Meet "the world's most compact and powerful exploration station."

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
January 25, 2021
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Why set your sights on the world when you can set them on the universe? Recently, we were excited to learn about French company Vaonis' groundbreaking Vespera smart telescope device, which received CES' prestigious Best of Innovation award in the digital imaging or photography category. We first caught wind of this innovative product from the editors over at Apartment Therapy, who sung the praises of this unique tool that transforms your smartphone into a telescope, complete with a tripod, USB wall charger, USB magnetic cable, and accompanying app for all your stargazing adventures, and now we can't stop oohing and ahhing over it.

2.1 Situation (1)
Credit: Vaonis

With a Kickstarter campaign raising $2,559,952 and counting, "the world's most compact and powerful exploration station" is now officially available for pre-order for spring 2022 on Vaonis.com here. Exploring outer space won't come cheap, however, with a $1,499 price tag so this is more of a, say, group college graduation gift for your astronomy-obsessed nephew than birthday present for your best friend who gets excited every time there's a full moon.

Per a Vaonis press release, sales of astronomical instruments have been, well, astronomical, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. "And for good reason: between the obligation to stay home and limitations on travel, and a desire for a return to nature, individuals have a longing to escape, while in complete safety. Their new playground? The starry sky," the press release states, noting that the company has seen its number of uses, shared photos, and orders more than double since quarantine commenced last spring. Watch a brief video of the Vespera in action below and prepare to be amazed.

If you need something to hold you over until the Vespera launches or for a more budget-friendly option, try Amazon's #1 best-seller in telescope refractors, the Gskyer telescope with 70mm aperture and 400mm focal length (BUY IT: $99.99; Amazon.com). Or, opt for the highly-rated and free SkyView Lite app (available on the App Store and on GooglePlay) to fulfill your planetary wanderlust from wherever you may be by locating popular constellations and stars with your smartphone camera

Have you rediscovered a love for stargazing during these pandemic times? Any favorite apps or tools you've enjoyed using? We'd love to hear from you, guys and galaxies.