Ever wished you could take pictures of the moon’s craters on your phone? Now there’s a way, thanks to a new smartphone telescope gadget!
On April 5, Japanese electronics company Elecom released a new product named EDG-TLS001, with which you can turn your smartphone into a telescope to view and take pictures or videos of the moon, stars, and planets on your screen.
The device’s main structure is made from a durable paper which can easily be assembled using scissors and a ruler. It comes equipped with a Japanese-made achromatic lens with a 35x optical zoom, which, when coupled with your smartphone’s digital zoom function, is capable of a maximum magnification of approximately 140x. That’s more than enough to clearly make out the craters on the moon!
Here’s what it looks like when fully assembled:
▼ A screw hole underneath the device lets you attach it to a camera tripod.
▼ Just slip in your smartphone, ready the camera app, and you’re good to go!
▼ Any model of smartphone that’s between four to six inches (10.2-15.2 centimeters) will fit.
▼ How cool would it be to see star constellations or clusters such as the Pleiades (far left) or even Saturn and Jupiter (far right) on your phone?
The assembled device is 420 (width) x 145 (length) x 180 (height) millimeters (16.5 x 5.7 x 7.1 inches), and weighs approximately 220 grams (7.8 ounces). It sells for 15,250 yen (US$140), tax included, although Amazon Japan currently lists it for 11,850 yen.
While Japanese net users were impressed with the convenience of this new gadget, many were understandably miffed at the high price for a product made of mostly paper:
“I’d want it if it were made from something a bit sturdier.”
“Since the main structure is made of paper, I think it would be more reasonable if it cost less than 5,000 yen ($46).”
“It seems like you’d also need to buy a tripod to be able to use it.”
“Pro: Turning your smartphone into a telescope. Con: Attaching a paper-made telescope to your smartphone.”
“At that price, you could just buy a real astronomical telescope…”
Even so, we think it would be pretty cool to be able to share your own photos of the moon or other astronomical bodies on social media. It would be a nice break from your coworker’s pictures of his boring lunch, at least!