Thanks to the International Astronomical Union, there’s been a lot more interest in stargazing lately. Meade’s new, extremely amateur-friendly ETX-90AT telescope has 30,000 stars, planets, and constellations programmed into its database, so you can set it to focus on a certain recently demoted dwarf planet, or the jewel-tinted Orion nebula, or the golden streaks of the Leonid meteor shower in November. An LCD screen displays details about what you’re viewing— its distance from Earth, temperature, and so on. For the ever-curious New Yorker, though, the biggest appeal is perhaps its ability to zoom in on more-local occurrences—skyscraper details, a river yacht, or your neighbors’ dinner ($649.95 at B&H Photo Video, 420 Ninth Ave., at 33rd St.; 212-444-6708).
The Best Bets
A powerful but easy-to-use telescope, miraculous mirror-clearing spray, and other hot buys.