You know the stars are up there, but with all the light pollution — and the fact that they're so inconveniently far away — you often just have to take the collective astronomy world's word for it.
The solution: get a high powered telescope.
The way more fun and budget-friendly solution: get the Hestia, a new device that turns your phone into a telescope. Hestia is available to preorder on Kickstarter, where it quickly exceeded its fundraising goal, and shipping is estimated to begin in December.
Hestia comes from Vaonis, a company that's already built successful smart telescopes and personal observations stations. Now they're turning to smartphones, something that's already in everyone's pocket.
The new device is about the size of a book and mounts securely to an included tripod. It combines its own technology with the power of your smartphone, so you can view celestial bodies without requiring complex setups or any real knowledge of astronomy. Simply place your phone's camera onto Hestia's eyepiece, then align it wherever you want to look.
The combination of phone plus Hestia provides views up to 25 times the usual magnification and up to five times better resolution than using just your phone alone. So when the total eclipse hits on April 8, 2024, you'll be ready.
If you want some guidance that goes beyond just looking up, enlist the Gravity by Vaonis companion app. It will guide you to celestial objects via an interactive sky map, so you can observe the sun, moon, stars and deep sky objects, including the Orion nebula, the Andromeda galaxy, the Pleiades and more. If you want to capture an image, it will combine and align multiple short-exposure photos into one high-quality photograph.
Keep poking around, and maybe one day you'll discover something that's yet to be observed.
From Kickstarter purchase to heretic... what a world.