In July, telescope company Vaonis announced Hestia, its first smartphone telescope. Ahead of Hestia’s scheduled December delivery date, Vaonis has announced Gravity by Vaonis, a beta app for the telescope.
Vaonis is well known for its advanced smart telescopes. PetaPixel previously reviewed the Vaonis Vespera, a compact and lightweight option. The company also makes a more robust telescope (the Hyperia Telescope Camera) with a massive 1050mm lens.
The company’s most out-of-the-box offering, though, is the Hestia. The Vaonis Hestia turns a smartphone into a powerful telescope. The Hestia itself is highly compact and portable yet allows for 25x magnification to observe the Moon, Sun, and other celestial objects.
“Harnessing the power of your smartphone and our cutting-edge technology, Hestia enables you to capture the brilliance of the Sun, the enchanting beauty of the Moon, and the captivating depths of the Universe — without complex setups or extensive knowledge of astronomy. Simply place your smartphone on Hestia’s ocular, align the device with the celestial object of your choice, let yourself be guided by our super user-friendly app, and unlock a whole new world of exploration.”
The device launched via Kickstarter and is scheduled to begin shipping sometime this month. According to Vaonis, when paired with its solar filter, users will be able to view the Sun safely. That includes the solar eclipse that will occur on April 8, 2024. The app will also allow users to explore the moon and provide in-depth information on its phases, current level of illumination, and visibility.
Adding to the device’s versatility, when paired with the Gravity app’s Scenery Mode, the Hestia will essentially act as binoculars or spotting scope, allowing you to use it in daylight. According to screenshots provided by Vaonis, users can adjust exposure and focus in the Gravity app when in Scenery Mode.
Other app features include telescope setup help, weather updates for the best viewing conditions, an interactive map with constellations and celestial objects, and alerts for upcoming celestial events. It will also offer a knowledge database to learn about stars, planets, constellations, and more.
The app is available for download now in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Unfortunately, though, it seems to be crashing instantly for most users.
Image credits: Photographs by Vaonis