Astronomy for Dummies
That's how Meade describes its ETX-LS automated telescope ($1,300). For a while, stargazers have been tapping GPS tech to help direct their scope to the right part of the sky. But they still had to make key adjustments by hand. Using star charts, they point automated telescopes to three reference stars so the onboard computer knows exactly where it is.
Mead's ETX-LS eliminates that tedious step. A camera mounted under the scope identifies stars by measuring the minute differences in their brightness. It uses that info to direct the scope with pinpoint accuracy. Just enter the name of a celestial body on a control pad, and the scope takes you there. It also provides an audio guide about what you are viewing and -- if you plug in a laptop or a portable TV -- videos with more information.