Nikon and Unistellar joined up to build these fantastic app-controlled smart telescopes

Nikon and Unistellar

Nikon and Unistellar Together, have produced these incredible app-controlled smart telescopes.
For those who enjoy stargazing, smart telescopes are the wave of the future for astrophotography. Unistellar has now solidified its standing in this industry with the simultaneous CES 2024 launches of the Odyssey and Odyssey Pro.

They’re strikingly similar to the Celestron smart telescope that was also announced at CES, and what’s neat about Unistellar’s Odyssey and Odyssey Pro is that they’re controlled remotely using a newly developed Unistellar app.

Smart Star Finder

With the Odyssey telescope’s “autonomous field detection technology,” which Odyssey also refers to as a “smart star finder,” you can use your smart device to watch what the telescope views from the comfort of your sofa and to choose whatever area of the night sky it is pointed at.

“Autonomously point towards and track any desired celestial object from the moment they are turned on, so you can be admiring outer space in just a couple of minutes,” claim the designers of the new GPS-equipped smart telescopes. Put simply, it’s stargazing simplified.

Unistellar innovation meets Nikon optics

Unistellar and Nikon
Unistellar and Nikon

Unistellar is a familiar name in the astrophotography world – it launched the Unistellar eQuinox 2 at last year’s CES, and also makes the mighty eVscope 2 (yours for $4,999 / £3,999 / about AU$6,500). This year’s models are much smaller and lighter and have a wider appeal, thanks in part to what Unistellar calls ‘Multi-Depth Technology’, which enables you to instantly switch between viewing nearby planets and faraway galaxies and nebulae.

Specifications of Nikon and Unistellar

The Unistellar app for iOS and Android makes it simple to select what to look at, and it includes useful information for both beginners and aficionados about each of the more than 5000 planets and nebulae in the database.
With the design of the electronic eyepiece exclusive to the Pro model, which is perfect for users who like to interact directly with their telescope, and the high-precision autofocus optics employed in both models, Nikon has also contributed its lens-making knowledge to these new smart telescopes. Technical specifications for both versions include 320mm focal length, 85mm mirror diameter, and 34 x 45 arcmin field of vision. More details may be found on the Unistellar website.

Battery life

At 4kg, the Odyssey and Odyssey Pro are much lighter than Unistellar’s previous offerings in the Expert range, and come supplied with a sturdy tripod, although their five-hour battery life doesn’t compare. Both models are available from the Unistellar website or camera retailers – the Odyssey will set you back $2,499 / £2,199 (about AU$3,750) while the pricier Odyssey Pro costs $3,999 / £3,499 (about AU$6,000). That’ll count out most people, but Unistellar has nonetheless transformed the experience of getting lost among the stars.

Autonomous Field Detection Technology

The “autonomous field detection technology” that powers each of these intelligent telescopes locates its own position via GPS, compares it with the celestial objects inside the field of vision, and uses an internal coordinate database to autonomously record specified celestial objects. A specialised programme for smart devices makes it simple for anybody to use the telescopes and conduct astronomical observations on their device.

Electronic Viewfinder (EVE) Technology

These products constitute the second product release combining the technology and know-how of both companies. The electronic viewfinder (EVE) technology cultivated through Nikon’s imaging business is adopted in the eyepiece*, and the optical tube module was designed by Nikon. The Stellar Autofocus provides the perfect sharpness for observing both nearby planets and objects situated in the depths of the cosmos, while these models are also smaller and lighter than previous products.

At the End

Nikon and Unistellar SAS aim to contribute to the advancement of science through delivering the excitement of astronomical observation and enhancing interest in the universe by combining the technologies and know-how of both companies.Nikon and Unistellar announced a master joint development agreement for smart telescopes in July 2021. Since then, they have been working on providing innovative solutions in the astronomical observation field for consumers.The eVscope 2, Unistellar’s first smart telescope that incorporates Nikon’s technological contribution, has already achieved international success, receiving an innovation award at CES 2022.

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