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    Re: Skyscout: Right Ascension and Declination
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Mar 18, 12:25 -0700

    Antoine, you wrote:
    "I had been considering purchasing SKYSCOUT recently, but ... probably no longer now."

    This doesn't affect the way the device works at all. But in any case, you would be better off buying an Android phone or an iPhone. On both platforms, there are software products that can do basically what the Skyscout does. And they're phones and cameras and GPS units and music players and movie viewers and flashlights and... and... I think I may have to sell my octant and get one. On the Android platform, Google SkyMap is extremely popular. Everyone I know who has an Android phone has downloaded it. Mostly they just use it to demonstrate the marvels of modern technology... "Look I can point it down and it shows us what stars are beneath are feet!! How the heck does it know that??!" is what they always seem to say. But even if only 1% of those marveling at it superficially are learning some stars from it, this is a big deal.

    For Brad and Antoine, I wouldn't necessarily count on the answer from Celestron Tech Support. Even if it's only five desks from the original programmers to the tech support guys (Celestron is a small company), that's still five steps for the details to get garbled. Also, precession has no effect on star-star distances. Precession is just a rotation of the celestial coordinate system about the axis perpendicular to the ecliptic. I'm quite sure we can figure out just what they're doing. We have the skills here. But it may take a little more sleuthing.


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