I wanted to take a moment to look back at CES 2022 as there are still some finds that were worth mentioning. One of which was the Vespera telescope by Vaonis. Vaonis is a French startup focusing on astrology, education, and really cool-looking products. The company had a few products it was focusing on within the Eureka Park section of the show floor, but only one of which was on display for the average astronomy-loving consumer.
Telescopes that can track down their target via an attached controller or mobile app aren’t new. Companies like Celestron have been manufacturing these for some time now. So it isn’t as ground-breaking to see a new company offering this.
However, the Vespera telescope is something fresh to the eyes with some interesting features. Vaonis calls it a “smart and fully automatic” combination of both a telescope and a camera. The design looks like something out of WALL-E, offering a completely refreshed approach to building a telescope.
Fully automatic can sometimes come with a lot of manual calibration before that “automation” is effective. However, this telescope uses your mobile device’s GPS data as well as Vaonis’ Star Field Recognition technology (star pattern recognition). This means that all you have to do is set it down and turn it on (assuming it delivers on its promises). From there it offers auto-alignment, tracking, and focus.
It can be operated semi-wirelessly using a mobile bank, allowing you to take it on the road with you. Meaning you can map out your favorite stars while camping in the woods. It’s also only 10-11lbs, so it won’t be too cumbersome to work with unless you are hiking to your destination on foot.
The built-in 1080p camera (Sony IMX462 sensor) has the ability to stack images (taken over time, such as an hour) to create a high-resolution photo of a specified target within the universe.
Making for one powerful telescope in the hands of a consumer, this telescope could be a major hit with both hobbyists and professionals alike.
It doesn’t come at a cheap price though, as the MSRP for the telescope will be $1,499. This also isn’t surprising as photographing the stars can get quite expensive, even for consumers. However, it seems to balance well with some of the other names in the game, like the before-mentioned Celestron (which can run into the thousands for some of the more automated/sophisticated models).
Initial shipments are expected to begin in Summer 2022, so you do have a wait ahead of you yet. However, you can find the company’s more complex model (the Vaonic Stellina Observation Station – Retail: $3,999) in the meantime.
If we learn more or get our hands on one, we will make sure to return with any delicious content we discover. In the meantime, the following is the company’s kickstarter video discussing everything: