Michael A. Stecker


Daniel Verschatse
Santiago, Chile

Contact information


My name is Daniel Verschatse. I was born and raised in Flanders (Belgium).

When I was about 10 years old, fascination with the objects in the sky grabbed me for the first time. Initially I satisfied my curiosity with books. Then came the inevitable excursions into building a small telescope: first with simple lenses, then with a self-made mirror. As a student in the sixties, I worked nights, week-ends and during summer recess to finance my first "real" telescope: a 102 mm (4") Polarex - Unitron achromatic refractor with a 75 mm (3") guide-scope on a motor driven equatorial mount. This dearly remembered instrument gave me my first quality views of the moon and planets. It also enabled first excursions into astrophotography.

The imaging bug got me ! Together with a friend we were out every one of the rare clear nights, trying to record the objects on 35mm film. It was a long learning process eventually rewarded with the publication in Sky & Telescope of our Mercury solar transit picture in 1968.

After graduating as a radio frequency engineer, I left my native Belgium to start a technical-commercial career that took me to a number of countries and left little room for my astronomical pastime. The interest never waned though and in the early nineties my old love for quality refractors and astrophotography was revived by the appearance of the new generation Astro-Physics telescopes: fast f-ratio, virtually color-free imaging instruments. I was hooked again !

A few years ago, my job brought me to Chile and I grabbed the opportunity to make a childhood dream come true: my own observatory under good skies ! It saw first light in November 2001. After a rewarding re-start with film astrophotography, I quickly became a believer in CCD imaging technology. Nowadays, nearly all of my work is CCD imaging .

I live with my Chilean spouse and two daughters in Santiago and run the South American branch of a German telecom components manufacturer.

Areas of interest
high resolution deep-sky imaging

Astrophotography publications
Astronomy, Astronomie Magazine (France), Boletim de Astronomia SAC, El Observador (Puerto Rico), Revista de la Agrupacion de Astronomia de Santander (España), Sky & Telescope
UNIVERSE - The definitive visual Guide
Sky & Telescope's  "BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE"  2005 Edition
"O século dos quanta"  by Joao Varela  -  Editora Universidade de Brasília, 2004 Edition

Official Calendar of the VATICAN OBSERVATORY, June,2006
Patrick Moore's "The Sky at Night" : BBC Television program
RC Optical Systems website - Gallery
APOD - Astronomy Picture of the Day - January 18th 2003
SEDS  -  Messier Objects Astronomy Picture of the Day
Astro-Physics, Inc. Website  -  Gallery
Imagine the Universe  -  CD-ROM published by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, 
8th Edition - March 2004

Observing sites
Home Observatory
Visually from metropolitan Santiago with 10" f/5 Teleport Dobsonian
Remote Observatory
San Esteban near Los Andes (Region V) Chile

Astronomical Equipment
RCOS 14.5" Ritchey-Chretien telescope
Astro-Physics 155-EDFS, f/7,2 refractor
Intes Micro (Moscow): model MN106 Maksutov-Newton telescope

Astro-Physics AP1200GTO
Astro-Physics AP900GTO
ALT ADN-5 mount controlled by FS-2 electronics

SBIG STL-11000 ABG large format CCD camera
SBIG ST-10XE NABG CCD camera with CFW-8 colour filter wheel
Philips Toucam PCVC 740K webcam
Pentax 67 (medium format) and Pentax Spotmatic (35 mm) for film


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