Apollo 15 Landing Site

Apollo 15 Landing Site
Apollo 15 Landing Site

Apollo 15 Landing Site
Last evening proved to be a fine night for observing the Moon and the planets. The atmosphere at sunset settled down to a Pickering 8/10 and 9/10 for brief intervals. This was predicted so I had two telescopes outside (my 18 inch f/4.9 and 13.1 inch f/6 both Dobsonians). At 373x using the 18 inch scope I could clearly see the floor of Palus Putredinis (The Marsh of Decay) and not far away Rima Hadley at the foot of Montes Apenninus. I spent a 3 hour interval on this sketch but actual sketching time was more like 2 hours. The sketch was done using the smaller scope because it is driven. 4 mm and 6 mm eyepieces gave me magnifications of 499x and 333x and occasionally I used the 18 inch scope to verify some of the meanders of Hadley rille and other small features. I have marked the landing site (red dot) of Apollo 15 Lunar Landing Module which occurred the summer of 1971, a very exciting time for the US space program.
Craters visible in this sketch include Hadley C 6 km. in diameter and Aratus (10 km.).

For this sketch I used: Gray sketching paper, 9”x 11”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.
Telescopes: 13.1 inch f/ 6 Dobsonian and 18 inch F/4.9, eyepieces : 4mm, 6mm

Date: April 29, 2015 01:00-04:00 UT
Temperature: 4.4°C (40°F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Pickering 8.5
Transparency: 4/5
Co longitude: 29.9°
Lunation: 10 days
Illumination: 75.9 %
Frank McCabe

Apollo 15 Landing Site - Labeled
Apollo 15 Landing Site – Labeled

Comet Lovejoy from Chinese Skies

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) - 20/30 December 2014
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) – 20/30 December 2014

Object name: C/2014 Q2 Comet Lovejoy
Object type: Comet
Location: Lijiang, China
Date: 20th and 30th of December , 2014
Media: Graphite pencil and yellow notebook paper. Scanned, inverted and processed in photoshop CS6
Equipment: 15×70 Binoculars

Seeing Conditions:

20th Dec: Clear, seeing 2/3, T 0° C, moonless, some direct light over the observation site, Bortle 5
30th Dec: Clear, seeing 1/3, crescent moon, artificial sources of light close to the observation site, Bortle 5.

Hello dear ASOD friends,

Since I saw this wonderful comet on last december, I haven’t had the opportunity to process the raw sketches on photoshop.
I was initially planning to do one sketch, but since on 30th December there was a “conjunction” with M79, I decided to compare how bright they seemed compared each other. There was an enormous difference in apparent magnitude between the two objects as you can see in the sketch. I have the “feeling” of having seen the comet tail but being honest I could not adapt well my night vision since there was a lot of artificial lights around and therefore It could be just a “feeling” than a real view.

Once again let me invite you to check other of my sketches in my blog: pollutedskiesstargazing.blogspot.com.



Rocket and Moon for Dad

Cohete y Luna para Papa
Cohete y Luna para Papa

Estimado equipo de ASOD,

Para mi cumpleaños mi hija Sofía, de 9 años, realizó esta hermosa composición desplegable en “3D”. Un cohete con una carita feliz rumbo a la luna con un fondo de estrellas y cúmulos.

Sofía me acompaña en mi pasión por la Astronomía desde hace algunos años. Utilizamos un telescopio refractor 90/900 y unos binoculares 10×50, Ella es muy entusiasta y decidida a la hora de manipular la montura ecuatorial, especialista en encontrar satélites artificiales.

Conocedora de mi pasión por la llegada del hombre a la Luna, como todos aquellos que eramos niños en aquellos años, se decidió a realizar este regalo sorpresa.

Muchas gracias Sofi!

Mario Castillo (padre orgulloso)

In english (poor):

For my birthday my daughter Sofía, 9, did is beautiful composition “3D”. A rocket with a happy face towards the moon with a background of stars and clusters.

Sofia accompanies me in my passion for astronomy for several years. We use a 90/900 refractor telescope and binoculars 10×50, She is very enthusiastic and determined when handling the equatorial mount, specializes in finding satellites.

Aware of my passion for the man on the moon, and all those who were children in those years, she decided to make this surprise gift.

Sofi, thank you very much!

Mario Castillo (Proud Parent)

Thanks in advance!

Mario A. Castillo

Crab Nebula Binocular View

Messier 1
Messier 1

Object name: M1, Crab Nebula
Object type: Supernova remnant
Location: Lijiang, China
Date: November 27, 2014 05+30 hours
Media: Graphite pencil and yellow notebook paper. Scanned, inverted and processed in photoshop
Equipment: 15×70 Binoculars

Conditions: Clear sky with no moon, seeing 2/3, Bortle 5, Constellation above 60 degrees over the horizon.

Hello dear ASOD friends,

Since last time from Bogota Colombia, me and my family decided to move to Lijiang China. This is a very clean air “little” city (800000 hab aprox) and thanks to that and its altitude (2400 meters above sea level), I have had wonderful clear and dark nights to enjoy. Although it is only me and my binos since I sold my scope in Colombia, these skies have given me the most pleasant views of dim sky objects and now I am having the opportunity to add more and more dim DSOs to me sketching list. Let me invite you all to take a look in my blog for more sketches: pollutedskiesstargazing.blogspot.com

Clear skies and warm beds 🙂


Solar Filament – 8 February 2015

H-alpha Full Solar Disk - 8 February 2015
H-alpha Full Solar Disk – 8 February 2015


The Suns surface has been very interesting to follow the past few days. A fascinating solar filament stretching across the surface is one of the longest recorded, over 700,000 km long. Solar filaments are made up of unstable plasma held above the solar surface by the Sun’s magnetic field.

I was able to observe it for 2 days in a row and marvelled over its sheer size, looking like a tear in the Suns surface. On this day there was also an interesting filament like region near the west limb that was wide and appeared dimensional in light and dark values. The “wishbone” prominence to the north appeared to be from beyond where the limb was visible, the top portion reaching toward the observer.

H-alpha Full Solar Disk
60mm Lunt 14mm 35x
February 8, 2015 1920-1940 UT
Seeing Wilson 4/5
Transparency 2-3/4

Cream colored sketch paper, grey & white Conte’ Crayon, 2B & 6B pencils and #2 pencil. Contrast adjusted in Photoscape.

Maui, Hawaii 4,000 el
Cindy (Thia) Krach

Venus and Mercury After Sunset

Conjunction of Venus and Mercury - 6 January 2015
Conjunction of Venus and Mercury – 6 January 2015

Venus and Mercury were putting on a great show over several days at my location.
You didn’t need optical aid to enjoy the view of the sky to the southwest. Distant tropospheric clouds are likely responsible for the separate pink/violet pillars clearly visible after sunset for a brief time.
Venus was visible before sunset but Mercury required a darker sky to shine through for naked eye visibility.


Location: Mesa, Arizona
Date and Time: January 6, 2015, 18:15 pm local time
Temperature: 19° C (67° F)
Venus visual magnitude -3.9; distance from Earth 1.6 au
Mercury visual magnitude -0.8; distance from Earth 1.2 au

Assorted color pencils and pastel crayons, blue construction paper cut to size to fit my clipboard,
blending stumps and facial tissue paper for blending, white Pearl eraser.

Frank McCabe

Young Winter December Moon

"The Young Winter December Moon" - December 23, 2014
“The Young Winter December Moon” – December 23, 2014

Young Winter December Moon

During the early part of the current lunation I was observing and sketching in Mesa, Arizona and caught the thin crescent Moon in the southwestern sky just after sunset. Venus was also visible much closer to the horizon but not close enough to the Moon to be included. Earthshine improved and brightened as the hour passed.

For this sketch I used dark blue sketching paper (8.5” x 11”), white, yellow and brown pastel pencils, blending stumps, white Pearl eraser.

Telescope 6”f/7.2 Dobsonian telescope, 28mm eyepiece 39x
Date and Time: 12-23-2014; 18:15 – 19:10 local time
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Transparency: clear 4/5
Temperature: 18 °C (65°F)
Colongitude: 295.3°
Lunation: 1.74 days
Illumination: 4.1%

Frank McCabe

NGC 2244

NGC 2244
NGC 2244

The real difficulty with this sketch was not to see the object in the eyepiece, but mostly the cold temperature (below -20C with humidity and wind). Unfortunately I couldn’t see the nebula, probably mostly due to its large apparent dimension

Object Name: NGC 2244
Object Type: Open Cluster
Location: St-Elzéar, Québec
Date: December 30th, 2011
Media: white chalk on dark blue paper, scanned black and white
Instrument: Meade 16″ + 50mm Eyepiece
Weather: uncovered and cold !

Louise Racine

Comet PanSTARRS: Panoramica e Particolare

C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)
C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Hello Artists,after a long time with rain(GRRRRR!!), I made two sketches about Comet PanStarrs!! I go out from work and I go to hill near Little town of Saltara. Very cold temperature and light icely wind. The clouds covered the zone but ,finally they go out from the horizon. I see the comet under the rest of gray clouds and, on blue paper i made the first sketch with bino 10×50. In the same time I take my big bino 25×100 on tripod and made the second sketch, with pencil on black
paper. Unfortunately the comet was very low and the sketch was very difficult to made.
I hope like you.
Ciao a tutti!!

Site: Saltara,19 March 2013

Instruments: bino 10×50 and big bino 25×100
Media: Coloured pencil on blue paper, with pencil on black paper
seeing: Very clear after rain but icely temperature!

C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) with Horizon
C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) with Horizon

Spectacular Perseids

2012 Perseids
2012 Perseids

Object Name: Perseids
Object Type: Annular meteor shower
Location: Lochem, The Netherlands
Date: August 12, 2012
Media: Black and white pastel (pencil) on navy blue paper

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower occurs at noon from my longitude, so the best period to observe the meteors would this morning before dawn. I took a comfortable chair and my sketching materials to my favorite observing site to sketch as much meteors as possible. At the eve of my obseving session I already prepared the layout for the sketch: a starry sky (with the brightest stars as visible around the observing time) and a bit of a horizon. At the site I drew the meteors and the fainter stars at the right position.

Despite it was still hours before the real maximum, it was a spectacle! A lot of bright meteors, some with smoke trails. Sadly I missed some of the brightest because I was busy sketching a fainter one…

Clear skies!

Roel Weijenberg

The Flight of the Butterfly

Messier 6
Messier 6

Hello Day July 14th I made a sketch of m6 and I liked it very much.
Please feel free to spread this beautiful object of the Southern Hemisphere

Object name: M6/ NGC6405 – Butterfly cluster
Object type: open cluster in Scorpius
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Media: Graphite pencil

This sketch was done by looking through a telescope M6 90mm Skywatcher Maksutov. I used a 40mm eyepiece superploss, totaling 31.25 x magnification and a diagonal of 1.25 inches dieletric WO.
The paper used was canson 200g/m2 in the cream and the eye region was reversed using the GIMP software.
I used pencils from HB to 8B Steadtler Lumograph Mars.
Clear, 9 ° C, wind o.3km / h harmed by seeing a fine mist that was intensifying.
M6, in dark places, it is easily seen with the naked eye like a smudge in the sky, next to M7. With a 10×50 binoculars, both m6 and m7 are visible.

Other drawings are on my blog: http://rabiscandoouniverso.blogspot.com.br/

cordial greetings

Guilherme de Andrade

Third Contact

Venus Transit - June 6, 2012
Venus Transit - June 6, 2012

Object: Transit of Venus
Location: Pesaro, Italy
Date: 06/06/2012
Pencil on yellow paper, colour and contrast correction with Gimp

The sky was very clean, we coud even see Croatia’s mountains on the other side of coast. Venus was already there at about three quarters of her journey across the solar disc. I used a 32 mm plossl eyepiece to project the Sun on a yellow sheet of paper and marked the sunspots and Venus with a pencil. This drawing pictures the third contact.


Moon and Venus – May 22, 2012

Moon and Venus - May 22, 2012
Moon and Venus - May 22, 2012

I was in Mesa, Arizona for a few days and on the evening of Tuesday May 22, 2012, at 8:45 pm (local time) I was treated to a fine view of the Moon and Venus before they set in the West Northwest.

A sliver of the Moon was illuminated by the sun and the remainder lit by the gibbous earth (earthshine), a real treat for a mid-westerner like myself. I had some sketching materials with me so I made this sketch of the view on this warm evening 37°C (98°F).


Blue sketching paper, blending stumps, Crayola pencils (assorted colors), oil pastel crayons (assorted colors), Conte’ crayon pencils black and white, white and pink Pearl erasers

Venus was at waning crescent phase on 2 weeks from its solar transit.

Moon phase: 2.2 days old waxing crescent

Illumination 4%

Frank McCabe

Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter

Moon/Jupiter Conjunction
Moon/Jupiter Conjunction

I present to You my sketch of the Moon and Jupiter conjunction.

Objects: Moon & Jupiter
Date: December 6, 2011
Time: About 23:00 (11:00 PM)
Place: Nowy Sącz, Poland
Equipment: Binoculars Bresser 10×50
Conditions: High clouds, light fog.
Technique: White pastels on navy blue art paper. Some correction and tooling with GIMP2
Author: Aleksander Cieśla (Wimmer)

Eclipsed Moon

Lunar Eclipse - December 10, 2011
Lunar Eclipse - December 10, 2011

This is my sketch of the Lunar Eclipse. In Poland the initial phase and the main phase of the eclipse was impossible to observe. But we could watch the final phase of the eclipse.
This sketch shows the Moon coming out from the shadow of the Earth.

Objects: Moon – Lunar Eclipse
Date: December 10, 2011
Time: About 16:25 – 16:35 (4:25 – 4:35 PM)
Place: Nowy Sącz, Poland
Equipment: Binoculars Bresser 10×50
Conditions: faint fog, light pollution.
Technique: Pastels on navy blue art paper. Correction and tooling with GIMP2
Author: Aleksander Cieśla (Wimmer)

Waning Crescent Moon: Lunation 1094

Moon: Lunation 1094
Moon: Lunation 1094

This morning was the first clear sky I have seen in 2 weeks. Although it did not clear-off until after morning twilight began, I’ll take what I can get and be happy I got a chance to sketch the Moon as it prepares to end this lunation and begin the next.

At 4:30 am CDT the waning crescent moon struggled to 30 degrees above the eastern horizon as I began sketch it. By the time I had finished the sun was up and morning was well underway.

For this sketch I used blue construction paper 9″ x 12″, white Conte’ pastel pencils, blending stumps, a White Pearl eraser, brush and blue Crayola colored pencils. Brightness was slightly increased (+1) using the scanner

Scope 4.25” f/5 Newtonian scope with a 12mm Plossl eyepiece at 46x riding on an equatorial platform

Date: 6-26-2011, 09:30-10:30 UT
Temperature: 18° C (65° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 214.0°
Lunation: 24.52 days
Illumination: 23.8% Waning Crescent

Frank McCabe

Canis Maior & Puppis from Crete

I want to post my 2nd montage about a photo and sketches from the Sky in Crete.
From 2 to 10 April, 2010 we three – all Hungarian amateur astronomers (János Gábor Kernya, Gábor Sánta and me, Gergő Kovács) – were at Crete to enjoy near-south deepsky wonders in Puppis, Vela, Centaurus and Scorpius because these constellations or southern parts of them are never seen from our home. Observed Omega Cen, Cen A, NGC 2451, NGC 2477, NGC 6231 and more in the very clear sky. Light pollution was minimal.

In the image is the Puppis and the Canis Maior (with red lines) constellations, and in the rings open star clusters. The clusters is the (in clockwise order) Collinder 140, NGC 2451, NGC 2477, NGC 2546 and VdB-Ha 23. The NGC 2451, Cr 140 and VdB-Ha 23 is my sketches, the NGC 2546 and 2477 is Gábor Sánta’s sketch.

Objects: Collinder 140, NGC 2451, NGC 2477, NGC 2546, VdB-Ha 23.
Constellation: Canis Maior – Puppis
Date: 09. 04. 2010.
Time: 0:00-3:00 UTC
Location: 27 m above sea level next to Kalo Nero, SE Crete, Greece, EU
Instrument: 60mm Akr., 100mm Akr., 130mm Newton.
Limiting magnitude: better than 5.5
Media: white paper, black pencil (0.5mm), graphite, invert, Photoshop.

Best regards,

Gergő Kovács
Báránd, Hungary

Fire from the Twins

Object Name Geminids
Object Type Meteor shower
Location My own backyard, Deventer, The Netherlands
Date Dec. 14th, 01.15UT – 03.00UT
Media Black and white pastels on navy blue paper

Last night the rich meteor shower of the Geminids peaked (actually it was around 14.00UT this afternoon, but the most favorable time to watch it from Europe was during the dark early hours of 14 december). Once again I decided to make a pastel sketch, just like I did during the Perseid shower last August. I used the same method: I made a very global sketch of the starfield I was going to view, including the obstruction caused by the roof and a tree on a dark blue piece of paper. In the field during the observation period I drew every meteor in place with a white pastel pencil.

But the shower was so rich I hardly got time to plot every meteor in the drawing. At given times there were 4 meteors per 10 seconds! I did not count them, but I must have seen over 150 meteors (incl. the ones outside the drawing’s field of view) in the 2 hours of observing time. Incredible! Around 40 of them appeared in the area of the drawing. I observed from my own backyard from 01.15 UT until 03.15 UT. Skies were clear during this whole period, but light pollution got a nasty boost from the snow that fell earlier that evening. NELM was around 5.

Kind regards,
Roel Weijenberg

Midday’s Moon

This is my october sketch of moon with naked eye. On october 29, at noon I was looking out the window and thinking: “wow, I must draw it”. The moon this day was over the buildings where I live. The roofs and chimneys was beautiful illuminated by sunlight…So I have drawn it 🙂
This sketch is created with dry pastels on blue paper.

object: moon with naked eye
location: Katowice, Poland
date: october 29, 2010
technique: dry pastels on blue paper

Katarzyna Kurdek

The Perseid Meteor Shower 2010

* Object Name: Perseids
* Object Type: annular meteor shower
* Location: near Lochem, The Netherlands
* Date: August 13, 2010)
* Media: white and black pastels on navy blue paper

Last night I wanted to try something different: drawing a meteor
shower instead of photographing it!
First I rendered a background with only stars. I used a white pastel
pencil for that. Then I added a horizon with a black pastel.
I took this background drawing to my favourite observing site, lay
down on a comfortable chair and added every meteor I observed on my
pefab sky drawing.
I made two of these drawings. This one is made between midnight and
02.00h. The second one (between 02.00h and 03.30h) can be viewed at

Perseïden 2010: helemaal goed! (ASOD 14-08-’10)

Kind regards,

Roel Weijenberg

Jupiter Has Lost a Stripe

Daylight Jupiter
Jupiter – May 23, 2010
By Jef De Wit

Everybody knows that even in a small telescope you can see on Jupiter two brown belts. However when you turn your telescope on the planet now, you will see only one stripe!

The South Equatorial Belt (SEB), twice as wide as Earth and more than twenty times as long, is not actually gone, but may be just hiding underneath some higher white clouds. The last time this happened was in 1993.

When Jupiter is visible from my garden, the Sun is already high up in the sky. It took me 15 minutes to find the planet. Searching an object (except the Sun, the Moon and Venus) with a Dobson in broad daylight isn’t an easy job! Once in the eyepiece I could even see Jupiter easily in the finderscope (9×50).

Jupiter in daylight seems like a ghost. You have the impression to look through the planet. The North Equatorial Belt (NEB) was easy to see. But I was never so happy I couldn’t find something (this doesn’t happen fast in astronomy!). The SEB was nowhere. I guess the thin line is the northern border of the SEB.

Some details are not like actual photos of Jupiter. I saw the South Polar Region (SPR) brighter than the region just north of it. The north side of Jupiter looked as white as the Equatorial Zone (EZ), but in reality it is much darker.

Information: Science@NASA

Clear skies
Jef De Wit

Object Name: Jupiter
Object Type: planet
Location: Hove, Belgium (51°09’ north lat. 4°28’ east long.)
Date and time: 23 May 2010 7.00-7.30 UT
Equipment: Orion Optics UK 12” Dobson
Eyepiece: 7mm Nagler T6 (magnification 171x)
NELM: daylight
Planet information: diam. 36.7″, mag -2.2, alt. 37°
Medium: pastel pencils, cotton swap, blending stump, blue printing paper, scanned (with some adjustments), labels were added with Paint

Pleine Lune

Full Moon
Full Moon
Sketch and Details by Christian Gros

Object Name : Pleine Lune
Object Type : Lune
Location : Besançon / France
Date : 28/04/2010
Media : Crayons Pastels sur feuille cartonnée grise


Alors que je venais de changer les vis du miroir secondaire de mon télescope (18cm), pour tester ce dernier j’ai profité de la nuit de pleine lune pour faire se dessin à x70. J’ai réalisé ce dessin entierrement de nuit en environ une heure à l’aide de crayons pastels. il ne s’agissait pas de retranscrire tous les détails visibles, bien trop nombreux, mais bien montrer l’aspect principal de notre satellite.


Christian Gros

Modified Google Translation:

Object Name: Full Moon
Object Type: Moon
Location: Besançon / France
Date: 28/04/2010
Media: Pencil Pastel on gray cardboard sheet


So I had to change the screws of the secondary mirror of my telescope (18cm), to test it I took advantage of the full moon to make drawing at x70. I made this drawing at night in about an hour using pastels. It does not show all the details visible, there were far too many, but it does show the main aspect of our satellite.

Christian Gros

The Young, Blue Pleiades

The Pleiades

Messier 45 – The Pleiades
Sketch and Details by Aleksander Cieśla

Sketch information:
Object: Messier 45 – The Pleiades
Scope: Binoculars 10×50
Place: Poland, Wroclaw – near city center
Weather: Good. Seeing 6/10. Light Pollution. Moon low over horizon.
Date: 6 February 2009.
Technique: Colored pastels on the navy blue paper
Tooling: N/A