>One of the concerns that was recently voiced to me was about the accuracy of handheld sky computers like the Celestron SkyScout and Meade Mysky. What if your sky computer makes a mistke? How is a beginner to know?
This is a valid concern. The My Sky and Sky Scout are, after all, computers and, as we all know, computers are less than perfect at times. (I’m being nice, here.)
My suggestion is to back up the Celestron Skyscout and the MySky with a standard star book that shows constellations. Good choice here would be the Meade Star Chart Guide, which won’t set you back much more than a good supply of batteries for the MySky. The idea here is to use the SkyScout or the My sky to identify a star and get you into a constellation. Then, check the book and use it to trace the constellations outline. If both the book and the MySky agree, you know you are in the right neighborhood. In other words, use the My Sky to get you to the constellation, then use the book to see the big picture. Besides being a good way to self-check the MySky, this is also a great way to learn your basic constellations. This turns the Meade Mysky into an even better learning tool, not to mention a fun way to spend an evening.
Oh, on those rainy evenings, when the MySky is out for the count, you still have your star book to review.