with bacon. But this one, featured on Technabob, is really worth a mention because of its sheer convolutedness.
Basically, this Japanese clock, which doesn't even look like a clock, is modeled off that classic old astronomy gadget called the orrery. A number of little aluminum "planets" circle a central body, and you decipher the time by "reading" the position of the … Read more
One of the more popular gadgets on the market these days is the home planetarium, and Crave has responded with items ranging from the handheld version to egg-shaped aliens. But all these pale in comparison to the Meade RCX400 with its robotic Max Mount--a combined 500 pounds of star-gazing equipment.
As any amateur Galileo will tell you, it's nearly impossible to get a decent image of the heavens because of exposure issues and planet rotation. The solution, according to OhGizmo, is a robotic mount like this one that can track objects in the sky while they're moving.… Read more
About a month ago, we wrote about the HomeStar Pro Planetarium, which uses LEDs to project the night sky on your ceiling. Here's another one for the astronomy buffs: Laser Stars, a projector that beams star and cloud formations onto your wall or ceiling of choice with laser technology and holographics. For those of us who live in brightly lit cities where we can't really see any real stars at night, it's a cool idea.
The Laser Stars projector looks to be less for nuts-and-bolts astronomy buffs than for people who just like to look at a … Read more
I guess there are a lot of things you can do with a home planetarium projector, like the HomeStar Pro Planetarium that I read about on Uncrate. You can use it to create spectacular ceiling art for your next party (just make sure nobody spills anything on the $350 projector), or to woo that cute astronomy geek next door. Or, you could (gasp) actually learn about the night sky. It's got all kind of cool stories behind it, you know, like science-y stuff and mythology and whatnot. For real.
But, since it's Monday morning and I've already … Read more
Usually when we think of GPS, it means a technology that's used to locate things on Earth. We often forget that satellites can be pointed in other directions, toward other planets.
That's particularly valuable if you're like us and can't find the Big Dipper to save your life. The "SkyScout Personal Planetarium" from Brookstone can do a lot more than that, with a database of more than 6,000 planets, stars and constellations, and a red arrow on the "viewfinder locator" pinpoints what you're looking at. Making stargazing even easier is … Read more