Toot and I had a wonderful week with Olly and Monique in the Haute Alpes. We enjoyed the magnificent dark skies, the stunning Milky Way, looking through Olly's big Dob and drawing and painting with Monique.
We saw for the first time: The Crab Nebula, The Swan Nebula, The Eagle Nebula and all of the Veil Nebula. The Witches Broom was fantastic and through a wideangle eyepiece and Olly's monster of a Dob it appeared almost 3D. We also looked at the Lagoon and Triffid Nebulae before they dropped below the horizon. From our backyard and through my 127mm. refractor, we quite often look at M13 but such views were no preparation for the visual trreat we had through the big Dob at Les Granges. Blew our socks off!
The skies were really dark and each clear night, I treated myself to a couple of hours taking unguided photos with my Canon 400d DSLR mounted on a travel tripod. I have attached a selection of images from our week.
During the day Olly helped me improve my very basic astro imaging digital skills. The man has considerable patience! He also took me through an imaging run using side by side mounted refractors to capture several hours worth of colour and luminance data of M33. Whats more I got to take home the data to practice my new learnt skills. At some stage my version of the M33 data will appear in my gallery.
We really enjoyed our stay at Les Granges, Olly and Monique are very nice people and excellent hosts. I cannot think of a better place to enjoy and image the night sky. During the day and if you can pull yourself away from the laptop, the landscape is spectacular, there are plenty of opportunities for walking, cycling, climbing, birding, photography, painting and even collecting fossils. A great place for both strenuous activiy and rest.
Thanks Olly and Monique