A top name in smartscope technology releases an exciting new limited edition unit.
A great product just got better. France-based telescope maker Vaonis announced this week the release of an upgraded version of their Vespera smartscope telescope. Dubbed Vespera: Passengers, the telescope promises users will “embark on a cosmic odyssey, unveiling the Universe’s best kept secrets.” But you have to act soon to reserve yours, as only 70 of the 222 limited edition units are left.
Vaonis made waves in 2020 with the release of the Stellina smartscope. We’ve reviewed both the Stellina and the smaller Vespera units in the past, as well as Unistellar’s eVscope. Smartscopes are the latest trend in astronomy: simply set the ‘scope on its tripod, power it on, download the control app, and you’re ready to go… no alignment, focusing or tinkering required. In fact, the Vaonis line of ‘scopes don’t even have an eyepiece… you simply see the image build up right before you on your phone’s screen.
Enter Vespera Passengers
The Vespera Passengers unit versus the classic features better resolution, better field of view, better storage, and a better tripod.
Field of view of Vespera, versus Vespera Passengers. Credit: Vaonis.
The field of view is a generous 2.4 by 1.8 degrees, almost five times wider than the Full Moon and ideal for wide-field, deep sky imaging. Like the Vespera classic, the Passengers sports a 50mm (2’) apochromatic quadruplet primary objective lens, yielding an f/4 focal ratio. Unlike the classic however, Passengers has an upgraded 6.2 megapixel resolution, 25 gigabytes of storage, and an upgraded Gitzo high-profile tripod.
Used in the company’s Covalens mode, Passengers can reach an impressive 24 megapixel resolution, pretty incredible considering the small size of the instrument.
A wide-field capture of the Carina Nebula Complex, captured with Vespera in Covalens mode. Credit: Vaonis.
The cost of the Vaonis Vespera Passengers smartscope is 1,950$ USD. Optional accessories available include solar, dual band, and light pollution filters.
A screenshot of the Wild Duck Cluster Messier 11, taken with Vespera. Credit: Dave Dickinson