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)

IC 59 and 63

IC 59 and 63, "The Ghost of Cassiopeia" emission and reflection nebulae in the constellation Cassiopeia
IC 59 and 63, “The Ghost of Cassiopeia”, emission and reflection nebulae in the constellation Cassiopeia

Object Name: IC59 & 63
Object Type: bright nebula
Location : Altpernstein / Austria
Date : 14/11/2014
Media :graphite pencil, black paper
observed with dobson Starsplitter II 18″ with UHC filter and 19mm Panoptic (105x)
SQM: 21.1

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

NGC 2371 and 2372 Planetary Nebula in Gemini

NGC 2371 and 2372
NGC 2371 and 2372

Object Type: Planetary Nebula

Location: Tarragona – Spain

Two NGC numbers, but only one object. NGC2371/NGC2372 correspond to a bipolar planetary nebula. Easy and awesome observed from a dark skies with a good telescope aperture. A lobe is more brilliant than the other, but both are perfectly visibles. I think it could be an affordable object for medium telescope aperture as well.

For more details of my observation you can visit my blog:


Date and Time: 2013-12-06, 21h 49m UT

Telescope: SC Celestron 9.25″ (235mm)

Eyepiece: 10mm (235x)

White paper, HB2 graphite pencil, and scanned and inverted with Photoshop

Seeing: 4/5 (5 the best)

Transparency: Clear. Rural Skies.

Location Constellation: Gemini

Position: R.A. 07h 25m

Dec. +29° 29′

Thank you and best regards.

Late August Sun – 2013

H-Alpha Sun - August 22-31, 2013
H-Alpha Sun – August 22-31, 2013

Location : Castres, south-west France (near Toulouse)
Date : from 22 to 31 august 2013
Media : graphite pencil, white paper

Comments :
Dayly sketch of sun made through a small Coronado PST (H Alpha) + 15mm Televue eyepiece
Method :
1) dayly observing sun coronado around 12h TU
2) quick sketch with ballpen on paper notepad (2 minutes)
3) later copy out on drawing paper with graphite pencil (10 to 12 minutes)
4) picture take of each drawing with camera + Photoshop processing
– flipping horizontally and vertically in order to see the correct sun orientation
– grouping the 9 pictures + date on the same sheet
One may see the sun rotation from August 26 to 29 watching at spots.
I saw some material projections ejected into space (see August 30)
We currently have a great solar activity
To see the solar prominences evolution one should have to observe every hour !

Thank you for taking into consideration this small contribution
Best regards.

Jean-Marc SALIOU
A.P.A.M. astronomy

Messier 77 (Cetus A)

Messier 77
Messier 77

M77 / NGC1068 / Cetus A
Constellation – Cetus
Spiral galaxy
Distance – 47MLy
Mag 8.9

Date – 10/12/12
Seeing – Antoniadi III
Transparency – Poor
SQM 21.45 (LM 6.3)
Location – Hartland Point UK
Media – White pastels on black paper.

Telescope – 16″ f/4.5
EP – 8mm Delos x236 TFoV 0.18˚

Sketch notes

Very small galaxy that improved with lots of magnification. Bright core makes it an easy find even with low mag EP’s.

High level cloud made the transparency poor making it very difficult to see any detail but I could just make out a couple spiral arms inside the halo of the galaxy.

Very nice object and will go back to under better conditions.

In Memory of Sir Patrick Moore — 1923–2012

In Memory of Sir Patrick Moore — 1923–2012
In Memory of Sir Patrick Moore — 1923–2012

2012 has seen the loss of another legend and inspiration. We mourn the loss of Sir Patrick Moore, who passed away on December 9th.

Moore’s friends and staff released the following statement:
“After a short spell in hospital last week, it was determined that no further treatment would benefit him, and it was his wish to spend his last days in his own home, Farthings, where he today passed on, in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy….Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in, a few weeks ago. He was able to perform on his world record-holding TV Programme The Sky at Night right up until the most recent episode.”

Queen guitarist Brian May, further said: “Patrick will be mourned by the many to whom he was a caring uncle, and by all who loved the delightful wit and clarity of his writings, or enjoyed his fearlessly eccentric persona in public life. Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one.”

British space scientist, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, echoed the sentiments of many amateur astronomers. She was first inspired to “look at the night sky” through Moore, saying, “He was broadcasting before we actually went into space and he saw a change in our understanding of the universe, and he took us all the way through that, right up until today. What he did was something very straightforward. He would tell us what to look for and where to look for it and for budding astronomers everywhere that is what we need, that information. But he would tell us more, he would go into depth, he would take us on a journey through space and we can’t ask for better than that really.”

Today’s tribute includes a selection of Lunar, solar system, and deep sky sketches featuring objects from Moore’s Caldwell Catalog.

Richard Handy | Per-Jonny Bremseth | Frédéric Burgeot | Leonor Ana Hernandez | Michel Deconinck | Paul Abel | Mark Seibold | Serge Vieillard | Frank McCabe | Maurice Toet | Alexander Massey | Tom Corstjens | Michael Vlasov | Rony De Laet | Christian Rausch | Eiji Kato | Bertrand Laville | János Gábor Kernya | Gábor Sánta | Cseh Viktor | Carlos E. Hernandez | Eric Graff | Dale Holt | Nicolas Zannin | Ferenc Lovró | Hans-jürgen Merk | John Karlsson | Scott Mellis

Eclipse in Tokyo

Annular Eclipse
Annular Eclipse

I went to Japan to observe a solar annular eclipse. (My hometown is Korea.)
This picture is the moment of annular eclipse, the gold ring and the surrounding landscape.

Location : Asakusa, Tokyo (The other side of the river, The world’s second tallest building ‘SkyTree’ tower is visible.)
Date : May 21, 2012
Equipment : Naked eye, Baader Solar Filter, 9*63 Finder (http://www.nightflight.or.kr/xe/files/attach/images/25489/324/058/3f36237ec11d646f99a6bd2e94c99a1c.JPG)
Media : White paper, Pastel, Colored pencil

Saturn with Moons

Saturn and Moons - May 22, 2012
Saturn and Moons - May 22, 2012

Object name: Saturn
Object type: Planet
Location: Amsterdam
Date: 22-5-2012
Media: Pastel on black paper

Saturn with moons.

Last night, May 22-23, I had a nice view on Saturn so I placed my 8”sct/lxd75 on the balcony and tried to make a sketch. It was made with pencil on white paper, and later redrawn with pastel pencils on black paper (A4). The planets disk is approximately 3cm and the rings 8cm.

At 200 times the Cassini Division was easy to spot, as well the two most westerly moons Titan and Rhea. At around 23:30 I was sure I spotted another moon close to the planet, Tethys, but later in de evening I couldn’t see it anymore. It had crossed the planet. While looking at the Cassini Division another moon popped in to my averted vision, this one between Rhea and Saturn; Dione.

Seeing: 3/5
Transparency: 2/5
Temperature: 20⁰ C

8” SCT on LXD75
Hyperion zoom at 10mm (200x)

Kind regards
& Clear Skies 4 all.

Matthijs Broggel

Dual Mount Venus Transit

H-Alpha Venus Transit
H-Alpha Venus Transit

Animation from eyepiece sketch while plotting the transit: http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa201/ErikaGRix/2012-venus-transit.gif

Link to report and photos: http://pcwobservatory.com/2012/06/07/2012-june-056-venus-transit/

I set up my dual mounting rig for both white light and h-alpha and my husband set up his LX200 with a white light filter as well. We picked a spot in the front field to optimize the horizon for sunset. I had already utilized my sky planning tools so that I knew when and where first contact would be for my scopes and had templates on two different clipboards to record my observations, one for white light and one for h-alpha. Paul had my Canon EOS DSLR Rebel hooked up to the LX200 for his imaging session. In the mean time, temperatures had gone up to 101.3 F.

The countdown began and at 2205 UT (1705 CDT) first contact was made on the NE solar limb. Just as it bit a little more into the disk, the first cloud rolled across my view preventing me from witnessing the progression into (and including) second contact. It was disappointing as I wanted to recreate Capt. Cook’s and Charles Green’s observation/sketches from 1769. My first instinct was to view first contact through h-alpha in an attempt to view more of Venus’ disk prior to transiting in front of the limb, but the transparency was bad and seeing was moderate so thought I would stick with white light for a crisp “entry”. Due to the dual mounting system, I could easily switch between the two filter systems in the first few minutes of contact.

White Light Venus Transit
White Light Venus Transit

The observation session ended at 0030 UT on June 6th, 2012 when a large cloud obscured our view and would be there well after Sunset. I was very grateful for the opportunity to witness this transit and the memories of it will last a lifetime.

Erika Rix – Texas, USA
In association with www.solarastronomy.org

Swirling Fire of AR1429

AR1429 - March 11, 2012
AR1429 - March 11, 2012

Object name: AR1429
Object type: Active region on the solar surface
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Date: March 11, 2012
Media: White pastel pencils on black paper
Equipment used: 90mm h-alpha solar telescope, magnification 70x

Finally, finally, finally! A clear day! The last week has been mostly cloudy with only a few minutes of sunshine at a time; too short to make a sketch of the Sun. But today started with a deep blue sky with just a few tiny clouds. I set up my 90mm solar telescope around noon and made a sketch of AR1429, the region which might deliver northerns light in the night to come (a very rare sight in the Netherlands). The whole thing was swirling very slowly, changes could be noticed within minutes at 70x so I had to draw quickly. I would like to take a few hours to sketch all the tiny details, but because of the movements solar sketching is always a race against time. I made the sketch with white pastel on black paper, later mirrored to match the real orientation (north up, west right). Color added with Photoshop.

Kind regards and clear skies!

Roel Weijenberg

3 June 2011 Sun

Sun - June 3, 2011
Sun - June 3, 2011


Sun sketch made on 3 June 2011 at 19:50 – 20:06 UT in Ontario Canada with a Coronado PST Ha single stack. An interesting prom appears in the SSW

The disk image is pre-printed at 16 cm diameter on computer paper and details added with mechanical pencil, scanned into my computer and contrast-adjusted with standard scanner software.

Mel R.

17.5″, 3 Hours, and the Eta Carina Nebulae

Hi all,

Scope time has been very scarce this year. This sketch was done in April.

Encouraged by my attempt at Eta Carina through my 8″ dob, I trained my 17.5″ dobbie at the same target, again from Sydney.

This time, I also used my Grand Daddy of all eyepieces, a 35mm Masuyama. A bit long for this f/4.5 scope, but my only OIII filter was a 1.25″.

Eta Carina is not only huge, it is a very busy place. There are multiple shockwaves within it, masses of star formation both just initiated in the form of dark pillars, of those whose nuclear fires have just kicked in, nebulae within nebulae, and a super massive star about to go supernova.

This magnificent NASA site shows all of these details.

Again, the Homunculus Nebula is too small at 57X, but the supermassive star, Eta Carina, it is associated with is the bright reddish one.

Armed with a battery of sketching implements, the result of 3hrs is below. Ooooohhh, I am going to have soooooo much fun redoing this one at a dark sky site!

Scope: 17.5″ f/4.5 dob
Gear: 35mm Masuyama, 57X, OIII filter
Date: April 8, 2011
Location: Sydney
Media: white pastel, white & black charcoal pencils, white chinagraph, white and coloured ink on black A4 size paper


Alex M.

On the Northwest Shore of Humorum

Object Name: Gassendi crater
Object Type: Moon
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Date: 14th April 2011
Media: Graphite pencil on white paper. No digital tools used
Equipment used: 130/650 SW 130x, 5 mm Planetary ocular

The weather was awful, what to say: I had approximately 30 minutes to sketch. However, I liked this crater very much, so I tried my best to draw it. I quickly done a sketch then worked out my final draw in the room when all the milky clouds covered the Moon.

dr. Hannák Judit

An Open Cluster in Canis Major

The data of the drawing:

Telescope: 7×50 binoculars (Tento)
Date: 03.07.2011

Observing Location: Zakany – Hungary, 46° 15′ N 16° 57’E elev.: 129m
This digital drawing preparated GIMP 2.6 programs.

Thank you for it!

Clear Sky !

Tamás Bognár

Üdvözlettel !
Bognár Tamás

Crater Zach

object name: Zachz crater
object type: lunar crater
location: Hungary, Gödöllő
date: 12,02,2011. UT. 17h 12m
medium:Withe paper graphite pencil.
instrument: 200/1200 Newton
S: 10/7-8
T: 5/4

The choice of the Hungarrian-born astronomer Xavér Zach (1754-1832 ) crater was named after. The crater is located southeast of the Clavius.

Róbert Nagy Gödöllő.

Venus, Saturn and Handful of Frost

Last night I and my Friends we have a great observation night in Oderne, in south Poland – beautiful place among Beskid mountains. We have very good, clear sky but there was very chill. We have very low temperature at night. About -20°C (about -4°F). In central Europe during the Winter, it is nothing strange. But it is necessary to be a tough to make all night observations in this conditions 😉
After many hours of the good observations we take a little nap. We have resumed our observations at 4 AM to get the first Venus and Saturn since few months.
There was intense, severe frost.

Object: Planets Venus and Saturn
Scope: SCT 5″ with SW UWA58 9mm
Time and date: December 5th, 2010. About 4:00 AM
Place: Oderne, Poland
Weather: Clear, dark sky. Heavy frost.
Technique: Graphite pencil
Tooling: Some correction with PhotoShop
Observer: Aleksander Cieśla (Wimmer)

I have a interesting foto from that observations.
There was really heavy frost. After all my equipment was operating quite good 🙂 There was strange noise from motors of my Celestron SLT mount, like howling 😉 But all night long it was operating correctly. I have little problems with corrector plate of my C5 SCT too, but dew shield works not bad. Most problems we have with the eyepieces. Puting the eyepiece to the poket at several minutes – that was an easy solution of this problem.
During that night my equipment looks like that: 🙂

Thank You, and sorry for my bad english.

A Scarp, a Wall or a Sword

2010 10 16, 2351 UT – 2010 10 17, 0142 UT Rupes Recta
PCW Memorial Observatory, OH, USA, Erika Rix
Zhumell 16”, 20mm TV, 3x Barlow, 270x mag, 13% T moon filter
Temp: 7°C, 59% humidity, S: Antoniadi II, T: 2.5/6
Sketch created scopeside with Rite in the Rain paper and charcoal.

Phase: 65.2°
Lunation: 9.33d
Illumination: 70.9%
Lib. Lat: -3°50’
Lib. Long: +2°56’
Az: 209°37’, Alt: 32°06’

Rupes Recta: Scarp, 7.7° W, 22°S
Imbrian period (-3.8 billion yrs to –3.2 billion yrs)
Length: ~110 km, Height: 240-300 m, Apparent Width: 2.5 km

Located in Mare Nubium, this scarp, also known as the Straight Wall, was
apparent by the shadow cast from illumination from the east. The shadow
wasn’t very wide, but rather narrow and smudging to the west. The
eastern side of it was crisp and sharp. During the waning phase, this
same feature would appear as a white line from the illumination coming
from the west. The slope incline is ~30-40° (ref. Virtual Moon Atlas).
For a good comparison between the waning and waxing phases for this
feature, please have a look at this site:

Lightened areas around Birt (Copernician period) made a path from the
crater to the fault, showing off Birt A as well as a “V” shaped area
nestled between Birt and the companion craters K, J, and H (you will
have to look at an atlas for those craters as I wasn’t able to see them
during my observation last night).

The ridges to the south of Rupes Recta formed what I always pictured as
a scoop, make the ridge and the fault look like a ladle. Funny that a
woman should think of it a ladle whereas 17th century selenographer
Christiaan Huygens reckoned it looked more like a sword (ref. Modern
Moon, page 147). A lightened area to the south (top of the scarp in my
sketch from last night) outlined the circular ridge of Thebit S. It’s a
pity it wasn’t more defined during my observation. What I found very
interesting to observe was the darkened cirlce that Rupes Recta and the
wrinkle ridges to the west formed. I believe the ridges to the east
outline the ancient crater that Chuck Wood dubbed Ancient Thebit in the
Modern Moon.

Rima Birt looked more like a thin shadow than a rille. Looking back to a
sketch I rendered in 2005 using an LX200 Classic, not only was this
rille visible, but I also caught Birt E, which I didn’t see during last
night’s observation.

Rukl plate: 54 Birt
“The Modern Moon” by C. Wood pg. 146-147
Lunar Orbiter:

Best regards,
Erika Rix

The Double Cluster and a Comet

Object : Comet 103P/Hartley and Open Clusters NGC 884 / NGC 869
Date : October 07, 2010
Time : 19:00-20:00 LST / 02:00-03:00 UT
Location : Wittmann, Arizona USA
Medium : Charcoal pencils, fine markers, painting brush, windows paint for inversion and color touch up, white paper.
Magnitude : comet-( ~7,5 or 8) open clusters combined magnitude of ( 4.2)
Weather : New Moon!, dark and clear skies, no clouds, no winds, ambient temperature of 85 deg. F.

Comments :
I finally gave it a try to sketch this all inclusive view of the Double Cluster and comet Hartley. The naked eye open clusters of NGC 869 and NGC 884 are clearly visible, but the elusive comet 103P/ Hartley is still a bit of a challenge to notice without the aid of binoculars or a rich field telescope. Comet Hartley is so diffused it was reported to have a 31 arcminute coma as of the date of this report. Depending on how much light pollution you are pestered with, that might keep you from seeing the comet in its entirety- or you may be looking at only the brighter portion of the nucleus. Speaking of brightness, I was able to compare its magnitude to some defocused stars nearby and I conclude to estimate it at 7.5 or 8. Obviuosly not a naked eye object, just yet! It would’ve been nice to detect the color but the diffused nature of comet Hartley doesn’t bring out the green hue comets are associated with. Right now only in photographs will you enjoy that treat.

The Double Cluster with an average magnitude of 4.2 is best appreciated under the view of binoculars. From the city, it’s hard to notice the the faint misty glow, but from rural areas, it stand out almost immeadiately if not with averted vision. Through the binoculars or a 4 to 6 inch telescope the clusters show their true beauty. Mostly composed of young blue stars, they also host a sprinkled few orange stars that add to the visual interest. Both are great low magnification targets to be admired. Keep looking, keep sketching, keep submitting, maybe comet Hartley has a surprise for us in the next few weeks!

Dark and clear skies,


Schickard and Environs




M 22: A Jewel of the Summer

Object Name: M 22 (NGC 6656)
Object Type: Globular Cluster
Constellation of Sagitarius
Location: Talaveruela de la Vera-Cáceres;SPAIN
Date: 17/07/2010
Media: graphite pencil, white paper, inverted GIMP 2
Telescope: SCT 8″
Eyepiece: 31 mm Hyperion-Aspheric
Mag.: 65X

Spanish-English translation using Google Language Tools:
M22 is an impressive globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius. It
is located at a distance of approximately 10,000 years light. The cluster is
brighter than an observer can see the northern hemisphere and only than
Omega Centauri and 47 Tucanae.
The picture at the bottom is an extension of M 22 scanned at higher

Mariano Gibaja