Tech Toy

Far from home

These are glory days for amateur astronomy, thanks to telescopes like the Meade 14-inch LX200GPS-SMT. Now, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has revolutionized stargazing and heightened the thrill of exploring the universe. Before the advent of GPS, "it could take up to a year to get comfortable with the equipment," says Meade's Scott Roberts. Setting up the LX200GPS—which comes equipped with software for precise alignment, a digital camera, and a Smart Drive system for facilitating astrophotography—is no more complicated than working a semiautomatic digital camera. Once it's up and running, so are you: across the heavens. With access to a database of 20 million stars, planets, and galaxies, you can follow a tour of celestial bodies, or simply get lost in space. $4,995; 800-626-3233;