The new Vaonis Vespera is billed as a small yet powerful observation station. This clever device is a telescope/camera hybrid that puts a fresh twist on the art of astronomy. French company Vaonis gained renown for its Stellina, which aimed to take on today's best telescopes with its smart stargazing capability. While undoubtedly impressive (check out our Vaonis Stellina review for a closer look. We rate it amongst the very best telescopes for beginners, but at 3999€, it's really only for the ultra-keen or financially blessed astronomer.
The Vaonis Vespera is both more compact – it weighs less than 5kg (10lbs), and is apparently the smallest smart telescope in the world – and much more affordable. At 1499€ it's less than half the price of the Stellina, and in the same range as the fanciest smartphones. The brand showed off this new addition to the range at last week's CES 2022, and it's currently available to preorder, with delivery predicted for Spring 2022. The name means 'evening' in Latin.
Instead of using a traditional eyepiece, the Vespera links up to a smartphone or tablet, from which it'll guide you to interesting parts of the night sky. You select the stars you're in the mood to gaze upon – be that the moon, nearby nebulae or entire galaxies – and the telescope will find and photograph them. This opens up fun social possibilities too: you can record images to share with friends or on social media.
Newbies will also appreciate the chance to fast-track through the adjustment process (figuring out how to set up a telescope to view the night sky is a skill in itself), with the Vespera handling all that automatically via its mobile app.
“Our first revolution, Stellina, has been a worldwide success since the first year of its launch,” says Vaonis founder Cyril Dupuy. "With Vespera, we have brought all the technology embedded in Stellina within everyone's reach." Find out more on the Vaonis website (opens in new tab).