Have you ever tried to point out the constellations to a friend? You huddle up close, point your arm out, and both of you try to locate the star you’re looking at. “See that star? Right there? Now down a little, no, not that one. It’s on the left… never mind, there’s the Moon over there.” I had a chance to play with a green laser pointer from techlasers.com, and let me tell you, that problem goes away once and for all.
The laser I received is the Infinity 125 mW laser from techlasers and it retails for $289.00 USD. But they also have lower watt lasers right down to 15 mW (for $79.00).
All their Infinity series are the size of a large pen. You can easily clip this in your shirt pocket, and whip it out when you need to clear up a constellation conundrum.
As long as you’re using the laser for good, it’s awesome. You point up into the sky, press the trigger, and a finger of light stretches from your hand to infinity. Instead of standing beside someone, with your arm outstretched, trying to point out a specific, dim object in the sky, you can just reach out and point to it.
I’m not kidding. Zap, your laser reaches out to a specific star. There’s Venus, that’s Mars. Zap… that’s Andromeda.
It only takes 2 AAA batteries, and I’ve been using it for the better part of a month now, amazing my friends and entertaining my children, and it hasn’t run out of batteries yet.
I’ve tested it around the house, and the spot where the laser hits the wall is almost too bright to look at. You can easily see the spot on a building a few miles away, and I’m sure distant aliens are squinting their eyes from the light when you beam it at their star (okay, not really). I’m sure my neighbours are wondering what that green beam is stretching up from my house.
I’ve got to say, though, it feels a bit like owning a firearm. I keep the laser out of reach of the kids, and make sure that we only use it with my supervision. I can imagine it would seriously damage someone’s eyes if you weren’t careful.
But if you’re a responsible person, and you keep it away from airplanes flying overhead, I would say that a green laser is a great way to share your love of astronomy with your friends.
Check out Pamela’s review over at StarStryder, where she breaks out the math to calculate how powerful the laser is.
And then take a look at techlasers for their full gallery of lasers.