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 selfmade 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") guidescope 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 colour-free imaging instruments. I was hooked again !
In 1999, 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, all of my work is CCD imaging .
Your suggestions, questions and comments are welcome.