Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hestia, the first-ever smartphone-based telescope for space exploration

Telescope is the easiest and most efficient gadget for space exploration from your home. We use telescopes to get a clear and large view of the planets and stars. Similarly, astrophotography is very popular among photographers and amateur astronomers. But, capturing cosmic photos comes with many problems, such as needing to get the focus right and capturing soft data, the size of lenses, chromatic aberration, and cost and heavy to carry.

To overcome these problems, France-originated Vaonis has unveiled Hestia, the first smartphone-based telescope for space exploration and astrophotography. It uses the power of your smartphone’s sensors to photograph the stars. It is the perfect hybrid between an intelligent telescope and a camera.

Hestia is a light and compact, and more accessible telescope. It is designed to accommodate all sizes of smartphones with the help of removable magnets. It can be attached to its tripod and align your smartphone’s primary camera with Hestia’s ocular using their application called Gravity by Vaonis, then select a destination or star, and the app will guide you to find it.

The Hestia’s Gravity by Vaonis companion app has an interactive sky map to help you find your destination. The app also enhances your observation by using our proprietary image processing algorithm to combine and align multiple short-exposure images captured by your smartphone into one high-quality photograph.

The app also contains educational content and a catalog of the brightest deep-sky objects. It is compatible with iOS 16 and above and Android 11 and above.

Vaonis Hestia's Gravity by Vaonis companion app
Vaonis Hestia’s Gravity by Vaonis companion app. Credit: Vaonis

Vaonis Hestia can capture the Sun, Moon, and depths of the Universe without complex setups or extensive knowledge of astronomy.

The telescope combines its six-lens optical patent design with a 30mm (1.2 inches) objective and prisms that collect and focus light directly into the smartphone’s camera sensor. It has a 1.8-degree field of view and magnifies up to 25 times through the Vaonis app. The images can be captured as JPEGs or TIFFs. A smartphone equipped with a more powerful sensor so that Hestia can be upgraded as users change smartphones.

The compact Hestia telescope is 17 cm long, 24 cm wide, and 5.5 cm wide. It weighs only 500 grams making it one of the lightest astrophotography telescopes available on the market.

A smartphone equipped with ever more powerful sensors so that Hestia can be upgraded as users’ smartphones change.

The launch is perfect for stargazers looking forward to the solar eclipse that crosses the USA in April 2024, the last time such an event will occur before 2044.

Vaonis Hestia is available back on Kickstarter with a solo pack starting price of $149 for the first 500 units and will be priced at $189 afterward. The Eclipse Pack will be priced at $249 for the first 2000 units and $299 after that, and delivery is expected by the end of the year.