Updated: Feb 29
Welcome to our first article about Unistellar's EVscope. We are writing our first impressions and opinion of the product we viewed at CES 2018 so this is not a full review for Unistellar. We hope to be able to test this instrument in our usual Nevada desert when it becomes available!
You can visit Unistellar's website HERE.
AT FIRST GLANCE
Our first impression of Unistellar was that their booth was very simple yet informative. The booth had one of their telescopes on display as its peak item of interest which is a great way to highlight the instrument itself.
Looking at the design, it looks exactly like a small telescope mounted on a tall and sleek tripod. The tripod supports the mount which swivels, and it is so lovely and minimalist that we cannot help but appreciate the craftsmanship of the scope because it feels as if anyone would be able to utilize this telescope without a problem!
Its color is a metallic silver on half of the scope with black mount and tripod. The optical tube of the telescope has an eyepiece integrated to it for viewing targets and to our knowledge is not interchangeable, but it is possible to change the magnification digitally. The entire set-up appears dainty compared to other sizable optical tubes which are meant to have more power the larger they are. This telescope is also made to be portable and fit in a backpack! More importantly where are the wires?! The entire set-up is in the tube itself which is unheard of (except Vaonis’ Stellina).
QUICK SETUP QUICK OBSERVING
For the high-quality definition of their images in such a compact telescope. It really made us wonder if Unistellar could really pack that much punch into this scope, and they have!
Their brilliant ability to make such a powerful telescope in small body is astronomical which what the company set out to accomplish in the first place. Unistellar is a company that “want[s] to give astronomy back to the people”, from what our interviewee and representative of Unistellar, Franck, said to us. Although the Unistellar telescope needs collimation, we learned that you would only have to do so rarely, so going through the excruciating process of collimation, which is something that our long-time followers know is a real pain when performed incorrectly, is not something that will happen each night (like our current telescope).
Franck also let us know that you would not need to polar align the Unistellar telescope, as he reminded us that astronomy is about data and not about wasting time aligning telescopes, which can sometimes be tedious in our opinion!
CAN YOU REALLY SEE?
Unistellar packed a large list of targets into the telescope to make it intelligent and work on its own, and the list is available on an app which means that the control for this piece of tech comes right from your phone! This telescope works with “exposure integration” and Unistellar’s NS Vision technology to create a clearer image as photons reach the telescope, and this technology has also been specifically designed to work within a city!
That’s right! You can use Unistellar’s telescope within a city and it can still produce decent images! Of course, it goes without saying that dark zones are always going to be more ideal, but finding a non-illuminated area near the outskirts of the city or in a dark backyard in the suburbs can still yield results!
Unistellar has accomplished this by teaming up with the SETI Institute here in the United States, as they are a French company. They have done demos with their telescope in cities like Oakland, New York City, San Francisco, and Marseille, France, and it works! The SETI Institute also may request data from hobbyists and astronomers alike if they happen to request observations from users if, for example, a comet or supernova appears and shows up as a notification on their phone.
While collecting data for the SETI Institute, you can still view the target through the eyepiece so you can dedicate time to science and enjoy yourself at the same time. This telescope is more about visuals but has the capability to image as well, and did we mention that it processes for you and does it all in color?!
View through a Unistellar telescope (not tested ourselves yet)
FINAL THOUGHTS, PRICE AND SPECS
We’re unsure of the retail price (at this moment) but know that it will release at the end of 2018/ early 2019. This is a high-quality, compact, simple, portable, Institute-collaborated, small piece of technology that packs a punch while contributing to science. See all the specs below!
Below you can watch our full interview with Franck Marchis about the Unistellar telescope, straight from their CES booth!
CES 2018 ASTRONOMY INNOVATIONS
And here you can watch our main video about our time at CES 2018.
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