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.
I got the comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) from Norway, Trondheim.
This one was a fine object, big coma but no seen structures near nucleus
and no tail. Info on my sketch!
I used pencil and inkpen on white paper (inverted).
Hope you enjoy my sketch and observation!
I wish you all happy new year and clear skies!!
NGC2525 is love from my location in Puppis and is very attractive.
I was using the 505mm mirror, cooled Watec 120N+ video camera, sketching form the monitor image onto cartridge paper with draughtsman 0.3 ink pen for brighter star images, HB pencil for fainter ones, 3B pencil for galaxy detail which is then worked with a blending stump and eraser to achieve the desired match with the screen image, the whole sketch is then scanned and inverted to give a realistic view.
My sketch of lunar crater Clavius together with smaller craters Porter and Rutherfurd at the top of the drawing. Clavius measures 225km in diameter and is located near the southern pole of the Moon. It is named after Christophorus Clavius, a 16th century German mathematician and astronomer.
Observed from Teulon Manitoba Canada
10:-11 CDT (15:00-16:00 UTC) Oct 21 2014
Graphite pencil and ink pen on white paper. Tinting added digitally to mimic the filter colour.
Observed this giant complex in visible light at 32x through Apogee RA 88 b
Hi Asod! My sketch is about a triple and a double stars, in the same field. The triple is STRUVE 2816 and the double STRUVE 2819 and they are both part of the wide open cluster “Trumpler 37″ in Cepheus. I observed the two multiple systems with my Dobson 10” f/5 with a 14mm eyepiece, 82° for a 180x magnification. The observation is great!
Object Name: STRUVE 2816 and STRUVE 2819
Object Type: Triple star, Double star
Location: Copertino (LE), ITALY
Date: 23:40, 19-10-2014 (Local)
Media: India Ink on white paper, inverted
This was the second sketch I completed at this year’s Astrofest back in July.
M22 is a true jewel of the night sky. This giant globular cluster from a dark site it can be a naked eye object as well. It is large enough for even smaller telescopes to resolve its multitude of component stars, revealing its large and intense core.
M22 is beautiful in my 17.5” scope. It is very different from Omega Centauri and 47Tuc – could even describe it as the ‘runt’ of the giant globulars as its core is not as busy as its bigger brothers. But the component stars of its core are absolutely brilliant, arranged in so many signature patterns. It is slowly turning into a favourite of mine with its understated brilliance, loud without being overbearing presence, and sitting on a magnificent carpet of the Milky Way glow.
I won’t say much here. I’ll let M22 do its own quite whispering of its magnificence. Yeah, I think one firm fav of mine now…
Object: M22 globular cluster
Scope: 17.5” push-pull Karee dobsonian
Gear: 22mm LVW, 91X
Location: Linville, Queensland, Australia
Date: 24th July, 2014
Media: Soft pastel and white ink on A4 size black paper
Duration: approx. 2.5hrs
I hope,have to correct my previous ASOD posted that sketched on 11,11,2011 [ The Chevallier crater ] as to [The Zeno crater] ….. in the begining month of this year I found this name in Wiki and now most probably this split rimed crater,s name is maybe “Zeno” . The LRO photo shows a 5 km diameter criminal impactor crater vividly laid on the demolished and streamed down rim-wall that I think must be made of reratively soft weak meterial or even I think the small impactor crater was not ” the a criminal ” for this dramaticaly split rim of Zeno.
This 60km diameter crater is located near the Moon,s limb upper Mare Crisium and looked always long slender elliptical shape. For the first time I saw it accidentally with my 8″ dob on excelent seeing night on 10.25, 1999. Second time,with my 8″ refractor on 11.11,2011 , and now I have 10-12 night observations for this interesting crater.
The bottom in my sketch , a inserted 8″ dob,s old sketch shows a small convex hill between split rims of maybe over 2-4km height and that was sketched also as a more impactor crater like in my other 8″ og observations at more favorable librations but even yet where I did not certain whether it was the impactor crater or a massif hill ,barely visible.
The 16″ dob sketch shows the Zeno with it,s environs well, When starting 13″ og observing after 16″ dob , the shadow of the strong jet-stream flow over 20km upper atmosphere passed through on the lunar disc from north pole to south pole at a velocity per in every 0.1 second speed in the eyepices view for 15-20 minutes and strangely eyepiece seeing was ok . Still the interior environs between splited rims were not seen sharply but outer black sharp shadows were well seen, so, shadow [A] consistently 1 hour viewed on the other hand shadow [B] was not viewed for 40 minutes and unexpectedly suddenly appeared as a 2km long, 200m wide jet black shadow in the x420 84 * bino- eyepieces view . This [A] and [B] consist the two legs of the rushing out blackbird shape black shadow that I observed in other nights 1.5years ago.
Turn my eyes to the 500-600km long west lunar limb of Mare Orientale environs for a brief rest, I could see some 10-15 single mountains and 5-6 twin mountains which looked almost similarly but with less details than that I posted here 6,21, 2014. , untill soon after dark clouds stopped the night,s observation.
In recent several lunar observing night, I thought about why there exist no atmosphere molecules on the Moon,… It,s because of weak gravity, .. then from where and when the gravity begins or generates ?
Myself final answer yet…. it generated from in the body of the every a quark or a lepton as a form of “graviton particles” . Need more study.
Object; Zeno crater
Observe/ Sketch for 1.5 hours; AUG,11, 2014,
16″ dob, x130,x260, uwa14 #4000, 2x bal
13″ refractor, x 420, mostly uwa 8.8s #4000, binoviewer
tak abbe 6, 9mms, nagler 7mms
8″ dob (10,25,1999), x240, x480 , nagler4.8, 2x bal
Lunation ; all 16 -16.5 day
Location ; Backyard home in South Korea
A local made white paper [33 x25 cm] with pencils , black ink, and a old 1999 sketch was inserted
My oil painting 61x73cm imagened before I saw LRO photo of Zeno
This was the first sketch I completed at Astrofest in Queensland, Australia. I’ve been wanting to sketch this beautiful dark nebula ever since I first laid eye on it some three years ago. This dark nebula, B86, goes by the popular name of “The Ink Spot”. It sits smack bang in the centre of the densest star cloud in the whole sky, the Cloud of Sagittarius. And what sets it off even more is B86 has a gorgeous bright open cluster right next to it, NGC 6570. Both objects are more-or-less the same size as each other, even though both are not very large themselves. But it is the juxtaposition of these two very different objects against the blaze of the Milky Way that makes this pair a spectacular pairing.
Dark nebulae are clouds of dust and gas that are drifting through the Milky Way galaxy. Many of these conglomerations of dust and gas do end up being formed into stars and planets, but most just end up forming the fabric of the galaxy. In fact, the stars that we see actually only form a small percentage of the actual mass of galaxies. By far the greatest amount of a galaxy’s mass comes from this very dust and gas. The Ink Spot is a small patch of cloud. It is a very opaque nebula too. Dark nebulae are categorised according to their opacity, or how dark they are. The scale of opacity goes from 1 (very tenuous) through to 6 (very opaque). While the opacity of The Ink Spot may be a 5, it is because that it sits in the Cloud of Sagittarius that makes is a striking object.
The little open cluster NGC 6520 really works very well in setting off B86. Open clusters are groupings of stars that are all related to each other having been formed out of the same parent cloud of gas and dust. Evidence for this is seen in the spectra of the stars displaying the same chemical make up. The brothers and sisters of our own Sun have been identified this way, with the same chemical signature as our Sun having been identified in several close by stars even though the Sun’s ‘siblings’ have long drifted off away from each other. Open clusters are loose groupings, so even though they formed from the same source, their gravitational connection to each other is not strong enough to keep the group together for too long.
For me, this tiny patch of sky is one of my most favourite. Tiny and oh so precious. Brilliant, dark, stark, ghostly. All in one. Gorgeous.
Object: The Ink Spot, B86 & NGC 6570
Telescope: 17.5″ push-pull Karee dob
Gear: 13mm LVW, 154X
Location: Linville, Queensland, Australia
Date: 24th July, 2014
Media: Soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Duration: approx. 3hrs
It had been a while since I did a lunar sketch. May saw me complete my first lunar sketch in many months. I made several attempts, but on those occasions, seeing was so poor the Moon was ‘boiling’ using just 100X magnification. Disappointing and frustrating. Eventually things did change in my favour…
As always, unless I have a specific target in mind, I just let my eye wonder along the terminator to see what pricks my interest. And, as there are several repeated alphanumeric apparitions on the Moon, I’ve found a second avian one! Some time ago I spotted an owl formed around the crater Mercator. Last night I found a second Owl, this time around the flooded craters Fra Mauro (the fat body), Parry (the right eye), and Bonpland (the left eye).Cute little fella I think is formed here J.
As it turns out, Fra Mauro is just to the south of the Apollo 14 landing site – south is to the top of the page, so the Apollo 14 site lies just below where the Owl’s feet would be.
Object: “Little Fat Owl”, craters Fra Mauro, Parry and Bonpland
Scope: C8, 8” SCT
Gear: 5mm Baader Hyperion, 400X
Date: 8th May, 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: White & grey soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A5 size black paper
Duration: approx. 2hrs.
Hi Asod! This is my sketch of a very unusual object! A quasar, in the constellation of Virgo. It was very difficult to find it (mv=13), but I was able to read my star map. I observed the Quasar with my Dobson 10″ from San Severino Lucano (ITALY), a very dark sky.
I realized the sketch with a black ink pen on white paper, then inverted.
I hope you enjoy it!
Find attached a sketch of Sinus Iridum with craters Bianchini, Laplace A, Laplace D and Heraclides E done yesterday evening.
Object Name Sinus Iridum, The Moon
Object Type Impact basin
Location Dusseldorf region, Germany
Date June 8th, 2014, 2120-2205 CEST
Media white pastel pen, charcoal pen on black cardbox paper
Telescope: Celestron Nexstar 127/1500 SLT
Eyepiece: TS HR Planetary 7mm
Object Name: Messier 5
Object Type: Globular cluster
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Date: June 2, 2014
Media: White pastel and white gel pen on black paper
This time of year the sun never drops low enough under the horizon for
true astronomical darkness. Only after midnight we get a few hours of
relatively dark skies, but a faint blue glow always remains visible
above the northern horizon. However, bright objects can still be very
impressive in the eyepiece. Messier 5 is a fine example: a very bright
ball of stars, loosely scattered amidst a few dozen foreground stars.
When I made this sketch, the sun was only 12 degrees below the horizon.
What is very striking visually is the off-center core of M5. The
brightest part seems to be slightly to the west of the cluster.
I made the sketch using a white gel pen for the stars and a white soft
pastel pencil for the glow of unresolved stars. It was the first time I
made a positive deepsky sketch, normally I use graphite on white paper.
The image is the original field sketch.
Object Name: NGC 6231
Object Type: Open Cluster
Location: Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
Date: 04/17/2014 01:57AM
Seeing (1-5): 1
Equipment: Astromaster 130/650
Media: Letter Sheet and a pen.. White paper, then invert modified in photoshop.
I was enjoying the Sun this morning and trying to decide how to represent the most prominent features. Sketching the Sun has just not gotten me the feeling that I can really represent it as well as I would like to as far as colorizing goes. I like using black paper but it isn’t smooth enough whereas plain white paper is. But when I have tried to add color later, it just loses what I see in the scope.
So today I tried a little something different. I like how some inverted blue colors really become the right colors for the Sun. So I put some oil pastel colors to paper & inverted to see what I could use. The nice thing about the oil pastel is I can scratch off small little lines to try to get the details of the solar surface. I had to think in negative to produce the sketch in order to preserve black, white and the different tones of red. This is my 1st attempt using this technique and I am not entirely happy with it but it is a bit of an experiment.
60mm Lunt 88x
Oil Pastel, white permanent pen, white paper, Lyra polycolor pencils, a needle to scratch off the oil pastels to produce dark lines
Inverted with Photoscape software
A couple of weekends ago saw Ice In Space Astro Camp ’14 happen at Lostock in rural NSW, Australia. I arrived late on the Friday, and when I finally settled at the camp it was dark and I just didn’t feel like setting up a big scope. The sky was clear, the full brilliance of the Milky Way was arcing overhead, so it was a great chance for some wide field sketching with my little 4″ achro.
Some time ago I had made a mental note of a potential sketching target as being the area around the lovely cluster The Jewel Box in the Southern Cross. The great thing about this scope and eyepiece combination is the true field of view encompasses the Jewel Box, Mimosa or Beta Cruxius, and the western edge of the dark nebula The Coal Sack, all set off against the mottled background Milky Way. Gorgeous stuff!
The Coal Sack is also surprisingly detailed. Streamers of darker lines, patches of brighter, and ghostly arcs. These details made for a great challenge as they are, well, black… Another fainter open cluster can also be seen just to the upper right of the Jewel Box. The Southern Cross contains dozens of open clusters within its boarder.
This sketch is very close to showing the full 5deg True Field of View I had.
Object: Jewel Box and the Coal Sack.
Scope: 4″ f/5 achromatic refractor
Gear: 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific, 17X, 5deg TFOV.
Location: Lostock, NSW, Oz
Date: 25th April, 2014
Media: White soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Duration: approx. 2hrs
On two nights with more better seeing and sunlight angle or libration , I could see these views.
See below 2nd sketch over on the lunar horizon as the border with a line of the imaginary inner rim wall of this 130km diameter crater a bluish 10 mignitude permanent star was being moved on from over the Pythagoras to the Anaxagoras (Pilalous) in 4 minutes, …. that I think means moon and earth twin bodies each was(are) rotating and revolving.
It was thrilling to gaze and feel this massive giant old rocky ball goes ahead swinging or pitching his body in space.
8″ f12 refractor, x340
Location ; Backyard home in South. Korea
White paper [40 x30 cm] , graphite pencils , black ink
I finally got to go bush with my latest scope acquisition, and my smallest scope, a 4” achro refractor. I was spoilt for choice for potential targets, but I settled on one target I’ve sketched four times previously, Eta Carina. The previous sketches of Eta Carina were done with an 8” (once) and my 17.5” (twice) and once with my binos from my home. But this time, I had the opportunity to chase the full extent of the visible nebulosity of this celestial giant. With the single eyepiece I took on this outing, this little refractor gives me a whopping TFOV of 5°! This would be the perfect weapon and dark sky combination to tackle this target.
Oh my goodness! How much detail is visible! At first glance the nebulosity is nice and compact. As the sketch developed, and I slowly examined the scene, the nebulosity kept on reaching further and further out. Add to this the mottling of the background Milky Way star field that surrounds Eta Carina. I also spotted a couple of faint open clusters in the field of view.
The sketch doesn’t show the full extent of the TFOV – the sheet of paper wasn’t big enough! I was spent after this too.
I hope you find this sketch to your liking.
Object: Eta Carina, NGC 3372
Scope: 4” f/5 refractor
Gear: 30mm Explore Scientific 82°, 17X, plus OIII filter
Date: 3rd January 2014
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Media: White soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
— DEC, 16th, 2013. The transparency is bad in fog mist.
Instead, the air is warm, not cold….
Then, I have pick up a pencil to draw briefly in 30 minutes the glittering mountains central peak of Pythagoras crater.
8″ f12 refractor, x340
location ; Backyard home in South. Korea
white paper [40 x30 cm] , graphite pencils , black ink
Date of observe/ sketch ; 12, 16, 2013
Object Name (Moon)
Object Type (Satellite)
Date (5 grudnia 2012)
Media (White/black acrylic/black ink/)
The painting was made when i bought my first telescope (70/900 skylux) and i was very delighted with the beauty of the moon. So I study it for couple of nights, and with a bit of help of moon photos from the internet and map with the moon i painted two moon’s. This is the first one. And it took me two weeks to complete it fully.
The most wonderful,amazing observation experience in my whole life was this, one of my 8″ refractor observation of the lunar near-horizon landscape, ….this imagination scene.
In the 82 degree bino-eyepieces some 30-40 lines group of villages of parallel mountains or canyons was seen,
it was some resemble the villages Grand Canyon in the Arizona USA .
I was regettable could not leave some fine detailed sketchs because the sketching only one of the lines of mountains -canyons need one or two hours work and ofcourse the lunation every month disturbed adequate shadow angle plus an amater,s observing time is limited , did not show me again the unforgettable scene that night .
I hope I ,ll challenge again with my newly projected equartorial machine bigger brother of 8″ and will leave some sketchs the whole scene [landscape area 300 x 300 km ].
location; about symmetrical place of the J.Herschel crater for a criterion North Pole of moon
Hey I send my sketch of M2. This is one of my favourite objects of this type. M2 can be found in the constellation Aquarius. I have this zodiac sign 🙂 Sketch was made during today’s observations.The dark rural skies and a good telescope nicely break the cluster into individual stars.
I used a 2B pencil and black pen.
Object name: M2
Object type: globular cluster
Date: July 23, 2012
Location: Psary in Poland
Telescope: Newton 8 “aperture (200/1200)
Media: Black pen and pencil 2B
2012 05 04, 1830 UT – 1940 UT
Active Region NOAA 11471
PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas – Erika Rix (www.pcwobservatory.com)
Temp: 34.4°C, winds S 9 mph, lightly scattered
Seeing: Wilson 2-3, Transparency: 4/6, 125-250x
Celestron 102 XLT, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III
2x Barlow, Thousand Oaks glass white light filter.
Sketch created scope-side with white card stock, felt-tipped black artist pen, #2 graphite pencil.
Faculae were present in several areas around the limb, particularly around ARs 1473, 1469, 1474, 1475 and north of 1473 ~45 degrees. Sunspots were observed in all five active regions with 1474 ad 1475 only showing one per region. Seeing was poor and it was windy. I had to wait several moments to catch sharp views so may have missed out on pores in those areas. There were a few sunspots in the two active regions near the western limb, 1473 and 1469.
Active region 1471 was the area I concentrated for today’s sketch. The larger sunspot grouping was in the eastern region of that AR with very defined edges to the penumbrae and radial structure reaching to the umbrae. It was painstaking to wait for the winds to drop and seeing to settle to grab as much detail as I could. I dropped magnification and then increased when sky conditions permitted. That group appeared to have a chain of smaller sunspots, all sporting both umbrae and penumbrae leading east from the larger cluster of sunspots. A very faint speckled area was a further few degrees beyond the chain. I couldn’t make out if they were pores or simply penumbral blotches.
Moving to the western area of the AR ~10-20 degrees showed three more small groupings in that active region. The middle two of the AR had both umbra and penumbra and faint areas that looked penumbral to the south of them. The furthest grouping to the west was too soft and faint to be sure of its structure.
Object Name : night sky
Object Type : Planets, stars and moon
Location : Montréal, Canada
Date: October 29th 2013
Media: pastel, white and pink gel pens on black paper
Unable to sleep I decided to get up early on October 29th. It was 5:00 in the morning and the air was crisp but the sight was absolutely gorgeous. I decided to get my pastels and try my best to represent the ambiance and colors of the scenery. Mars was at the left side of a crescent moon and Jupiter hanging high at the right hand side with Castor and Pollux (Gem)
Object : M42 (West of Trapezium)
Object Type: Emission Nebula
Location: Kenton, OK (Okie-Tex Star Party)
Date: 10 October 2013, 0300 MDT
Media: Black paper, conte crayon, pencil and pen
Note: I liked the way the 17mm eyepiece framed this portion of the nebula. It looked, to me, like a wreath.