Solar Serpent

Solar Filament & Prominence - 26 April 2015
Solar Filament & Prominence – 26 April 2015


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
Maui, Hawaii
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

Cindy L. Krach
Haleakala Amateur Astronomers

Solar Prominence from Ireland

Solar Prominence - 13 May 2015
Solar Prominence – 13 May 2015

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

Best regards

Deirdre Kelleghan




Total Lunar Eclipse – 4 March 2015

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

Easter Rabbit Moon Flies a Kite Over Maui


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

Western Highland Peninsula Craters

Western Highland Peninsula Craters
Western Highland Peninsula Craters

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.

Western Highland Peninsula Craters
Western Highland Peninsula Craters

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)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II
Transparency: 4/5
Co longitude: 0.7°
Lunation: 7.20 days
Illumination: 56.1 %

Frank McCabe

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

Prominence Extraordinaire! H-alpha Prominence 1-10-15

Solar Prominence - January 10, 2015
Solar Prominence – January 10, 2015


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.

Solar Prominence
h-alpha 60mm Lunt
Maui, Hawaii
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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Keep up the great work,

Jeremy Perez
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ASOD webmasters

Crater Posidonius at Sunset

Lunar crater Posidonius and environs at sunset - August 7, 2012
Lunar crater Posidonius and environs at sunset – August 7, 2012

Crater Posidonius at Sunset

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 %

Frank McCabe

Lunar Terminator Near to the Western Limb

LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013

Lunar Terminator Near to the Western Limb

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 %

Frank McCabe

Lambert & Mons La Hire

Crater Lambert, Mons La Hire and Dorsum Zirkel - February 9, 2014
Crater Lambert, Mons La Hire and Dorsum Zirkel – February 9, 2014

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 hope you like it.

Kind regards, Dale

Do you want to know more about my interest in astronomy? If so take a look at my Website:

Keep up to date with observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading the Blog

14.16-day-old Moon

Gibbous Moon - February 14, 2014
Gibbous Moon – February 14, 2014

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.

Best regards,
Erika Rix
Texas, USA

H-Alpha Sun – May 3, 2012

H-Alpha Sun - May 3, 2012
H-Alpha Sun – May 3, 2012

2012 05 07, 1315 UT – 1500 UT.
NOAA 11476, 11474, 11475, 11471.

PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas – Erika Rix
Temp: 26.72°C, winds SE 4mph, partly cloudy to scattered.
Seeing: Wilson 4.5, Transparency: 4/6, 50x, Alt: 30.2, Az: 087.2.
Maxscope DS 60mm H-alpha, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III.

Sketches created at the eyepiece with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang color pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

I’ve really been enjoying the current set of active regions the past few days. It would be nice to sketch each individual active region as a close up view, but to do that would take several hours. As it was today, I struggled with a group of thick clouds for the first hour of my session. The sky was crystal clear when I set up and I chose to ignore the weather channel for my area stating that we could have thunderstorms at 8 a.m. Thankfully the storms never came…the clouds did. I was able to catch glimpses of the Sun in between the clouds and by 8:45 a.m., the sky was nearly unobstructed.

The first features added to the sketch after the prominences were plage from 1476 and 1471. Next came the sunspots themselves and filamentary structure. By 9:10 a.m. (1410 UT), very bright plage appeared just north of the sunspots in 1471. I haven’t been able to confirm yet if it was a solar flare, having expected possible flare activity in 1476 instead. But it lasted nearly an hour before it dulled somewhat. Near the end of my session, 1471’s plage brightened quite a bit to the eastern side of the major sunspot in that region as well as about five more degrees further east again.

1474 and 1475 paled in comparison to the two major active regions. There were nice filaments and thin plage that made them easy to find.

The large chain of filament reaching to the southern limb was still there, although thinner. Prominences scattered around the limb were insignificant.

Eight Active Regions and a Billowy Prom

Solar Prominence - May 16, 2012, 1445 UT - 315° PA
Solar Prominence – May 16, 2012, 1445 UT – 315° PA

2012 05 16, 1300 – 1600 UT .
NOAAs 11476, 11477, 11478, 11479, 11481, 11482, 11484, 11485.

PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas – Erika Rix
Temp: 17.2°-27.8C, calm-N 5mph, clear.
Seeing: Wilson 4.8-4.6, Transparency: 5/6, 50x.
Maxscope DS 60mm H-alpha, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III.

Sketches created at the eyepiece with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang color pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

As of this morning, there were 8 active regions on the Sun. Plage and filaments scattered over three quarters of the solar disk with sunspots popping in and out of view crisply as it moved in and out of the scope’s sweet spot. A large diffuse quiet region filament, similar to the one observed on May 6, 2012, was to the SE quadrant reaching out over the limb. Two large bright prominences were located at PA 70 and 115 with several smaller ones scattered around the limb. The prom at 70 degrees had very faint wisps of structure reaching between the three brightest regions.

I had started to draw the full solar disk when a faint pair of prominences to the NW caught my eye. I had accidentally kicked the adaptor that was plugged into my power pack and the mount turned off, allowing the disk to drift across my field of view. When this happened, a huge billow of plasma floated above the limb. It was attached by very slender lines of plasma to the thick fainter prom at the 315 degrees position angle. It had the appearance of a large balloon being blown to the south while tethered to the ground. Tossing my larger sketchpad to the side, I grabbed the smaller pad and quickly sketched this prom. As the course this morning’s observation went on, the billowed top of the prominence changed quite dramatically. I almost expected it to either break free or collapse on itself before my session ended but by the time I completed the full disk sketch, it was still there.

The prominences near 1476 were dense and compact. The plage was very brightly formed as several slender lines within that active region. The main sunspot in 1476 was very easy to spot in h-alpha although the ARFs were very thin and few.

1479 is reminiscent of 1476 several days ago, although the preceding spot standing alone is on the opposite end. Of course, another difference that the sunspots in 1479 are smaller. They may develop more as the days go on. Here’s hoping for beautiful weather so we can keep an eye on it.

Solar Prominence - May 16, 2012, 1345 UT - 70° PA
Solar Prominence – May 16, 2012, 1345 UT – 70° PA
H-Alpha Sun - May 16, 2012, 1550 UT
H-Alpha Sun – May 16, 2012, 1550 UT

Gassendi Crater

Gassendi Crater
Gassendi Crater
Move cursor over image to view labels.

2012 06 01, 0238 UT – 0446 UT Gassendi
PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas, Erika Rix

Celestron Omni XLT 102mm, 24-8mm Baader Planetarium Mark III Hyperion, 2x Barlow, 250x
Temp 71° F, 60% humidity, S: Antoniadi II, T: 5/6
Eyepiece sketch black Strathmore Artagain paper, Conte crayon and pastel pencil, charcoal pencil
Phase: 45.8 deg, Lunation: 11.21 d, Illumination: 84.8%
Lib. Lat: +05:08, Lib. Long: -04:13
Az: +209:11, Alt: 41:03

Located on the northern border of Mare Humorum, crater Gassendi is an impact crater formed during the Nectarian period (-3.92 to 3.85 billion years ago) that later was modified after volcanic activity, becoming a fractured-floor crater. Gassendi is believed to have been filled with lava from the inside, raising its floor, creating stress fractures in the process. This would explain it being considered a walled plain with a shallow depth of 2.8 km. The central peaks (~1200 m high) remain and several rilles (called Rimae Gassendi) were formed on the lava-filled floor during the Imbrian geological period -3.85 to –3.2 billion years ago.

Crater Gassendi A was formed during the Copernician period (–1.1 billion years ago to the present day) and overlaps Gassendi’s northern rim. The pairing of Gassendi and Gassendi A resembles a diamond ring and makes a very striking feature to observe 3 days after first quarter or two days after last quarter of lunation. My observation was nearly three days after first quarter.

Gassendi’s southern rim was swallowed by the lava of Mare Humorum leaving only a thin crest line to support its circular shape. Dorsa ran from the southern rim to Gassendi O (11 km wide). The sharp ridge that defines the border of Mare Humorum to the SW of Gassendi adds to the crater’s unmistakable identification.

At the beginning of my session, Spica and Saturn lined up to align with the Moon. Spica was 2.08 degrees north of the Moon and Saturn was 6.9 degrees north of the Moon. Extending further north, Arcturus was nearly in line as well at 31.8 degrees north of the Moon

Werner’s X

Werner X
Werner X

hi, we ‘re facing another long period with really bad conditions for our hobby, here in Belgium. We exactly had 2 clear nights in the past 3 months. No good at all. But we were lucky yesterday. Clear skies and … exactly when Werner’s X is about to appear. Half past ten PM (22u33) local time, the X appeared slowly. The sketch was made with Conté pastel on black paper.
Equipment used: Tele Vue 101 SDF on Tele Vue Gibraltar mount. Indeed the way Steven O’Meara used to work for his books. Tele Vue Nagler Zoom 3-6mm. No filters used.

Mare Crisium Illuminated on the Young Moon

Mare Crisium

Mare Crisium – Hover mouse over image to view labels

Mare Crisium is that interesting isolated sea on the northeastern side of the visible lunar surface. Not long before beginning the sketch, it became fully illuminated.

The Nectarian Period impact event that formed this feature occurred more than 3.8 billion years ago. The mare portion of the basin is about 500 kilometers across. In the grazing sunlight on the floor, wrinkled ridges were visible. Also on the western floor craters Picard (24 km.), Peirce (19 km.) and Swift (11km.) stood out in the low light. I could see the lighter gray bench lava that partly buried craters here such as Yerkes (37 km.). Tall flat top mountains (massifs) beyond the shore stand at 2-5 kilometers above the sea. Both promontoria Lavinium and Olivium stood out clearly in very brief moments.


For this sketch I used: 400 series black Strathmore Artagain paper 9″x 9″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic eraser.
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/ 6 Dobsonian with 6mm (332x)
Date: 2-13 & 14-2013 23:00 – 00:45 UT
Temperature: 1.7°C (35°F)
Weather: clear, calm
Seeing: not good Antoniadi IV
Co longitude: 310.9°
Lunation: 3.69 days
Illumination: 15.7%

Frank McCabe

The Modified Crater Heraclitus

Crater Heraclitus
Crater Heraclitus

The southern lunar highlands expose the ancient anorthositic crust between craters. Centered in this southern highland sketch is the buried pre-Imbrian crater Heraclitus (92 km.) with its unusual central mountain crest. This ridge or crest looks much like the one on the floor of the elongated crater Schiller formed during its shallow angle impact. The ends of Heraclitus are buried under Licetus (77 km.) to the north and Heraclitus D (52 km.) to the south. Its easy to imagine this possible Schiller twin here partly hidden. To the east is crater Cuvier (76 km.) with its smooth floor and western wall pressing in on Heraclitus.

Labeled Crater Heraclitus
Labeled Crater Heraclitus


For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps. The scanned sketch is unmodified

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 4 mm eyepiece 362x
Date: 09-24-2012, 00:15 – 01:50 UT
Temperature: 10°C (50° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: average Antoniadi III
Colongitude 11.3 °
Lunation 7.9 days
Illumination: 63.5 %

Frank McCabe

M20 – The Trifid Nebula

Messier 20
Messier 20

M20 (BN/DN in Sgr)
Location : Mt. Bo-Hyun, South Korea (1,100M)
Date : May/27/2012
Media : Black paper, White Pastel / Conte
Equipment : Discovery 15″ Dob, Pentax XL 14mm

Hi. ASOD and everyone.

Last May, the latitude of the M20 is enough than I think. So I observe the Trifid nebula. The most distinctive appearance is the asymmetric three-pronged dark lane and the two fuzzy star located in the middle of the nebula.


조 강 욱 / Kang Uk, Cho

Western rim of Mare Crisium

Crater Line Linne
Mare Crisium (Move mouse over image to view labels)

2012 09 04, 0330 UT – 0615 UT Mare Crisium
Erika Rix, Texas –

AT6RC f/9 1370mm, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III (FOV 68 degrees at 171x), no filter
84F, 56% H, winds gusting 5-10 mph, clear, Antoniadi IV increasing to II, T 3/6
Alt: 11deg 43´, Az: 83deg 22´ to Alt: 46deg 21´, Az: 105deg 21´
Phase: 318.4 degrees, Lunation: 17.48 d, Illumination: 87.4%
Lib. Lat: -03:07, Lib. Long: +03.74

Type: Sea (Sea of Crisis)
Geological period: Nectarian (From -3.92 billion years to -3.85 billion years)
Dimension: 740km
Floor: lava-filled and is ~ 1.8 km below lunar datum
Outer rim: ~3.34 km above lunar datum

Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent watercolor pencil, black charcoal, black oil pencil.

The evening started off with DSO hunting while waiting for the Moon to come up, even though the stars were and faint galaxies were starting to wash out from the moonlight rounding the eastern horizon. I started a sketch of M12 that will have to wait for another night to complete when the Moon isn’t so much of a factor.

Once the Moon rose between two short junipers behind me, I switched to black paper and scanned the terminator. Mare Crisium looked like it was taking a bite out of the Moon. I’ve always been a bit intimidated at sketching rough terrain, but took a stab at it nevertheless. Sketching in the highlights makes it incredibly easier in fast moving areas such as along the terminator. The trick is to have very sharp pencils at hand, and I made sure of that during set up before it got dark outside – although I did have to resharpen once or twice during the session (as well as stand up and stretch.) It was a rush against time to render the basin’s western edge before the shadows swallowed the view.

I began with the inner ridge line along the terminator, marking each highlighted crest individually with a very sharp Conte’ pastel pencil. Then as quickly and accurately as I could, started working my way west, alternating between the Conte’, charcoal, Derwent and oil pencils, focusing first on the highlights, then the shadows, followed by albedo.

Of particular interest, Crisium sports the crash landing site(although not visible from last night’s lunar phase) of the Soviet’s Luna 15 in 1969 and the landing site of Luna 24, 1976, when soil samples where successfully brought back to earth.

This was my first time observing the Moon with the AT6RC and once seeing sharpened up, the views were crisp and clear with good contrast. It’s especially good that we’ve never had to collimate this scope and I’m looking forward to trying it out on Jupiter soon.

Partial Annular Eclipse

Partial Annular Eclipse Sequence - May 20, 2012

2012 05 20 Partial Annular Eclipse
PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas, Erika Rix

H-Alpha Sun - May 20, 2012
H-Alpha Sun - May 20, 2012
H-Alpha Eclipse Diagram - May 20, 2012
H-Alpha Eclipse Diagram - May 20, 2012

Knowing that we fell within a good band to view a partial portion of the annular eclipse, Paul and I scoped out the local county roads earlier in the day for optimal horizons. The partial eclipse for our location was due to start at 1932 ST (0032 UT) which would only give about 50 minutes of eclipse viewing before sunset. The skies cleared up and we were fortunate to have perfect viewing conditions that evening.

I started off drawing the full solar disk in h-alpha. Four active regions lined up east to west with two more to the south (depicted to the top of the first sketch in the animation). I then made a quick second sketch to use for recording the times and placements of the Moon as it passed between Earth and the Sun.

First contact was at 0032 UT. The first marking was at 0035 UT. I set my iPhone’s timer to go off every five minutes until sunset, marking the Moon’s progress each increment with my oil pencil along with the times. In between, Paul and I would alternate using a pair of solar glasses from and the views from my double-stacked Coronado Maxscope 60mm h-alpha telescope.

The first image of the animation shows the original sketch in its entirety. Later, I used the second solar disk sketch as a reference to recreate the eclipse on the original sketch with a cut out circular piece of black Strathmore paper. This animation is the result.

As the solar disk became too dim to view (represented in the last couple frames of the animation), I was forced to leave the eyepiece and enjoy the last several minutes with the solar glasses and my camera.

Two original sketches created at the eyepiece with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang color pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

Prominence Ejection Sequence – May 17, 2012

Prominence Ejection Sequence - May 17, 2012
Prominence Ejection Sequence - May 17, 2012

2012 05 17, 1245 UT – 1845 UT
NOAAs 11476, 11477, 11478, 11479, 11482, 11484, NE Prominence

PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas – Erika Rix
Temp: 20-30C, calm – S 5mph, clear.
Seeing: Wilson 4.8-1.2, Transparency: 5/6-4/6, 50x.
Maxscope DS 60mm H-alpha, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III.

Sketches created at the eyepiece with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang color pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

Link to gallery of individual sketches within the sequence.

During the time I observed, a very large prominence off the northeast limb was enlarging and in the process of ejecting as it broke free from the magnetic fields supporting it. I’ve never visually witnessed that large of a prominence breaking away from the Sun before. What really stunned me was how bright it remained over several hours that far off the limb. I grabbed an 8-sketch sequence spanning over 6 hours of the event, not including the full disk rendering I recorded earlier in the day. The last 35 minutes of my session, the prominence became very faint and diffuse. I stopped seeing any connection from the limb after 1717 UT. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t, but was perhaps too faint for my tired eyes to see.