In terms of a telescope, it’s best described as a telescope. No eyepiece. No search scope. It is indeed a large white tablet, about 15 inches long and weighs about 11 pounds. The relatively small lens it uses is not even visible when you set it.
The Vesper is better described as a special space camera. Astrophotography – taking pictures of objects in space – is a great hobby. However, even more than just setting the range and looking into the night sky, as well as getting a nice image, can be quite demanding in terms of both the equipment and the skills required to capture and process the image. Vesper makes it all easier. In fact, it is so simple that those who have learned all the steps to do it the hard way will definitely consider it a scam.
To mount the Vespera, place it on a relatively flat and clear surface and level it using the adjustable feet on its small stand. A small level of bubbles is included to make it easy, but I recommend standing on the Vesper while there is still some light in the sky so you can take a good look at the alignment and check again for a clear view. in any direction you want to search.
When turned on, Vespera generates its own Wi-Fi network. Several people can connect to this network and see what’s happening with the app. However, only one person is actually responsible for “driving” the Vesper at any one time. This person can hand over control to someone else on the network, but not having to fight for where Vespera points is a good thing.
Just a quick touch of the Initialize button will start the Vespera in the setup routine. It reveals the lens of a mobile, multi-motorized arm at one end. It then turns its hand, looks at the night sky and compares the visible stars with the catalog of internal positions. After about five minutes of aligning all the elements and preparing the software, the app requests a goal and you can get started.
If you really want to, you can give Vespera specific instructions. It will move to a specific location in the form of coordinates and block everything there. This can be useful if you want to point to a specific star or possibly an item that is not in the device’s large library. However, if you want to see something well-known – the Orion Nebula, the Bode Galaxy, the Hercules Cluster, or one of hundreds of other objects, it’s even easier. The app will help you find what’s in the sky at that time, inform you about the quality of the view, and give you an idea of what you might find if you choose to view it.
There is even a system that theoretically allows you to schedule an overnight viewing by sending coverage from one subject to another at times you can set in advance. Currently, this feature only works with Vesper’s big sister – the most capable Stellina – but there seems to be no reason why it shouldn’t work with Vespera with some app updates. What you can do with Vespera right now is set it on target and walk away. You can disconnect from Wi-Fi coverage, go back to your car, watch Netflix, then return in about 20 minutes to check progress. It will wait.
Even if it doesn’t currently allow you to schedule viewing hours in advance, the screen is still extremely useful. It contains a list of practically everything exciting in the sky on any given evening. It shows when they rise, when they descend, and lets you know when they’re at maximum height above the horizon. You can filter this list by type (clusters, galaxies, nebulae, etc.) or by brightness, or by a number of other factors to find the types of objects you want to see.
The application will also offer a useful list of potential “targets”, providing a scrollable set of images and a brief description of some of the candidates suggested for the evening. One touch, which is usually pleasant but also a little depressing, is that all the images in the app’s catalog are intentionally blurred and partially blocked by text. This is nice in the sense that it makes the imaging of the object a revelation. It helps generate these “Wow! Look at all the colors! ” moments when you turn into the nebula, or make the number of stars together shocking in the best sense. On the other hand, it can also make it difficult to determine if the subject you’re looking at in the app is something you really want to spend time capturing.
And you want to know, because every picture really takes time.
This is the real Vesper trick. Its lens is actually quite small with only 5 apertures0 mm (approximately 2 inches). It is possible that any budget telescope that hangs around your house is bigger (although any lens quality you may own will not be close). But what this budget doesn’t do, and Vespera does, is a 10-second exposure of the subject in focus. Then do it again. And again. And again.
This is a Vesper party trick. These 10-second images are used over and over again, and quite complex photo analysis is used to add up the results for better terms. In general, the longer you leave the Vesper facing the target, the better the image will be. A flare-up shot at the top of this piece occurred, showing the sight for about 20 minutes. It was really too short. A good picture of this object would have taken about twice as long, and the result would have looked very different. Only I took this shot on the first clear night after the sight came, and I really wanted to look around. (Side note: if there is no rain in your area, can I recommend buying a new telescope? We only had two clear nights the following month after my Vesper arrived.)
You can watch the image come together when data is received, and this is the funniest part – especially if several people are watching it on a nice evening, it may also involve removing binoculars or the opportunity to look at a declining one. the moon. When looking at a distant galaxy or nebula, only the weakest stains can be created for the first 10 seconds. After a minute, the shape begins to form. In five minutes you can see what happens. After that, every minute just adds more detail, more color and more views.
Of course, there are limitations. This is not a Hubble telescope. Nor is it the most expensive Stellina or other high-end device like the Unistellar eVScope. Stellina is equipped with a larger aperture and a more sophisticated optical system. Perhaps most importantly, it has a significantly better camera feature with Sony IMX178 a sensor that captures 6.4 megapixels. By comparison, the Vespera captures a relatively small 2.1 megapixels using an older Sony IMX462.
This is not a bad set at all. Not long ago, the IMX462 was one of the most expensive amateur devices. However, its 1920×1080 resolution definitely limits the highest quality of any image. Don’t expect these shots to be blown up to the size of the poster unless you like the pixels. On the other hand, if you want to impress Twitter users, they will definitely do the job.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while the light collection capacity of Vespera and its bright software is almost endless, its increase is not. You can certainly display the moon or planets (and the software will help you find anyone in the sky, just like any other notable object), but they won’t impress you as you might expect. You do not want to highlight the shadows of the satellites that cross Jupiter or notice the division between the rings of Saturn. You can get a good, clear picture with a really small drive with satellites that appear as bright dots.
This system is indeed designed with deep sky objects in mind. Nebulae, clusters and distant galaxies are the place where Vespera shines. If you want to see ice caps on Mars, you are looking at the wrong instrument.
The same goes for when you are looking for something that could produce professional-quality astrophotography or even do amateur research. You want something that costs a little more. If you want someone to say “is this yours or NASA?” buy a Stellina or start assembling your machine from all the great parts now available. Oh, and let me introduce you to the Vaonis 61 million pixels starting at $ 45,000, a specially enhanced range of Hyperia wonders. It’s near the top of my “If I Win The Lottery” list.
The Vespera will allow you to have a party with the telescope, even if it is the only catcher in the field. You can set up in minutes, collect great images from when the sky is completely dark, and never have to think about anything more complicated than “what do I want to see next?” In addition, everyone enjoys watching the Vespera do its job, whether it expands from a huge capsule shape to point the motorized hand towards the sky, or expands the image on a phone or tablet screen in 10-second series. It’s just cool. And it’s a great achievement for something like a telescope.
It will also allow you to see things like all those galaxies and nebulae that are really hard to see with a normal courtyard view. Remember when I said that the first 10 seconds of an image could be nothing more than a smudge? It is the best you will probably see with your eye against the lens even a rather hefty instrument.
The Vesper is nothing more than a typical telescope. However, given the way it manages light and images, it can take hundreds of thousands of light years across the universe to see things you may not believe are really over your head.
- Not for good planetary imagery or detailed moon imagery.
- The bubble level is removable and easy to lose (trust me).
- Missing afield derotator, which means that some long images may become noisy (especially near the horizon).
- Image resolution limit 1920×1080.
- The $ 1499 Kickstarter price is still a bit painful, even if it’s something like component quality.
- Ease of use.
- Ease of use.
- You thought I’d say ease of use again – and you’re right.
- Good images from a small volume.
- A very useful app that makes it easy to select targets and record images.
- Surprisingly tolerant of light pollution, making it useful from the average suburban yard.
- Small enough to put in a car or backpack when you want to transport it somewhere with a real dark sky. (Vaonis also promises a special backpack).
- Relatively powerful built-in network that can connect to several people at the same time and that extends a good distance. One particularly cool evening, I discovered that I could really connect to the Vespera network from my home, allowing me to choose my goals gently. It was nice.
Summary: This is not a Hubble Telescope, but a very neatly packaged personal observatory that can display distant galaxies and nebulae in surprising quality.