MY EQUIPMENT AND ME
I am engineer and I live in the suburbs of Paris (close to Versailles), in a site that is very polluted by city lights. From my backyard, I can take images of the Sun, the Moon, planets and nebulas with narrow band filters. For deep sky imaging (galaxies, comets, nebulas...), I am obliged to go in the land, after loading my van. I began digital imaging (CCD) in 1994.
The asteroid 19458 has been officially named Legault by the International Astronomical Union.
I have written three books:
- The New Atlas of the Moon with Serge Brunier (Firefly),
- Les Secrets de l'Astrophotographie (Eyrolles).
I have written numerous articles and lectures about imaging in Europe and USA (Sky and Telescope, Ciel et Espace, Astronomie Magazine, Chasseur d'Images...).
My photographs, especially of space shuttle and space station, have been published in newspapers and magazines and have been shown on TV worldwide: The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, CBS News, Discovery Channel, Science et Vie, le Monde, le Figaro, le Point, Ca m'Intéresse, TF1, France2, M6...
I have given lectures and photo exhibitions during: NEAF (North East Astronomy Forum, Suffern NY) in 2008 and 2011, RCE (Paris) in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, Québec (Canada) and Ireland in 2012, AIP (Astro Image Processing) workshops in 2008, 2010 and 2012, Festival de Photo de Nature de Montier-en-Der in 2008, Salon de la Photo (Paris) in 2007 and amateurs meetings in France, Germany, Netherlands, Bergium and Greece between 2004 and 2010.
I have participated to several missions: crash of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter in July 1994 at the Pic-du-Midi observatory (with Christian Buil), total eclipses of 2001 (Angola), 2002 (Angola), 2006 (Egypt), 2008 (Russia) and 2009 (China) with Serge Koutchmy, deep sky journey in Angola in 2004 with Serge Koutchmy, Christian Viladrich and Jaime Vilinga. I have also travelled to Sultanate of Oman and Australia for astronomical events (eclipse and transit of Venus).
In May 2009, I have been attending, from the press site of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), to the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 mission (the last Hubble servicing mission), and visiting the hall where were Discovery during its preparation for a future flight.
I am in charge since more than 15 years of a workshop about Digital Imaging in the Festival d'Astronomie de Haute Maurienne.
I have been rewarded by SBIG in the company's Hall of Fame.
I have received the Marius Jacquemetton award (photographic works) from the Société Astronomique de France in 1999.
In 2003, I have won second prize ( Meade 8" LX90) in the Mars photo contest of Oceanside Photo and Telescope, a friendly team I had the pleasure to meet during one of my visits in California.
The optical tube I currently use for satellite images is a Celestron C14 Edge HD.
Some other optical tubes were used in the past: Meade ACF 10", Meade 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain, Takahashi Schmidt-Cassegrain 225mm (9 ") telescope (F/D = 12), Takahashi Cassegrain Dall-Kirkham 250mm (10 "), Intes Maksutov-Cassegrain (Rumak type with separate secondary mirror) 250mm (10 ") and 180mm (7").
I use equatorial mounts Takahashi EM400 and Losmandy Titan.
|I also use Takahashi refractors for deep-sky imaging,
lunar quarters, solar imaging and transits:
- TOA-150 with large size corrector
|The solar images have been taken with
different refractors: Televue Pronto (70mm), FSQ-106, TOA-130 and TOA-150.
For white light solar imaging, I use a Baader
helioscope. For H-alpha:
I currently use SBIG STL-11000M CCD camera with AO-L system. It is equipped with large band filters and narrow band filters (H-alpha...).
My first CCD camera, bought in 1994, was a Hi-SIS 22 (14-bit, no shutter), based on a Kodak KAF-0400 chip (768x512 pixels). A Hi-SIS 43 camera, based on a KAF-1602E chip (1536x1024 pixels) replaced it in November 1998.
I also use reflex Canon 5D mark II and Canon 40D (IR filter removed), DMK31 and Skynyx L2-2 video cameras.
The images are essentially processed with Iris and Prism.