TORRANCE, California, November 6 /PRNewswire/ --


Celestron(R), the world's leading designer and manufacturer of telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes and related accessories, announced that their award winning SkyScout Personal Planetarium has been declared the Official Product of International Year of Astronomy 2009 by the IYA organization. Celestron's SkyScout is a must-have tool for astronomy beginners. Its high-quality features and educational value make it the perfect instrument to explore the sky during 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, said Pedro Russo, International Year of Astronomy Coordinator.

About the size of a camcorder and weighing less than 16 ounces, the SkyScout utilizes a consumer-friendly point and shoot GPS technology that enables stargazers to instantly identify and/or locate over 50,000 celestial objects in the sky with the press of a button and listen to commentary on the object and its history. The SkyScout also has a locate feature that allows users to select an object they wish to view (i.e. Mars) and the SkyScout, using illuminated arrows in the viewfinder, will point the user to the object. After 400 years of telescopes comes another product that is bound to revolutionize educational astronomy. The sky will never be the same with Celestron's SkyScout, said Dr. Salim Ansari, Head of Information Systems and Education Support Service with the European Space Agency.

Celestron invites you to be a part of the IYA2009 global celebration. Worldwide events and activities are being planned to celebrate IYA2009; such as sidewalk astronomy events, planetarium shows, documentaries and traveling exhibits. Celestron is proud to be a global sponsor of IYA2009. It is imperative that we increase scientific awareness to the general public and generate excitement for astronomy and the science community to our younger generation, said Joseph A. Lupica Jr, President and CEO of Celestron. We need to increase knowledge and concern for the preservation of our dark skies and our historical astronomical sites. The International Year of Astronomy gives the citizens of the world a way to better understand how the impact of science and astronomy affects their daily lives and how they can help contribute to a more peaceful, knowledgeable society.

The expanding SkyScout Personal Planetarium family now features many new accessories; including high-quality, rechargeable SkyScout Speakers and SkyScout Expansion Cards (All About the Stars and Astronomy for Beginners). The SkyScout continues to be the easiest to use, most accurate and most reliable device of its kind on the market. Visit, for detailed information on product features and availability.

Learn more about the International Year of Astronomy at the Celestron IYA2009 website:

About Celestron

Celestron is the leading designer, manufacturer and importer of high-quality optical products including computerized and non-computerized telescopes and related accessories, binoculars, spotting scopes and microscopes. Since manufacturing its first telescope in 1960, Celestron has grown to become the world's leading telescope maker, and enjoys brand-name recognition among serious amateur astronomers for superior optics, outstanding design, and innovative technology. Celestron's innovative products continue to receive numerous industry and consumer media accolades, adding to an already impressive list that includes awards for product innovation from Reader's Digest, Popular Science, PC Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Consumer Electronics Association and more. Celestron sells and markets its products worldwide through a variety of specialty retail outlets and international distributors. Celestron is a privately held company with corporate offices and manufacturing facilities, in Torrance, CA. For more information about Celestron please visit

Vicki Croucier, Marketing Manager, +1-310-328-9560, ext. 298,, or Michelle Meskill, Asst. Marketing Manager, +1-310-328-9560, ext. 205,, both of Celestron