If you haven't already marked your calendar, the next total solar eclipse visible from the United States will occur on April 8, 2024. And Vaonis, a French company specializing in innovative telescopes, is making it easier than ever to view the event. After launching several successful products, they have now created a way to transform your smartphone into a telescope to view the cosmos safely.
Currently available on Kickstarter, Hestia combines the power of a cell phone with cutting-edge technology to view the Moon, Sun, and stars without needing a specialized knowledge of astronomy. And, best of all, Vaonis is guaranteeing that Hestia will be shipped to North American backers prior to the solar eclipse, meaning that you'll be able to view the event right on your cell phone.
Weighing just one pound and small enough to fit in your backpack, Hestia makes it easy to take your stargazing on the road. But how does it work? Hestia has a patented six-lens optical design with a 30 mm light and prisms to collect and focus the light directly into your smartphone's camera sensor. This allows it to increase the magnification of any smartphone 25 times, while also increasing the sharpness five times.
All you need to do is set your phone down into Hestia and start enjoying the view. It fits all sizes of phone and requires no outside power source, so the setup couldn't be easier. And thanks to the specialized app, you'll be guided through your astronomy experience. Not only does the app have an interactive star map, but it also includes Day and Night modes, and educational material so you know what you're looking at.
Right now, Hestia is selling for $189 plus shipping, import fees, and sales taxes with the option to add on a solar filter ($39) and an additional Hestia at a reduced price ($149). If you are keen to watch the solar eclipse, there is a special eclipse pack that comes with Hestia, a solar filter, a hard case, and a tripod for $299. The estimated deliver for Hestia is December 2023, which will give you plenty of time to try it out before the big event. The campaign ends on August 17, 2023, so act now to take advantage of the discounted prices.