Updated: May 20
Welcome to our first article about Vaonis' Astrophotography telescope Stellina. We are writing our first impressions and opinion of the product we viewed at CES 2018 so this is not a full review for Stellina. We hope to get our hands on this beautiful and compact telescope when it comes out and do a complete test of the instrument in our usual Nevada desert!
You can visit Vaonis' website HERE
At First Glance
Walking up to the booth, we initially felt that this was just a superb and sleek-looking piece of tech, and upon closer inspection, it did not disappoint! Circling the product, we immediately noticed its minimalistic and modern design with a futuristic feel.
Its color is a classic black and white combo. There is only one button on the side of the scope that functions as its on and off switch which shines blue when powered on. The telescope lens is found in the center compartment and dislodges to point outwards changing from its smooth shape into a classic telescope/mount formation, and is supported by a small tripod that swivels the scope around from its mount.
The power supply comes from a classic power station which is very small and fits inside the telescope itself! For us, this was an incredible kind of telescope but the one thing that surprised us the most was its portability because it can be transported in a backpack. Cyril Dupuy, the founder & CEO of Vaonis said the team carried Stellina on board as a carry-on during their flight!
After all the details given on this magnificent machine, you may wonder where the controls may be but you do not need to look far because the control for this beautiful telescope comes from an app on your phone! Stellina is equipped to be easily accessible from your phone and through a dedicated app works as the control system to rotate and adjust to targets.
The design and portability led us to believe that Stellina would be ideal to take with us to dark zones, including our usual imaging spot in the Nevada desert even on the back of a motorcycle without a problem… But what about the phone’s ability to control Stellina in a no-service area? Our usual spot has no service, so we wondered if it would be an issue and to our astonishment, Stellina carries its own personal hot spot for adaptability with your phone! Basically, no service, no problem!
For newcomers, this will be an easy transition to astronomy and astro-imaging as Stellina does it all from your fingertips with a tap of a button from your smartphone. Stellina stacks photos by itself and will allow you to see clear images, but it is not a magical piece of tech so you must head to a dark place like all other telescopes if you want to have the best view possible.
A few images were displayed in the background of the booth and we were impressed that they were taken by Stellina. If you have seen our interview with founder and CEO of Vaonis and Stellina, Cyril Dupuy, he points out a few images taken in his home country (and Antoine’s!) of France which are rather impressive for 30 minute stacked exposures each at a minute! We love that this telescope will be an easy transition for lovers of astronomy because the visuals are so simple to obtain, and for astrophotographers, the processing part of the astro-imaging is cut out and the work is replaced by the telescope itself since it stacks/processes the images for you and goes straight to your phone.
However, given our dedication and ambition, we really wanted to know if that meant we would be unable to alter the images ourselves, which is something that Galactic Hunter takes pride in. Cyril said that with the images taken and going straight to your phone, you will also have the ability to process the images on your computer if you prefer, and that sounds good to us!
M42 - Taken with Stellina - 30 frames of 1 minute each
Final Thoughts, Price, and Specs
Vaonis’ Stellina telescope retails at $3000 (at this time) with telescope, mount, carrying case, power supply, and processor all-in-one!
In our opinion, it is a great step in the right direction with a lot of use in the future for new hobbyists or people who just plain enjoy the stars because it is in the same price range as the equipment a person would begin with and invest in.
You can find all the specs below, but in short, it is 15 lbs or 7 kg with 10 hours of use and is equipped with a 6.4 megapixel CMOS sensor. Note, that a Pro version with a monochrome cooled camera will come out later which will also include filter wheels!
Below you can watch our full interview with Cyril Dupuy about Stellina, straight from their CES booth!
CES 2018 Astronomy Innovations
And here you can watch our main video about our time at CES 2018.
GALACTIC HUNTER BOOKS
Description: Discover 60 Deep Sky Objects that will considerably improve your Imaging and Processing skills! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced astrophotographer, this detailed book of the best deep sky objects will serve as a personal guide for years to come! Discover which star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies are the easiest and most impressive to photograph for each season. Learn how to find each object in the night sky, and read our recommendations on imaging them in a quick and comprehensive way. Each target in this guide contains our advice on imaging, photos of expected results, and a useful information table. We've also included a few cool facts about each target, a map to find it in the night sky, and more!
Description: The Astrophotographer’s Journal is a portable notebook created for the purpose of recording observations, cataloguing photographs, and writing down the wonderful memories created by this hobby. This book contains more than 200 pages to memorialize your stargazing and imaging sessions, as well as a useful chart on the last pages to index exciting or important notes. Read back on the logs to see how much progress you have made through the months, the problems you overcame, and the notes taken to improve in the future. Just as the pioneers of astronomy did in their time, look up and take notes of your observations as you are the author of this star-filled journey.
Description: The Constellations Handbook is a logical guide to learning the 88 constellations. Learning the constellations is difficult. Remembering them is even harder. Have you ever wanted to look up to the night sky, name any pattern of stars and be able to tell their stories?This book groups the constellations in a logical order, so that the reader can easily learn them by their origin, and see how their stories interact with one another as a group.The last pages of this book include an index of all 88 constellations, each with a slot where you can write your own personal tips and tricks in order to memorize them with ease.The Constellations Handbook is not just another guide listing all the constellations from A to Z and their location, it is the perfect companion for stargazing, and a learning journey through the ages.