I was delighted this morning to find this dark and large filament at the north-eastern limb of our Sun. It had the appearance of a large serpent with foot like projections anchoring it to the solar surface and then visible curving around the limb. The filament is magnetic curtains of plasma hovering over the Sun’s surface, this an especially large and detailed one. I read on the Spaceweather site that the length of the filament would measure the distance from the Earth to the Moon. That’s one big serpent!
Solar Filament & Prominence
h-alpha 60mm Lunt 35x
4/26/15 0800-0845 HST
Black Strathmore Artagain Paper
White Conte’ Crayon & charcoal pencils, black & white
Photoscape Software to colorize, Photoshop Software to reduce size
I went out to sketch the AR 2339 in h-alpha but when I saw this massive Hedgerow type prominence on the limb it had to be done.
PST 40 halpha scope ,8mm eyepiece / 50X
Pastels and Conte on black paper. 13:33 UT May 13th 2015
Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland
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.
Cindy (Thia) L. Krach
Eclipse time 12:16-3:45HAST
Umbral Phase 1:58-2:03 HAST
Black Strathmore Artagain paper
Conte Crayon & x colored pencils, white charcoal pencil, brush technique to apply colors
Contrast adjustment in Photoscape
For those that observe and sketch the Moon, trying to pick targets just before, just at and just after first quarter can be much fun because there are so many choices in good relief. On this occasion I chose two large walled plain craters near the terminator. Albategnius (129 km.) the younger of the two ancient craters and further from the terminator it was displaying its central peak (1.5km. tall) and large crater Klein (44 km.) on its rim. Crater Halley (36 km.) to the northeast is notably a kilometer deeper than Klein and although further from the terminator has a completely shadowed floor with that greater depth.
The other large crater Ptolemaeus (154km.) was on the terminator at the beginning of my sketch.
With the sun so low the rim shadows were long and were creating a special effect. In combination with the rim shadow of little crater Ammonius (8.5 km.) I could see old Nesse. Jim Adlhoch describes the floor shadow as looking like the head and neck of the Loch Ness monster- see Lunar Photo of the Day September 4, 2014.
Crater Ptolemaeus has a floor covered with many shallow bowl shaped craters, ghosts buried under lava. These ghost craters can be seen at low sun but the central peak is completely absent. To the north is crater Herschel (41 km.) with a shadowed floor.
For this sketch I used: Black Canson sketching paper, 10”x10”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/ 6 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 222x
Date: 01-28-2015 00:05-02:00 UT
Temperature: -4°C (25°F)
Seeing: Antoniadi II
Co longitude: 0.7°
Lunation: 7.20 days
Illumination: 56.1 %
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
Cream colored sketch paper, grey & white Conte’ Crayon, 2B & 6B pencils and #2 pencil. Contrast adjusted in Photoscape.
I think what I like best about solar observing is you never know what you will find going on! This large prominence at the eastern limb appeared extraordinary in its detailed and lacey appearance. Seeing was very good and at higher magnification a network of bright areas appeared, much like a picture of a neuron cell with branching filaments extending in all directions. Tilting Sun Graphics are used to denote prominence location.
h-alpha 60mm Lunt
0945-1020 HST (1945-2020 UT)
Black Canson paper, white & black charcoal pencil, watercolor pencil & Conte’ Crayon
Tilting Sun Graphics
Cindy (Thia ) L. Krach
Haleakala Amateur Astronomers
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On this night I watched the sunset terminator creep slowly toward ring-plain crater Posidonius; in addition I sketched the crater and other features on the floor of Mare Serenitatis. Posidonius (96 km.) is an old upper Imbrian era impact remnant. Its age is underlined by the way shadows penetrate the rim at numerous points betraying impact damage there. The highest part of the rim is on the terminator side of this crater. Sunlight was still reaching Posidonius A and other high points on ridges including one on the inner ring. Beyond this crater to the west and south the great serpentine ridge could be seen in best light. This ridge is made up of dorsa Smirnov and dorsa Lister.
For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased just slightly using my scanner.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241x
Date: 08-07-2012, 06:30 – 07:40 UT
Temperature: 29°C (85° F) clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 147.9 °
Lunation 19 days
Illumination: 73.4 %
On Sunday evening I was getting a wonderful view of the lunar terminator near the western limb just a half day before full Moon. The favorable longitudinal libration of -04° 40’ was creating an opportunity to see craters along the terminator that are often poorly placed for viewing.
With storms on the way from the southwest this was a good evening to attempt a sketch. The calm before the arrival of storms often leaves the seeing fair to good as was the case on this night. Craters such as Vasco da Gama (99 km.), Bohr (73 km.), Dalton (63 km.), Balboa (71 km.) and part of Einstein (175 km.) were all seen. Craters Cardanus (51 km.) and Krafft (53 km.) and the crater chain (catena) between them were in bright sunlight. The views all along the terminator were magnificent.
For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper (9” x 12”), white and black Conte’
pastel pencils. In addition a small artist’s brush and powdered Conte’ white crayon was used for blending. Contrast was slightly increased (+2) using a scanner to better match the original.
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/ 5.9 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 327 X
Date: 02-25-2013, 04:00-06:30 UT
Temperature: 0.0° C (32° F)
Partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 86.9 °
Lunation 14.87 days
Illumination 99.5 %
Made this sketch of crater Lambert, Mons La Hire and Dorsum Zirkel and surrounding areas this evening, using my 505mm mirror and Watec video camera on its least sensitive setting. The view on the monitor was delightful and one I shared with optical designer and engineer Mr Es Reid of Cambridge, all very civilized and enjoyable.
The sketch was made on black A5 220gm art paper using Conte hard pastels and acrylic paint for bright highlights and deep shadow.
I’ve been doing a study on lunar phases and this is my latest sketch. This is a photo of it from last night after wrapping up my observing session. No adjustments have been made to the sketch other than cropping the lower blank portion of the paper.
My phase sketches used to take close to two hours to complete at the eyepiece. I’ve been building up my endurance to 3-4 hours for a single sketch to include more detail. Obviously, the terminator is drawn first to “freeze” the time stamp on the phase. Then I work my way across the disk at a more leisurely pace, moving my observing chair and stool gradually as the session progresses.
I used a 102mm f/9.8 refractor on an LXD75 mount, 20mm eyepiece setting on my Hyperion zoom, and a 13% T Moon filter to help with contrast. The media is black Strathmore Artagain paper (60 lb., 160 g/m2), white charcoal pencil, black charcoal pencil, white Conte’ crayon, white Conte’ pastel pencil, black Conte’ color pencil,and a blending stump for the maria. I used a circular 6-inch protractor to outline the lunar disk.
Total eyepiece/sketch time is just over four hours on this one.