At Rémalard-en-Perche, Denis Goudet takes pictures of nebulae

The telescope, which weighs about 40 kg, can be disassembled to move it around the garden ©LRM

When we launched Denis Goudet in his passion for astrophotography, hard to resist. And for good reason, it started in the 1970s, when he and his college friends created a telescope, with a lens and a cardboard tube.

We enjoy taking pictures with film, there really is no IT help like I have now, ”explained the man who lives in Rémalard en Perche (Orne), who took out a small carton. “It can take thirty minutes, an hour to find the star you want. »

In this box are many black and white pictures “Here you can see the constellation Cassiopeia a bit, but it’s a little blurry. We only had one picture per night, and when we got there for the first time, we were happy! “, he explained sadly.

A 40 kg telescope

A passion that he abandoned due to lack of time, came back into his life at the beginning of his retirement, in 2020. A computer scientist by profession, he took back his cardboard tube, put it in the attic and set up his own telescope . It’s a real time. hard to describe this heavy thing of 40 kiloss, stuffed with technology. “With a small computer installed, I was able to control it remotely from home. » Very practical for mid-winter observations!

“It’s a question of passion and patience”

Denis Goudet

But why did you choose to take pictures rather than simply observe? “Observation is good, but we are quickly limited. We can see the planets easily, but to observe more, you need big equipment, usually very expensive. »

Thanks to a lot of dedicated software, he can give the command to his instrument to go to such and such a celestial object, he explained, giving a brief demonstration. Directions to the Andromeda galaxy.

With a few clicks, Denis Goudet had his telescope point its lens toward the nebula. All thanks to the celestial coordinates, and the North Star. Within seconds, it “searches” the galaxy. Inside and in the sunlight, it was hard to see anything, but the demonstration was valid.

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Nebulas, planets…

Planets, Messier catalog, stars: every astrophotographer has favorite stars. The hardware is also not the same. Denis, he chose the nebula of our Milky Way. His pictures, with their attractive colors, are mesmerizing. “We call them deep objects, about 25,000 light years from Earth. A light year is 10 billion kilometers. No need to do the math it’s dizzying. “You need a lot of knowledge to train: photography, optics, computing, physics, astronomy… there’s no time to get bored. »

Browsing through his recent photos, the astrophotographer explains how he takes the photos, and retouches them. A significant part. “I no longer take long exposures, because there are too many satellites in the sky that pollute the photographs. I can take hundreds of photos, it allows to superimpose them and have brighter photos. »

By scrolling through the pictures on his site, you can see different nebulae: of a horse’s head, of Orion, of a crab, of a wizard... only strange names, which the lover knows like the back of his hand. “The planets, we rotate quickly. In the deep sky, you will never get bored, there is always something to discover, take pictures. »

However, he still wanted to redo the configuration of his telescope. Although he had already taken pictures of celestial objects located 60 million light-years away, he still wanted to progress, to go further.

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