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Hestia: A Revolutionary Smart Telescope for Astrophotography


Hestia is the newest innovation that Vaonis has created exciting those in the astronomy and astrophotography communities. The company recently launched its Kickstarter for Hestia and with only a week since launch, it has already accumulated over $1 million in pledges and over 3,700 backers. Suffice it to say, people can't wait to get their hands on this telescope.


Not only is it affordable at $189, but it is small enough to put into a backpack and turns your phone into a camera capable of seeing objects in space! Find out more about this small device making a huge impact.


 

About Hestia - Turn Your Smartphone into a Telescope


Who could have expected a telescope that turns your smartphone into a deep-sky imaging camera so soon after the creation of a smart telescope? Well, it's real and it's available for order via pledge on Kickstarter.

Vaonis Vespera smart telescope under Milky Way
Vespera - Image by Vaonis

Hestia is the newest addition to the French company Vaonis' lineup. It's the smallest and most exciting telescope yet! It gives you the power to observe the night sky with your smartphone.


You may recognize Vaonis by the names of its other products, Vespera and Stellina. We have reviewed both in the past, be sure to read about them as well!


 

What Makes Hestia Revolutionary?


Smart telescopes have been a polarizing subject within the astrophotography community. When Stellina, Vaonis' first smart telescope was introduced, it was met with hesitance. Groundbreaking things tend to have that effect and those who sided with the smart telescope movement provided support - in full or out of curiosity/skepticism. After all, the smart telescope promised to not only take photos of deep-sky objects but also stacked and processed the images for you.


In any case, that ended up being great for Vaonis as it succeeded in its efforts and continued refining and minimizing its instruments.


Deep sky objects captured with Hestia and a smartphone
Deep sky objects captured with Hestia and a smartphone

That leads us to Hestia - and its features which seem small but make a grand impact.


 

Hestia's Size

A popular trend in technology is making products smaller and Hestia is no different. This is its most notable physical feature. The Kickstarter information notes that the "telescope" is 6.7 x 9.5 x 2.2 in (17 x 24 x 5,5 cm).


This means Hestia's size is smaller than a sheet of paper (8x11 in) and it is about as thick as a textbook. The device weighs 1.1 lbs (500g) making it the smallest and lightest of the Vaonis lineup.


Hestia smart telescope

Hestia In-Depth Specs:

  • Size: 6.7 x 9.5 x 2.2 in (17 x 24 x 5,5 cm)

  • Weight: 1.1 lbs (500g)

  • Aperture: 30mm (1.2 in)

  • Magnification: x25

  • Application: Sun, Moon, Deep-sky objects

  • Optic Design: 6 lenses in 3 groups

  • Field of View: 1.8 degrees

  • Image Formats: JPEG, TIFF

  • Limiting Magnitude: 7-8

  • Tripod Compatibility: Tripod with pan and tilt fluid head and 3/8" thread


 

Hestia's Portability

This instrument is small and lightweight, making it perfectly portable. Imagine it: a way to observe space anywhere you go for the equivalent of carrying around a school textbook (perhaps even lighter!).


Its size and portability make it simple for astronomy enthusiasts and those starting out in astrophotography to get out and look up. Convenience is a quality that is appealing to the masses, and there's nothing more convenient than a stellar device you can travel with. You can put it into a bag or backpack with ease and it sounds too good to be true, yet there it is.


Hestia size comparison with other Vaonis products
Hestia size comparison with other Vaonis products

A true test of portability is whether can it fit in a carry-on and Hestia passes with flying colors. Astrophotographers traveling to dark locations hoping to capture deep-sky objects can do so without the struggle of a full rig. Casual astronomers can share their passion for the night sky with friends and family and keep them entertained.


 

Hestia's Affordability


Hestia Accessories

One of the make or break points of a product is its price.

While a device as innovative as Hestia can be predicted as costly, it is available via pledge for $189 - the EARLY BIRD price.


This is the lowest-priced bundle, which comes with Hestia (the telescope), a tripod, and a dust cover. This is all that is needed to start observing the night sky.


There are other packages to pledge for which you can find here, but the EARLY BIRD - Solo Pack and EARLY BIRD - Eclipse Pack have already sold out.


Being the first of its kind, Hestia's a revolutionary step to making astrophotography and observing the sky more accessible, easy to carry, and most importantly incredibly simple to use.


Additional accessories will be available as well, such as a finder, laser, and most importantly, a motorized tracking mount!


 

Applications of Hestia


As if it couldn't get better - Hestia's features don't stop at the physical capabilities. It's equipped to handle observation and imaging of different objects in the sky - and not just at night.


1. Solar Observation

Like its predecessor, Vespera, Hestia can also view the Sun! With a custom solar filter, you can choose to view our star and monitor its activity. Now more than ever, people are enjoying solar observation and you can do it easily with Hestia.

2. Lunar Photography

This instrument's capabilities don't stop there. If you enjoy taking photos of the Moon, you're in luck! Hestia can do lunar photography with great quality. Take photos or observe our natural satellite live through Hestia's app - Gravity.

3. Deep-sky Imaging

Last but certainly not least, this instrument allows you to photograph deep-sky objects. Capture images of distant nebulae, galaxies, or star clusters with Hestia.


As its Kickstarter states: Seize the Day and the Night.


 

Other Notes About Hestia


For those familiar with Vaonis' family of products, you will find that there are two key differences with Hestia that we noticed that are worth taking note of.


Hestia is "Future Proof"

Like most technology, some equipment can quickly become obsolete and it's a concern for people investing in a smart telescope. However, Vaonis made it a point to not only ensure that Hestia will be around for a long time, but will also get better as new versions of phones increase camera quality. The smart telescope is also compatible with Apple and Android phones.


Hestia phone compatibility
Hestia is compatible with most phones


New App - Gravity for Hestia

Vaonis developed apps for its smart telescopes. Both Vespera and Stellina operate with the app Singularity by Vaonis. However, Hestia comes with its very own companion app - Gravity by Vaonis. This was a surprise, but after checking out its features, we can see why.


Below are the features of Gravity:

  • Night Mode

  • Day Mode

  • Interactive Sky Map

  • Deep Sky Catalog

  • Help for Alignment

  • Enhanced Vision

  • Educational Content

  • Push Notifications