Astronomy at Les Granges


Top equipment at a top site.

Hello and welcome. I'm Olly Penrice, astronomy enthusiast and deep sky astrophotographer. I'll be at your service during your stay.

Les Granges has a truly dark site with a best ever Sky Quality Meter reading of an outstanding 22.05. This will be very hard to beat anywhere in mainland Europe. We enjoy an elevated position at 900 metres/3000 feet.

Let me show you round the observatories. If you are beginner, don't worry. In a nutshell we have excellent equipment and I'll help you to operate it very successfully.  Firstly our visual observing instruments...

'Sir Isaac.'  A 20 inch F4.1 classical Dobsonian with Telrad finder and 60mm finderscope. Big, simple and with a light grasp of at least 5000 times that of the unaided eye.


The Alan Longstaff Telescope. A 14 inch fork-mounted Meade LX200 Schmidt Casseagrain. It has a precision Go To function making it easy for complete beginners to find the objects of their choice simply by typing a catalogue number into the handset.

A good collection of  premium TeleVue eyepieces ensures that these telescopes give of their very best.

Deep Sky Imaging at Les Granges


We'll give you a fully hands-on experience of imaging, using our two photographic observatories. I'll be available to advise on all aspects of capture and processing. If you are new to imaging or are thinking of taking it up then I believe I can save you weeks or months of frustrating trial end error.

Since we have only two bedrooms all guests can have a generous share of my time and our equipment.

The Twin Takahashi rig.
Not one but two Takahashi FSQ106Ns with full frame Atik 11000 monochrome CCD cameras riding on a very accurate and dependable Mesu 200 roller drive mount. The field of view is enormous, roughly 4 degrees by 2.6. Having two setups in parallel simply means working at twice the normal speed. This is ideal for working quickly, going deep and making multiple panel mosaics. The roll off  'Twin Takahashi' observatory has a warm room built in. Click on thumbnails for full view.

Heart Nebula
Wide field of view. This is a single frame of the Heart Nebula
Great for going
North America Nebula
Also great for mosaics. Nine panel North America Nebula region.
400 hour 35 panel Orion
with Tom O'Donoghue.
Click on thumbnails for full view.

The TEC 140. Our big apochromatic triplet now rides on a second Mesu 200 mount and can use either a widefield full frame CCD or a small format, small pixel Atik 460 for high resolution imaging of small targets.

Horsehed Nebula
With widefield camera, Horsehead & Flame Nebulae.
With widefield camera,M42 and 'Running Man.'
With Atik 460 camera, M13.
With Atik 460 cameta, M63 with tidal extensions.
Click on thumbnails for full view.

Bringing your own kit?
We have two concrete pads ready and waiting for you.

You can enjoy a 'virtual night' at night at Les Granges by watching the Etoile St Cyrice time lapse movies by regular guest Maurice Toet.

My articles on astrophotography have appeared in Astronomy Now and Astronomy Technology today. I can take you through from basic processing to complex layer masking, composite imaging and the subtle blending of narrowband data into natural colour.

Our images have been published in Sky and Telescope, Astronomy Now, The Sky at Night, Astronomie, Astronomy Technology Today, Starlight, the SPA journal, the Guardian Online and Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

Les Granges is also home to five privately owned and remotely operated systems in our Observatoire Per Prejvall.

Olly Penrice
Sir Isaac
Sir Isaac
Alan Longstaff Telescope
Alan Longstaff Telescope
Twin Takahashi
Twin Takahashi
TEC 140
TEC 140