We've seen home automation touchpanels used for some -- shall we say, unorthodox -- activities, but this is taking things to another level galaxy. Franklin, NC-based Dan Quigley has whipped up a way for his WiFi-enabled Crestron TMPC8X to actually control a giant telescope. Rather than manually getting the 'scope into the right position, he simply touches a button and watches it automatically check to see "if and when that object is viewable." While he's at it, he can dim the lights around him and check the local weather, and once a celestial body is in view, he can snap a photograph or have the system channel the image to any computer / TV. Suddenly, astronomy has become entirely more attractive.

[Thanks, Chuck]