Hestia launches world's first mobile phone-based 25x star spotter

(Image credit: Future)

Hestia mobile phone stargazing device, or telescope, is the world's first mobile phone-based star spotter from Vaonis, the company behind the Stellina and Vespera smart telescopes.

It works when you lay your mobile phone into the cradle, which is suited for most modern mobile phones. My Motorola on+ worked fine but Hestia is compatible with all current and future smartphones thanks to a system of removable magnets. This gives the version on display at CES 2024 a future-proof feel which will be achieved without the need to throw out and replace the whole unit. 

(Image credit: Future)

You then fire up the companion app, which helps you line up the tripod-mounted device to whatever it is you want to see, and also helps you with planning. Of course you can see when the moon sets and sunrises are as well much in the same way you can with the superb PhotoPills app. The app then helps you position the lens in the direction of your desired subject.

The telescope that looks like a projector! (Image credit: Future)

Hestia gives you around 25x more magnification, and around 5X the clarity then using your phone in isolation. Employing its patented six-lens optical design, which incorporates a 30mm (1.2 inch) objective and prisms for the purpose of gathering and directing light straight into the camera sensor of your smartphone.

Using this amazing device, you can begin your space journey and witness some of the brightest galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, while it won’t give you the same detail as a more expensive dedicated scope, it does give you a great way to see the stars and planets in a small form portable device, weighing in at only 850g (1,87 lbs). No raw formats are supported right now, only JPEG, TIFF.

Price and release date are to be announced later this year; it was originally launched on Kickstarter (and we covered it at the time), but given it can provide an indirect view of the sun let's hope it's ready to purchase for the upcoming April 8 solar eclipse in North America.

Check our guides to the best camera for astrophotography and the best telescopes for beginners.

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Dan M Lee
Pro Travel and Adventure Photographer, Educator and Author

Dan M Lee is a professional travel and adventure photographer who has shared his knowledge with hundreds of individuals through his in-person wilderness photography training and thousands more through his writing. That includes a book, Creating Photography: The Professional Edge but the way to get involved is to join him on an expedition via kodiakphotoworkshop.com.

Dan has a broad range of photographic interests – and tech enthusiasm – which he can trace back to his first job, while still at school, in a photography shop in England. He has since been lured across the Atlantic to New York City where he undertakes commissions for numerous publishers.

His extensive traveling means he can be out of his home for more than half the year, which has also seen him develop an interest in smart security systems.

He is also a regular on the Not The Gear and The Grumpy Photographer podcasts.