Dear fellow astronomical sketchers,

Over eight years ago on March 17, 2007, ASOD launched with our first sketch of the day. In that time, it has been our honor to receive and publish more than 2,800 astronomical sketches from observers of all backgrounds across the globe. You are the ones who have made ASOD successful.

Along the way, the administration of the site has been a home-brewed effort–from site design and administration to the daily processing of your excellent submissions. As you have noticed, it’s not without a few glitches. We value the site, our contributors and our visitors greatly. However, Rich and I have reached a difficult cross-roads. We have both found ourselves at a point where we are unable to continue keeping the site current. For the time being, we will not be posting new submissions. However, we intend to keep this vast and inspiring archive of astronomical sketches live and accessible to all.

If we can determine a viable path to restart daily posts, to increase engagement and quality of the user experience, and overcome a number of growing technical challenges, we will make sure to announce it here. Thanks again for all of your support for this rewarding facet of amateur astronomy.

Yours truly,
Jeremy Perez

Flaming Star Nebula

C31 IC 405 Flaing Star Nebulawordssmaller
C31 IC 405 Flaing Star Nebulawordssmaller


IC 405, Caldwell 31 or the Flaming Star Nebula is an emission/reflection nebula that requires darkness and patience to pull details out. A 12.5” reflector was used here to observe and a NPB filter from DMG optics helpful. I observed & sketched the same object 3 years ago and didn’t see the details visible this time around. I would partly account this to gaining greater ability from sketching the object again with more patience this time around.

Proper motion studies of AE Auriga show it to be an ejected star from the Orion Belt region. Its chance passage through this nebulous region of gas & dust give it a “Flaming Star” appearance.

Heavyweight white paper, 2B pencil, charcoal and brush.
Photoscape to invert
12.5” Portaball 80X
NPB DMG Optics Filter

Cindy (Thia) Krach
Maui, Hawaii

Thor’s Helmet – a Magnificent Apparition

Thor's Helmet - NGC 2359
Thor’s Helmet – NGC 2359

Hello all,

One thing all astronomers chase is ideal atmospheric conditions. An apparently clear night can present poor transparency or poor seeing due to thermal energy high up in the atmosphere. But every now and then, ideal or even very close to ideal conditions do present themselves, and it gives us the finest view of the heavens.

Such conditions presented themselves to me on the night of January 18.

My first view of Thor’s Helmet, NGC 2359, was four years ago during the Ice In Space Astro Camp. My view of it seemed to me to be a fine one. So much so it inspired me to sketch it straight away! Four years later, presented with a night of exceptional transparency, I revisited Thor’s Helmet as it was right on zenith for me.

WOW! What an image! This night Thor’s Helmet had nebulosity extending in four different directions, not just the two from my first view. So much more structure was apparent, and the nebulosity extended so much further, and so many more stars were visible too.

I’ve also included an image of the sketch I did of Thor’s Helmet in 2011 for comparison. It is this way that the full impact of the differences in conditions between the two nights can be appreciated.

I hope you enjoy this sketch.


Object: Thor’s Helmet, NGC 2359
Scope: 17.5” push-pull Karee dob
Gear: 30mm 82° Explore Scientific, 91X, OIII filter
Date: 18th January, 2015
Location: Katoomba Airfield, Australia
Media: White soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper
Duration: approx. 1hr.

Thor's Helmet - NGC 2359
Thor’s Helmet – NGC 2359 (2011)

M17 (Omega Nebula)

Messier 17, "The Omega Nebula" aka "The Swan Nebula" an emission and reflection nebula in the constellation Sagittarius
Messier 17, “The Omega Nebula” aka “The Swan Nebula” an emission and reflection nebula in the constellation Sagittarius

Object Name: M17 (NGC 6618) Omega Nebula
Object Type: Emission nebula( HII Region)
Location: Morella (Spain)
Date: 31/8/2014, 21:35 – 22:15 UTC
Media: white paper, graphite pencil, 7B, HB, scanned and inverted with Paint
Equipment: Newton 8″ (f/4)+ Hyperion 13mm (61x) + Celestron OIII Filter
Sky Conditions: Great night, no light pollution, very good seeing and transparency

Notes: Using OIII filter this nebula shows incredible. It looks like a swan, with the body and it’s fine neck. I can see faint nebulosity surrounding the “swan” especially under it.

Notas: Esta nebulosa aparece en el campo del ocular como se fuese un cisne nadando por el firmamento. Es increíble el parecido que tiene con esta ave, viéndose claramente lo que sería el cuerpo y el fino cuello. Detrás del “cisne” es apreciable una nebulosidad en forma de arco y por la parte de abajo también se puede ver bastante nebulosidad.

Best regards

IC 4756

IC 4756 Open Cluster
IC 4756 Open Cluster

Object: IC 4756
Type: Open cluster
Date 9/16/2012
Instrument: 6″ F/5 dobsonian reflector
Sketch: Pencil on paper and then inverted after scanning into the computer.

This is a sketch of open cluster IC 4756 in Serpens made on September 16, 2012 with a 6″ F/5 dobsonian reflector. Very large cluster of stars near the pretty double Theta Serpentis. Some 30 – 50 stars were counted in the cluster which appears to have several concentrations of stars separated from one another by voids. the cluster fills the field at 75X.

Mars in Opposition

Mars on April 13, 2014
Mars on April 13, 2014

Planet Mars on sunday 13th of april 2014, sketch is made five days after mars was in opposition. We should expect that during opposition – april 8th – the smallest distance between our blue and the red planet is achieved. However, this time the two planets elliptical orbit reaches it’s closets distance on april the 14th.

The sketch is made on sunday the 13th of april 2014. The telescope : TEC 160ED, F8 – 11 mm Plossl eyepiece met 2x Barlow lens. TFov 0.3 °. Afterwards adapted in Pro-create en Psd

Three days in the life of crater Philolaus

Philolaus Crater
Philolaus Crater

Three nights in a row clear sky, it doesn’t happen a lot in cloudy Belgium. I guess I was just lucky. Nice to see the changing shadows and libration. I hope you like it too.

Clear skies
Jef De Wit

Object: Philolaus (+ Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Mouchez and Poncelet)
Object type: lunar crater
Location: Hove, Belgium (51°09’ N 4°28’ E)
Date and time: 11-13 January 2014
Equipment: 8 cm refractor (WO Zenithstar 80 FD)
Eyepiece: 3,5 mm Nagler T6 (158x)
Medium: white, gray and black pastel pencils on black paper, scanned, contrast
adjustments with Paint Shop Pro, compilation and text with Paint

Sun - H-Alpha - January 19, 2014
Sun – H-Alpha – January 19, 2014


A great day spent with my new 60mm Lunt. I am amazed at the detail difference between the 40mm PST and the new telescope. Conditions were excellent and I enjoyed watching the bright prominence to the W change over a short time. There was also a lot of brightening and dimming plague activity. The most fascinating region was to the SE where a thick filament danced off the limb into a prominence and appeared multidimensional at higher magnification.

Solar H-alpha activity
1/19/14 0940-1100
Maui, Hawaii
60mm Lunt PT
14mm 35x, 6mm 83x
Cindy (Thia) Krach