Posidonius Area

Posidonius Crater
Posidonius Crater

Hi all,

Friday evening just before the altocumulus clouds of the approaching depression covered the sky, I could do another sketch of the moon: This time it was crater Posidonius and its surroundings.

Ah, by the way, this time I tried a new pen: For the bright areas (e. g. the western rims of Posidonius A and J), I took a whitecoal pen instead of chalk pen. That provided much brighter contrast.

Another novelty for me: I didn’t use a diagonal but an Amici prism, so that the view in the eyepiece wasn’t mirrored at all. The view was a bit less bright, but for the moon it’s still bright enough.

Object Name: Posidonius
Object Type: Lunar Crater
Location: Germany, Dusseldorf area
Date: 2015-04-24, 2130-2205 CEST
Media: chalk pastel pencil, whitecoal pencil and charcoal pencil on black sketching cardbox
Telescope: Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT
Eyepiece: TS HR Planetary 7mm

Clear skies

Achim


Sirsalis & Damoiseau Craters

Sirsalis & Damoiseau Craters
Sirsalis & Damoiseau Craters

Aloha,

I submit my most recent lunar sketch of Sirsalis & Damoiseau Craters at the western limb of the moon. What a wonderful area to explore with interesting concentric craters of Damoiseau & the double crater of Sirsalis at this angle of light. Unseen Grimaldi is in the darkness to the west.

Object: Lunar craters Sirsalis & Damoiseau @ ~13 days lunation
Telescope: 12.5” Portaball 9mm Nagler 169X
Location: Maui Hawaii, 4000 ft elevation
Date: 2/4/12 7:45pm
Medium: Black art paper, white & black charcoal

Thia Krach


Posidonius Crater

Posidonius Crater
Posidonius Crater

Hi all,

yesterday evening just before the altocumulus clouds of the approaching depression covered the sky, I could do another sketch of the moon: This time it was crater Posidonius and its surroundings.

Ah, by the way, this time I tried a new pen: For the bright areas (e. g. the western rims of Posidonius A and J), I took a whitecoal pen instead of chalk pen. That provided much brighter contrast.

Another novelty for me: I didn’t use a diagonal but an Amici prism, so that the view in the eyepiece wasn’t mirrored at all. The view was a bit less bright, but for the moon it’s still bright enough.

Object Name: Posidonius
Object Type: Lunar Crater
Location: Germany, Dusseldorf area
Date: 2015-04-24, 2130-2205 CEST
Media: chalk pastel pencil, whitecoal pencil and charcoal pencil on black sketching cardbox
Telescope: Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT
Eyepiece: TS HR Planetary 7mm

Clear skies

Achim


Total Lunar Eclipse – 4 March 2015

Lunar Eclipse - 4 April 2015
Lunar Eclipse – 4 April 2015

Easter Rabbit Moon Flies a Kite Over Maui

Aloha!

Eyes turned to the sky early this morning on Maui for the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st Century. This is due to the Moon passing through the edge of the umbra instead of the center where the circular diameter of the Earths shadow would be widest. The maximum time for totality (when the Moon passes into the umbra) can be up to 1 hour 40 minutes so the umbral portion lasting only a little more than 4 minutes is a short one. The time of partial eclipse this morning made for a beautiful transition across the lunar surface of darkness and then totality. As I always see a rabbit in the Moon I thought maybe the Easter Rabbit Moon has a lot to do getting all those eggs hidden and no time for a long performance, though it was still a great show!

This is a 7×50 binocular view sketch during totality. The Rabbit in the Moon appears to be flying a kite asterism which seemed fitting for the spring occasion of the season.

Happy Easter!

Cindy (Thia) L. Krach
Eclipse time 12:16-3:45HAST
Umbral Phase 1:58-2:03 HAST
Maui, HI

Black Strathmore Artagain paper
Conte Crayon & x colored pencils, white charcoal pencil, brush technique to apply colors
Contrast adjustment in Photoscape


Brilliant Saturn at the Dark Lunar Limb

A conjunction of the Moon and the planet Saturn - September 27, 2014
A conjunction of the Moon and the planet Saturn – September 27, 2014

Aloha!

I had plans to go to the summit of Haleakala to observe the occultation of Saturn by the Moon, but clouds and wind kept me closer to home. I was delighted when a patch of sky opened up and I could observe the wonderful phenomenon from home.

As I was observing Saturn get closer to our Moon I was struck by how small it appeared in comparison, appearing the size of some of the smaller lunar craters. I began sketching in the details of the Moon and noticed a few stars I wanted to include. I needed to do some erasures because one of the stars was occulted ~15 minutes before Saturn, an unexpected treat. Once Saturn made it to the limb I could not clearly time the initial ingress as conditions began to deteriorate. It was however brilliantly lit in comparison to the dark lunar limb. I noted time as 19:41:36 HAST when all evidence of Saturn disappeared. My sketch is as Saturn had partially slipped past the limb. I was unable to view egress as the Moon had slipped behind clouds by this time.

Occultation of Saturn by the Moon
Maui, Hawaii
4,000el
SV102ED 79x
9/27/14
Black paper, white & black charcoal
Photoscape to clean up sketch

Cindy (Thia) Krach


An Interesting Contrast – Riccioli and Grimaldi Craters

Riccioli and Grimaldi Craters
Riccioli and Grimaldi Craters
Move cursor over image to view labels.

Aloha!

After a bit of a slump, I decided to get out & observe a little of our Moon. On the lunar west limb I spotted 2 craters that appeared so different from one another that I was intrigued. I knew that one was Grimaldi but was not certain about the other. I sat down to sketch at the eyepiece on a night of good seeing conditions in Hawaii.

Riccioli Crater is the large (140 km) lunar impact crater at the western terminus of the sketch. It is bordered to the southeast by the larger (230 km) Grimaldi & to the northwest by Hevelius. Hedin is still in the darkness and only the edge becoming lit.

Riccioli appears elongate with rough crater walls casting sharp jagged shadows into the basin. There is also visible roughness & debris within the crater. This debris & other striated formations in the region are believed to have been created by ejecta from the formation of the Orientale impact basin to the southwest not seen here. The roughness of Riccioli is in stark contrast to Grimaldi which appears smooth by comparison. Grimaldi, covered in lava makes it appear more like a mare than a crater.

There appears to be a dark line or peak running from Riccioli to crater Lohrmann directly to the east. Multiple small brightly lit rimmed craters surround this area. A double crater with 2 bright rims of light can be seen at the northeast edge of Riccioli.

Both Riccioli & Grimaldi craters were named by 17th century Jesuit priests & colleagues Francesco Maria Grimaldi & Giovanni Baptista Riccioli, who were responsible for many of the names given to features on the Moon today.

Thia (Cindy) Krach
12.5” Portaball 169x
Maui, Hawaii
4/23/13
Black Fabriano paper
white & black charcoal pencils


Sirsalis and Damoiseau

Sirsalis and Damoiseau Region

Sirsalis and Damoiseau Region
Hover cursor over image to view labels.

Aloha,

I submit a lunar sketch of the Sirsalis & Damoiseau region bordering Oceanus Procellarum at the western region of the Moon created almost a year ago. What a wonderful area to explore with interesting concentric craters of Damoiseau & the double crater of Sirsalis at this angle of light. Unseen Grimaldi lies in the darkness to the west.

Object: Lunar craters Sirsalis & Damoiseau @ ~13 days lunation
Telescope: 12.5” Portaball 9mm Nagler 169X
Location: Maui Hawaii, 4000 ft elevation
Date: 2/4/12 7:45pm
Medium: Black art paper, white & black charcoal

Thia (Cindy) Krach


Comet PanSTARRS and the 1 Day Old Moon

C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) and Crescent Moon
C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) and Crescent Moon

On the evening of March 12, 2013, I was treated to a pleasant view of the 1.26 day old Moon (1.8% illuminated) and comet C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS from 07:00pm to 07:20pm local time Mesa, Arizona. I had an excellent view of the clear western sky and I could see the comet naked eye about 6.5 diameters to the south of the Moon.

To assist in making the rough graphite sketch I used a 5x 50mm finder scope removed from an Orion telescope. After returning home from Arizona to Illinois I made a color drawing from field notes and the graphite sketch. I was planning on a color sketch but the number of colors need and blending seemed too much for the 30 minutes to comet set.

Sketching:

Graphite pencils: 6B, 4B and 2B also black and white pastel pencils on white sketching paper.

Color drawing was made with black and white charcoal pencils and an assortment of color pencils on medium blue paper.

Frank McCabe


NGC 1187 Galaxy in Eridanus

NGC 1187
NGC 1187

NGC 1187 Spiral Galaxy in Eridanus
Spiral Galaxy
Location: Rush Valley, Utah
December 26th, 2011
Charcoal on Black Paper

The night after Christmas was clear so me and my observing buddy and friend Mat went out to the West Desert here in Utah for a night of observing. I am working on the Eridanus and Fornax Galaxy Clusters right now and this one was a good place to start. I used my 27mm Panoptic as my finder and the galaxy popped right out with it. It was large, spacious and somewhat faint. I then moved to a 10mm Pentax XW and found more detail. The nucleus is stellar with a bright core region around it, surrounded by diffusion. Using averted vision popped the core. Fun object to find, observe and sketch. I used my Orion XX14i on this object, which is a 14 inch truss dob. The conditions were clear, cold, about 15 degrees and the seeing is rated at an Antoniadi II.


The Eagle Has Landed

Messier 16
Messier 16 - The Eagle Nebula

Hi all,

HOORAY! A clear dark sky!

This was my first visit to Wiruna, the dark sky site of the Astronomical Society of New South Wales (many thanks to Alex Comino for organizing my stay there 😉 ). This was the stomping ground of Scott Mellish, and it was such a great experience to meet some of his friends up there. He is so sorely missed.

Conditions started marvelously. Using my 17.5” dob, my first squiz of M16, had me gasping “There it is! There’s the Eagle!” So clear was the dark pillar system. So much so that I could also make out the distinct highlighted leading edge of the pillars! Even with an OIII filter! So cool!

This sketch of the Eagle took around two hours to complete.

It was also my first use of another treasure of an eyepiece, a Unitron 16mm Konig eyepiece. What a marvelous eyepiece! Not as long in eyerelief as newer eyepieces, but the image is one of the brightest I’ve seen, and easily has a 70* FOV.

Object: M16, The Eagle Nebula

Scope: 17.5” f/4.5 dob, push pull

Gear: Unitron 16mm Konig, 125X, + OIII filter, 33.6’ AFOV

Date: 2’nd June, 2011

Location: Wiruna, Ilford, Australia

Materials: White pastel, black & white charcoal pencils and white ink on A4 size black paper

Cheers,

Alex M.


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

Cheers,

Alex M.


A Rushed First Quarter

Hi all,

Time at the eyepiece has been scarce so far this year. And as yet, still no productive time at a dark sky site either. Thankfully we still have the Moon!

This one hour sketch of the first quarter phase of the Moon was a bit of a race. That was all the time I had before the Moon went behind the neighbour’s palm tree, plus conditions were cold and windy. I guess as close to “Extreme Astro Sketching” as I’d like to get to, LOL!

This was also the first sketch undertaken with a real old girl scope, a beautiful early 1980’s orange tube C8. No GPS, no periodic error control, no Go-to, no special lens coatings, doesn’t even make me coffee. Just a little clock drive. Cool.

Object: first quarter phase Moon
Scope: 30 year old C8
Gear: GSO Superview 30mm, 66X
Date: 11th May, 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Conditions: Poor, windy and cold
Media: White and black charcoal pencils, white and black Chinagraph, & graphite pencil on A4 size black paper.

Cheers,

Alex M.


A Nebulous Study

Hi all,

Sydney’s skies have been terrible for a long time. Finally tonight we got a clear, cloudless and dewless night. And I wasn’t going to let a little Moonlight get in the way.

As Sydney’s skies are also loaded with light pollution, the full potential of the Eta Carina nebula isn’t realized. The Homunculus Nebula isn’t visible at 29X – it’s too small. However, its distinctive colour is visible, it is the bright, orangeish star.

This sketch was more a case of blowing out some cobwebs from my pencil case. Modest gear, short time, and a refreshing ale. A target I wish to revisit in the coming New Moon from a dark site.

Object: NGC 3372, Eta Carina Nebula
Type: Emission nebula
Scope: 8” f/4 Newtonian, dob mounted
Gear: RKE 28mm (29X) and OIII filter
Location: Sydney
Date: 23rd March, 2011
Conditions: Awful Sydney sky + last ¼ Moon.
Media: White pastel, black & white charcoal, white and coloured ink on black paper

Cheers,

Alex M.


Revisiting Two Old friends

Hi all,

Tonight I received one of my biggest and most pleasant surprises at the eyepiece. It wasn’t using a half metre + monster, nor from an especially dark site. Rather, it was using my nearly 30 year old 2” f/12 Tasco refractor, and from my home in Sydney!

Over a year ago I purchased an adaptor to allow me to use 1.25” eyepieces with this little refractor, with the idea of one day making it into a finder scope. Tonight I finally got to try it out, and dust off the little refractor after many years of being unused. What I didn’t expect was the image I was to see of M42. Even the eyepiece used was a modest Super Plossl 25mm.

When I first used this little telescope, all I could see of M42 was the inner core nebulosity that surrounds the Trapesium. Tonight, despite the extra light pollution, but with 30 years experience, and I guess better eyepieces than the original, DIDN’T I SEE DETAIL!!

I even managed to see the faint, nebulous glow that makes up the Running Man nebula too.

This is the first sketch I managed to do at the eyepiece, since my meeting with Scott Mellish, nearly 2 months ago!

Scott, many thanks again for showing me your amazing technique. It has changed the way I sketch DSO’s with a pencil, paper and a dry paint brush!

Gear: 2” f/12 thirty year old refractor
Eyepiece: 25mm Super Plossl, 24X
Filter: OIII
Media: white pastel, white and black charcoal on black paper
Date: 30th December 2010
Location: my backyard, Sydney

Alex M.