If you still believe that your smartphone can take a clear, close-up image of the moon that isn’t manipulated by the onboard AI, well then, good for you. For the rest of the avid sky watchers who want actual photos of the moon, the celestial bodies, or even a solar eclipse, then the Vaonis Hestia is your best bet. Hestia is a huge deal. Where the market is not lacking telescopes that leverage smartphones to take stills and videos, Hestia stood out as the first-ever smartphone-based telescope.

Vaonis Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope

Like the TinyScope CAM DWARF II, Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope defies the telescope design convention by not being a tube. Reminiscent of the shape and weight of a book, the new Vaonis telescope is based on an optical system consisting of a 30 mm (1.18 in) lens and prisms to collect and focus the light directly into the camera sensor of a smartphone.

It is lighter, smaller, and more accessible, including price-wise than anything else available in the market today. I should have known this. As I have always been fascinated by astronomy and what’s beyond our atmosphere, and have searched long and hard for a device that not only I can afford but is easy to store, and will not get outdated. I even resort to buying from Toys”R”Us but alas, those are, well, toys.

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Vaonis Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope

Thanks to the book-like form factor, Hestia is super easy to store and it has a clever design that ensures that it will be compatible with future smartphones. Here’s how it works:

“Users position their smartphone on the device and align the phone’s camera with Hestia’s eyepiece. The instrument is designed to accommodate all sizes of smartphone thanks to a system of removable magnets… Guided by the Gravity by Vaonis companion app, future astronomers can then point out celestial objects using an interactive sky map and observe the Sun, the Moon and deep sky objects phone screen, including the Orion nebula, the Andromeda galaxy, the Pleiades , and much more.”

Vaonis Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope

I think the app that lets you discover more of what’s beyond our atmosphere is what draws me most. Since Hestia partially relies on the smartphone’s sensors, Hestia will also be upgraded as users upgrade their smartphones that have more powerful sensors. Clever.

You can learn more about the Vaonis Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope over at Kickstarter where you may also secure a unit for US$189 and up.

The campaign is overwhelmingly funded, rolling in over US$1.6 million from nearly 6,000 backers. Delivery is expected to happen sometime in December 2023.

Vaonis Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope
Vaonis Hestia Smartphone-based Telescope

Images: Vaonis.

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.