At first glance the eVscope looks rather like a conventional reflector, but unlike a traditional optical telescope it uses an extremely sensitive electronic sensor at the focus of its 110mm, f/4 mirror. Image: Ade Ashford.
Sometimes, a great idea comes along at just the right time, when a confluence of technologies makes it possible. Conceived in January 2015 and first exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas exactly two years later, the eVscope is one such example, the brainchild of three scientists and one industrial engineer. Together, they founded Unistellar in Marseille, France, to realise their dream of a portable, self-contained and easy-to-use instrument for astronomers that they say is “100 times more powerful than a classical telescope.”
Unistellar entered into partnership with the SETI Institute in July 2017 and later that same year started a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Evidently a lot of people are looking for a product like this, because 2,144 backers pledged $2,209,270 to turn the eVscope into reality. To date, Unistellar has delivered over 1,000 eVscopes in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan and elsewhere worldwide, with pre-orders for a further 2,000 units.
The eVscope optical tube and computerised mount. It slides into ...