Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

My latest sketch for your interest. As previous, 153mm OG Watec 120N+ video camera, sketched from b&w monitor onto black art paper with white Conte hard pastel, watercolour pencil and white acrylic paint.

Regards, Dale

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

Keep up to date with observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading the Blog http://chippingdaleobservatory.com/blog/


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.

Sketching:

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


Luna Through Cloud

The six day old crescent Moon through the clouds - April 16, 2013
The six day old crescent Moon through the clouds – April 16, 2013

Not really an astronomical observation more a romantic interlude.

Best to all, Dale

Do you want to know more about my interest in astronomy? If so take a look at my Website: http://www.chippingdaleobservatory.com/

Keep up to date with observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading the Blog http://www.chippingdaleobservatory.com/blog/


Solar Tree and Bridge 11/16/14

Solar prominences and filaments on and near the limb - November 16, 2014
Solar prominences and filaments on and near the limb – November 16, 2014
Solar prominences and filaments on and near the limb (colorized) - November 16, 2014
Solar prominences and filaments on and near the limb (colorized) – November 16, 2014

Aloha!

Another Sunday morning spent happily with the Sun. Today the first prominence that struck me was one that had the appearance of a very fine “tree” near a “bridge”. The details & seeing were excellent today and I could make out swirling and looping details within the prominence, a lacy network of light and dark. The prominence could be seen spilling onto the solar surface as a filament.

I usually just cant leave done alone, so I tried some different things to colorize and experimented with Photoscape software. I fell upon the magic button – something called color balance. What fun to add color and see more of what I observed in the eyepiece!

Solar Prominence
Lunt 60mm PT
14mm & 6mm
11-16-14
Maui, Hawaii
Black Strathmore paper, Conte’ white crayons and watercolor pencils
Photoscape Software

Cindy (Thia) Krach
Haleakala Amateur Astronomers


Lunar Crater Copernicus

Lunar crater Copernicus - November 3, 2014
Lunar crater Copernicus – November 3, 2014

Lunar Crater Copernicus

Across the Carpathian Mountains resting on the eastern Ocean of Storms is the
landmark crater of the Sea of Islands, mighty Copernicus. Copernicus is a 95
kilometer diameter complex crater that begins to show itself in all its majesty
two days past first quarter. During the time of “Snow-Ball Earth” 800 million
years ago the event that created Copernicus suddenly occurred. What remains is a
3.8 kilometer deep hummock covered flat floored, centrally peaked, terrace walled
spectacular sentinel. Especially during high sun the bright ray system of this
crater can be seen extending from the base of the glassy glacis in all directions.
The descent from the rampart to the mare floor below is about one kilometer. Three
of five peaks were clearly visible in morning sunlight. In 1999 the Clementine
near infrared camera detected magnesium iron silicates in the peaks indicating
rebound of this deep rock through the surface crust following the impact event.
To view this impressive crater all you need is a good pair of binoculars and an
opportunity between two days past first quarter and one day past last quarter.
Weather permitting, you can see it tonight.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 9”x 12”, white and
black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump.

Telescope: 13.1 inch f/5.9 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 218x
Date: 11-03-2014, 00:45 – 02:10 UT
Temperature: 0°C (32°F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 23.2°
Lunation: 8.9 days
Illumination: 69.3 %
Phase: 67.4°

Frank McCabe


Early Morning Pitatus and Neighbors

Lunar crater Pitatus and environs - September 17, 2014
Lunar crater Pitatus and environs – September 17, 2014
Lunar crater Pitatus and environs (labeled) - September 17, 2014
Lunar crater Pitatus and environs (labeled) – September 17, 2014

Pitatus is an old, large 97 km. diameter crater on the edge of Mare Nubium. The floor of this crater has a linear central peak which was casting a fine elongated triangular shadow at the time of this observation and sketch. To the south craters Wurzelbauer (88 km.) and Gauricus (79 km.) could be seen; both of these craters show badly warn rims; both much older than Pitatus. Attached to the northwest rim of Pitatus is the crater Hesodius (43 km.). At about the eighth or ninth day of lunation you can observe the famous “sunrise ray” beaming across the floor of Hesodius through a break in the wall with Pitatus. This is certainly a sight worth observing.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: Black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 12”x 9”, both white and
black Conte’pastel pencils and blending stumps.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 09-17-2014 10:00-11:25 UT
Temperature: 5°C (42°F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 187.3°
Lunation: 22.6 days
Illumination: 39.0 %

Frank McCabe


Crater Clavius Out and Over the Terminator

Lunar crater Clavius - September 3, 2014
Lunar crater Clavius – September 3, 2014

Among the large craters of the lunar southern highlands, a nearly 4 billion year old crater stood out over the terminator on this evening just after local sunset here in the central USA. This crater is the 230 km. diameter impactor known by the name Clavius. Clavius is blanketed with a sizable number of craters and numerous craterlets . The north-northeastern rim of Clavius has a large crater resting upon it and most of its rim is just catching the light of sunrise. This 52 km. diameter crater is Porter. Much of the central floor of crater Clavius remains in darkness except for Clavius D (21 km.) and to its right in the sketch Clavius C (13 km.). Note that crater D is casting a nice shadow across the high central floor which is just beginning to light up in the lunar morning sun.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: Black Canson sketching paper, 8”x10”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241x
Date: 09-03-2014 01:05-02:00 UT
Temperature: 26°C (79°F)
Partly cloudy, breezy
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 14.9°
Lunation: 8.47 days
Illumination: 56.7 %

Frank McCabe


Another Look Near to the Altai Scarp at Higher Sun

The lunar craters Riccius, Rabbi Levi, Zagut and Lindenau near the Altai Scarp - July 4, 2014
The lunar craters Riccius, Rabbi Levi, Zagut and Lindenau near the Altai Scarp – July 4, 2014
Riccius, Rabbi Levi, Zagut and Lindenau - Labeled
Riccius, Rabbi Levi, Zagut and Lindenau – Labeled

Two hundred or so kilometers to the southwest of the Altai Scarp you will find a mix of large and small highland craters that may catch your eye as they did mine. Many have written of the “boring” look-a-like craters of this region but good lighting can make a big difference in appeal here. Ancient Riccius crater (71 km.) is a worn, an almost obliterated remnant, covered and surrounded by crater from 10-15 km. of various ages. Adjacent to Riccius is crater Rabbi Levi (81 km.) with an interesting short chain of craters across its floor. The next crater Zagut (84 km.) is the largest of those in the sketch with Zagut A (11 km.) near the center of the floor and Zagut E (35 km.) pushed through the eastern wall of Zagut. Next to Zagut is crater Lindenau (53 km.) which is younger than the other large crater here as evidenced by the sharper rim and what looks like a part of a central peak remaining.
A fine summer evening of observing and sketching after a long spell of poor weather.
Sketching and Equipment:

For this sketch, I used black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 8” x 12”, white and
black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.
Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece (241x) riding on an equatorial platform
Date: 07-04-2014, 01:15-02:50 UT
Temperature: 16° C (60° F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Average – Antoniadi III
Transparency: 4.5/5
Colongitude: 349.0 °
Lunation: 6.7 days
Illumination: 36 %

Frank McCabe


Lunar North Polar Region

Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014
Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014
Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014
Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014

Lunar North Polar Region

For several nights this week the lunar North Pole has been tilted more towards earth due to favorable lunar libration in latitude. It has been a good opportunity to view craters such as Whipple, Peary, Byrd and others. I had a clear night with average seeing so I took advantage of the opportunity to sketch the illuminated region near the pole. At my location the Moon was at more than 60 degrees above the horizon which also helped with the time needed to complete a sketch.

Sketching and Equipment:

For this sketch, I used black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9” x 12”, white and

black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.

Telescope: 13.1 inch f/6 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece (333x) riding on an equatorial platform

Date: 04-09-2014, 01:00-02:35 UT

Temperature: 3° C (38° F)

Clear, calm

Seeing: Average – Antoniadi III

Transparency 4/5

Colongitude 16.2 °

Lunation 9 days

Illumination 63.9 %

Frank McCabe


Aristarchus, Prinz and the Harbinger Mtns.

Aristarchus, Prinz and the Harbinger Mountains-June 20, 2013
Aristarchus, Prinz and the Harbinger Mountains Region-June 20, 2013

The kilometer high rim of Prinz (47 km.) crater was casting a shadow across its own lava flooded floor. The uplifted Harbinger mountains were also casting fine shadows in this region of the lunar surface with its large magma ponds pushing up and freezing in the distant past. The uplifting doming in the region created many fissures for lava escape and flooding to occur. The fissures can be seen clearly on nights of steading seeing. I was denied that detailed view on this night. From the crater Krieger (22 km.) north and somewhat east of Aristarchus (40 km.) four distinct long shadows could be seen crossing to the 70 km. fault called Toscanelli at the edge of the Aristarchus plateau where the terminator was located during the rendering of this sketch.
A fine view in any telescope.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used: black Canson paper, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils and blending stumps, white Pearl eraser
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 06-20-2013, 02:40 – 04:10 UT
Temperature: 19° C (68° F)
Partly cloudy, hazy
Seeing: Antoniadi IV (poor)
Frank McCabe


Posidonius and Northern Serpentine Ridge

Posidonius and Mare Serentatis

With the first clear night in more than one week, I was able to catch the sunset across crater Posidonius (99 km) at the northeastern edge of Mare Serentatis. Posidonius A (11 km.) , the highest of the small central peaks and the tilted and uplifted concentric ridge were the last features catching the light at sunset inside the rim. Also visible and included in this sketch was the northern most portion of Serpentine Ridge. As temperatures were falling throughout the night, I found myself stopping to warm my hands indoors not once but several times. The lunar viewing was excellent this night.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 161X
Date: 01-02-2013: 04:30 – 06:00 UT
Temperature: – 16° C (2° F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 150°
Lunation: 19.83 days
Illumination: 79.6%

Frank McCabe


Craters Lansberg and Reinhold

Craters Lansberg and Reinhold
Craters Lansberg and Reinhold

Both of these craters look similar when their floors are in shadow as was the case when I viewed them. Lansberg (40 km) is a walled plain crater sitting where Mare Insularum meets south Imbrium. This old impact dates back to the Upper Imbrian and is near the center of my sketch. Reinhold (49 km) is a prominent lunar impact crater of the Eratosthenian period and is also on Mare Insularum. It is below Lansberg near the bottom center of the sketch which by direction is north as per the inverted Newtonian telescope view. At the top of the sketch (south) I was able to catch the Riphaeus Mountains receiving first light during this waxing gibbous phase.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 10″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps. Sketch was scanned

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 242x
Date: 10-25-2012, 00:30 – 01:25 UT
Temperature: 16°C (60° F)
hazy, high clouds, calm
Seeing: average Antoniadi III
Transparency: poor
Colongitude: 29.0 °
Lunation: 9.52 days
Illumination: 79.0 %

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

Sketching:

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


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 – www.pcwobservatory.com

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.


Lunar Terminator: Mare Spumans and Mare Undarum

Mare Spumans and Mare Undarum
Mare Spumans and Mare Undarum

On this evening, two days past full moon and with favorable libration on the eastern portion of the Moon, I chose two irregular maria targets for sketching. Mare Spumans was completely visible while Mare Undarum was only partly exposed beyond the terminator.

Although I have examined these little ancient “lakes” in the past this has been my first attempt to capture them on paper. Both are surrounded by bright, densely cratered upland and are close enough to Mare Crisium to be within its eject blanket and basin rings.

This is a very attractive region of the Moon for sketchers with craters Langrenus and Messier and Messier A nearby and Mare Crisium just to the north. I purposely kept these features out of my view to focus on lesser observed targets. In addition to the maria subjects, craters : Webb (22 km.), Apollonius (53 km.), and Firmicus (56 km.) provided eye catching targets across the view.

Mare Spumans and Mare Undarum - Labeled
Mare Spumans and Mare Undarum - Labeled

Sketching:

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: 08-04-2012, 04:00 – 05:50 UT
Temperature: 29°C (85° F)
hazy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 110.6 °
Lunation 16 days
Illumination: 94.9 %
Libration: in Lat. -5° 45’, in Long. +05° 38’

Frank McCabe


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
www.pcwobservatory.com
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.


Lunar Crater J Herschel

Crater J Herschel
Crater J Herschel

It is morning across the 165 km wide irregular floor of this walled plain
crater. J Herschel is a pre-Nectarian crater and in the observing light is well lit across its rubbly, slightly convex floor. This crater is a survivor of the Imbrium basin formation. The southern well defined outer rim to the south (to the left in the sketch) has its rampart buried under the lavas of Mare Frigoris. Along the south wall at the west end is crater Horrebow (26 km) which can be seen superimposed upon Horrebow A (25 km.). To the right and closer to the terminator and limb are craters Anaximander (70 km.) and Carpenter (61 km.) both of their rims are illuminated and only part of the floor of the former can be seen.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 161X

Date: 05-3-2012 02:10 – 03:30 UT
Temperature: 21° C (70° F)
Partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 53 °
Lunation: 11.8 days
Illumination: 86.6 %
Altitude of Moon about 41°

Very favorable libration for this crater

Frank McCabe


Solar h-alpha, Prominences – May 3, 2012

H-Alpha Sun - Full Disc - May 3, 2012
H-Alpha Sun - Full Disc - May 3, 2012

2012 05 03, 1845 UT – 2130 UT.
Solar h-alpha, Prominences and NOAAs 1469, 1471, 1472, 1473, 1474.

PCW Memorial Observatory, Texas – Erika Rix,
Temp: 33°C, winds SE 7 mph, occasional light cirrus,
Seeing: Wilson 2-3, Transparency: 4/6, 50x,
DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III .

Sketch created scope-side with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

With five active regions, the Sun made quite an appearance today in spite of the limb. There were a few decent prominences, especially to the eastern hemisphere. My favorite view, though, were magnetic fields surrounding 1471 made apparent by the very thin active region filaments (ARFs). They reached down like fingers from the sunspots in that region. Plage was very intricate and meshed into what I believe was AR 1472.

The quiet region filaments (QRFs) were in abundance in the southern northern hemisphere with a few speckled to the south. AR 1474 seemed a bit washed out with plage and faint darkened areas. There was only slight plage definition and no sunspots observed in h-alpha. I didn’t set up a white light filter today for comparison.

1473 and 1469 were blended together by the plage and many lines of ARFs, including filaments reaching out over the edge for short, bright prominences. Plage was very bright, forming the shape of a tuning fork in 1469. These were impressive sets of active regions when paired up.

This was my first solar observing session since moving to Texas about two and a half weeks ago. With all that took place in preparing the old house for sale and the move to Texas, I’ve been deprived of any observing other than naked eye. It was a relief to be behind an eyepiece once again.

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

Crater Furnerius

Crater Furnerius
Crater Furnerius
Crater Furnerius - Labeled
Crater Furnerius - Labeled

Beautiful evening with the 4 day old Moon above Venus and the planet Jupiter above the crescent Moon. After a careful look at the crescent Moon through the telescope at low power, I needed to decide if I should attempt a sketch of the beautiful view of western Mare Crisium or the crater Furnerius which was the easier target. Considering the air temperature which was cold, I took the easy way out and sketched Furnerius.

With the terminator well past this region, I knew I would have time to go indoors and warm up if I got too cold. I centered the eyepiece on my target and turned on the equatorial drive platform. Furnerius is a large 125 km. crater that has the appearance of the old pre-Nectarian period crater it is. Its walls and floor are battered with many small craters and Rima Furnerius was detectable on the northern side of the floor. Crater Fraunhofer (57 km.) another old crater was sketched to the south and much younger Stevinus (77 km.) was showing off its central peak to the west.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump.

Telescope: 13.1 inch f/ 6 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 222x
Date: 02-26-2012 00:30 – 01:40 UT
Temperature: -6° C (21° F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 315 °
Lunation: 4 days
Illumination: 15 %
Altitude of Moon about 33°

Frank McCabe


Heveluis

Hevelius and Environs
Hevelius and Environs

2012 01 07, 0200UT – 0340UT Hevelius, Lohrmann, Cavalerius
PCW Memorial Observatory, OH, USA, Erika Rix
www.pcwobservatory.com
16” Zhumell f/4.5 on a non-tracking Dobsonian mount, 24-8mm Baader Planetarium Mark III Hyperion, 225x, Moon filter
Temp6.5 C, 58% humidity, S: Antoniadi I-II, T: 4/6
Eyepiece sketch black Strathmore Artagain paper, Conte crayon and pastel pencil, charcoal pencil
Phase: 25.8 deg, Lunation: 13.35 d, Illumination: 95.0%
Lib. Lat: +01:33, Lib. Long: -04:22
Az: +206:07, Alt: +30:18

The trio of Hevelius, Lohrmann, and Cavalerius were the first to catch my eye along the terminator tonight. After a quick tour near the terminator, I settled on the trio and their surrounding area for a closer study. Grimaldi’s western rim was etched south of Lohrmann and had begun to fill with sunlight creeping over the waxing edge. The small central mountain of Hevelius and crater Hevelius A were spotted easily and the only hint of Hevelius rimae was a softened dark line reaching north to south just east of the central mountain. I didn’t realize it was even there until I came inside after my session and compared my sketch with an atlas of the area. The tormented outer slopes of the crater chain were very clear and sharp, making them very enjoyable to study and even more so to draw (in my feeble attempt to capture all the detail as accurately as I could). Cavalerius was completely filled in with shadow.

The fantastic find of the night was the Hevelius D 1 (dome) along the wrinkle ridge between Reiner and Hevelius. Reiner and Reiner Gamma were added as the sketch progressed, as they were too tempting to leave out.


Craters Stöfler and Faraday

Craters Stöfler and Faraday
Craters Stöfler and Faraday

One could sketch the plethora of craters in the southern highlands and not finish them for many years. The craters for sketching chosen here are ones I have not sketched before but were standouts on this evening. The finest sketch I have ever seen of this region was made back in January of 2007 by Sally Russell and can be seen at Astronomy Sketch of the Day for March 27, 2007.

The central large crater that anchors this sketch is Pre-Nectarian period Stöfler a 129 kilometer walled plain with a buried central peak. Piled on top of it to the southeast are a sequence of craters decreasing in size and including one without a name, then Faraday ( 71 km.), Stöfler P ( 34 km.) and Faraday C ( 30 km.). North of Stöfler most of the rim of crater Fernelius (66 km.) was visible but all of the floor was in darkness.

I was forced to work quickly as clouds were rolling in at about the time I was just beyond mid-sketch.

Equipment and Sketching:

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian on a drive platform 4mm ortho eyepiece 361x

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps, white Pearl eraser.

Date: 11-2 to 11-3-2011 23:30-00:40 UT
Temperature: 17° C (63° F)
Partly cloudy soon becoming mostly cloudy, high humidity 70%
Waxing gibbous phase
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Transparency: 6/10
Colongitude: 356.6 °
Lunation: 7.2 days
Illumination: 53.2 %

Frank McCabe


Massive Solar Prominence

H-Alpha Sun - November 12, 2011
H-Alpha Sun - November 12, 2011

Our star continues to provide stunning sights as we approach solar maximum. This huge prominence, among the biggest I’ve ever seen, is visible in the hydrogen alpha wavelength, but it takes a specially designed scope or filter to see it. My 40mm Personal Solar Telescope (PST) is one such scope.

The prominence consists of superheated solar plasma suspended along magnetic field lines. It is not static, but changes constantly–sometimes the changes happen quickly and sometimes slowly. The appearance of this prominence had changed subtly by the end time of the sketch, so if you want to draw one of these monsters, be prepared to work fast!

The Sun in H alpha
Solar Prominence
Friars Hill, WV USA
12 November 2011 1850-1910 UT
Conte’ crayon, Conte’ pencil, and Derwent Graphtint color pencil on black paper.

Thanks,

Michael Rosolina


Craters Frankin and Cepheus One Night Apart

Craters Cepheus and Franklin
Craters Cepheus and Franklin

With the Moon at waning gibbous phase, it continues to dominate the night sky for a few more days. On Tuesday night I carefully picked a target area for sketching so that I might catch it again the next night to see the change in shadows a day makes. Lucky for me the sky was clear both nights.
Crater Franklin (58 km.) is the larger and older of the pair and Cepheus (41 km.) has a visible impact crater namely, Cepheus A (13 km.) directly on its northeastern rim.

Sketching Information

First Sketch
Franklin and Cepheus craters on ebony black Canson paper using white and black Conte’ pastel pencils
Sketch Date: August 16, 2011, using a 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian telescope riding on an equatorial platform with a 6mm eyepiece for 241x at 05:00-06:10 UT
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Weather: Clear, calm, 59 degrees F (15 degrees C)
Lunation: 16.5 days
Moon 94.3% illuminated
Colongitude: 115.7°

Second Sketch
Same type of paper
Sketch Date: August 17, 2011, using same telescope and same eyepiece at 04:00-05:15 UT
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Weather clear, calm, 64 degrees F (17 degrees C)
Lunation 17.4 days
Moon 89.3% illuminated
Colongitude 127.3°

Frank McCabe


Crater Clavius

Crater Clavius
Crater Clavius

Among the large craters of the lunar southern highlands, a nearly 4 billion year old impact stood out on this evening just after local sunset. This crater is 231 km.diameter Clavius. Clavius is blanketed with a sizable number of craters and numerous craterlets. At the center of this large crater are the reduced remains of the once regal central peaks. The atmosphere was not steady enough to pick out cratelets less than 3 km. never the less, the view was pleasing. Crater Clavius is famous for its semicircular crater sequence of decreasing size beginning with 56 km. Rutherfurd at the inner southeastern wall and continuing with 28 km. D, 21 km. C, 13 km N, 12 km J and 7.5 km JA. The north-northeastern rim of Clavius has a large crater resting upon it and most of its rim is just catching the light of sunrise. This 52 km. diameter crater is Porter. Much of the floor of crater Clavius remains smooth which implies the flow of melted rock in the past. Some geologists speculate it is from some of the ejecta cast outward during the formation of the Orientale basin. Some small secondary crater chains point back in that direction.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used: Canson sketching paper , 9”x12”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps. Brightness was adjusted after scanning.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241x
Date: 7-10-2011 01:15-03:00 UT
Temperature: 27°C (80°F)
Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy
Seeing: Antoniadi III-IV
Co longitude: 21.4°
Lunation: 8.69 days
Illumination: 70.1 %

Frank McCabe


Bullialdus – July 10, 2011

Bullialdus

2011 07 10, 0255UT Bullialdus
Erika Rix, Ohio, USA – www.pcwobservatory.com
Bulllialdus: Complex crater from Copernician period (-1.1 billion yrs to present day), Lat: 27.7 deg south, Long: 22.2 deg west.

Zhumell 16”, 21-7mm Zhumell, 257x, no filter
Eyepiece sketch on Strathmore Artagain paper, Conte’ crayon, charcoal

Temp 20C, 92% humidity, S: Antoniadi III, T: 2/6
Phase: 65.5deg, Lunation: 8.75d, Illumination: 70.7%
Lib. Lat: +5deg21’, Lib. Long: +2deg21’
Az: 212deg51’, Alt: 23deg30’

My first thought was to get out my Rite in the Rain paper and charcoal, but that terminator line was looking very dramatic and I decided to try another lunar sketch with black paper and white pastels. I chose the white on black because it can be a lot quicker to draw highlights than to draw shadows and I knew there would be a race against time to sketch on the terminator line. Thanks to my friend, Rich Handy, for introducing me to this media. I’ve found it invaluable for my h-alpha solar work.

Something didn’t really look right to me during my observation. It was only when I called it a night and came back in the house that I realized that Bullialdus A looked a lot larger (and Bullialdus B for that matter) than normal. There’s not a real sharp northern edge to Bullialdus A. It almost has a plateau-like bridge connecting it to the crater Bullialdus. The lighting played against that (or that explanation seems reasonable to me) to make it appear larger than normal.


Plasma Dancing on the Southwestern Limb

2011 06 30, 1435 UT
Solar h-alpha, SW prominence

PCW Memorial Observatory, Ohio USA – Erika Rix (www.pcwobservatory.com)
Temp: 24.2°C, Humidity 62%, cirrus
S: Wilson 4.5, T: 1/6-3/6, Alt: 38.3 deg, Az: 090.4 deg
DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell, 57.14x

Sketches created scope-side with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil

At first glance, this SW prominence only showed a clear view of its northern leading edge and part of its upper arch. To the south, there was a very bright, segmented area of prominence. Transparency was very poor, but on moments of clearing up, I was able to bump up the magnification to show the very light detailed structure of plasma holding it all together. Then yet further to the south, a tall slender area of prominence forked at the tip and its filament reached into the solar disk in three areas, with the northern one being the longest. Again, I could see faint structures of prominence reaching southward from the segmented prominence.


The Whirlpool Welcomes a New Visitor

Object Name : M51, SN2011DH
Object Type : Face-on Galaxy, Supernova
Location : South Korea
Date : June 5th, 2011
Telescope : 15inch Discovery Dobsonian
Media : Black paper, White conte, White pastel

Nightwid (Cho Kang Uk)

Hi all, Supernova SN2011DH was easy to observing.
And I saw beautiful arms and bridge.. Because seeing is very good!


Our Star Animated

Western Prominence

2011 06 01, 1500 UT – 1630 UT
Solar h-alpha, prominences

PCW Memorial Observatory, Ohio USA – Erika Rix, www.pcwobservatory.com
Temp: 32.3°C, Humidity 42%, SE winds 5mph
Seeing: Wilson 4, Transparency: 2/6

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell

Sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil

There were six active regions on the Sun, but a western prominence region caught my eye as a possible CME that took place during my observation. If it was simply an erupting prominence, it was the brightest I’ve witnessed as such. I’ve created an animation of my sketch sequence that I recorded during the observation at 5-minute intervals.


New Active Region

2011 05 09, 1429UT-1550UT
Solar NOAA 11203, 11204, ??, 11209, 11208

www.pcwobservatory.com

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell, ETX70 AT w/tilt plate and white light glass filter.

All sketches done scopeside and flipped in Photoshop to match standard orientation. H-alpha sketch created with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil. White light sketch created on photocopy paper with 0.5mm mechanical pencil and #2 pencil.

Transparency made it nearly impossible to view prominences at the start of the session with the thin layer of cirrus creating a milky white sky. There were small breaks that allowed me to sketch in some of the detail on a western prominence, that later as the transparency improved, showed an abundance of thin whispy structure that wasn’t captured on paper. By that time, I was already working on a full disk sketch in h-alpha. Seeing was terrific until I started on the white light observation, but had I set up the ETX at the beginning of the session to let the scope adjust to the warmth, it would have been much better by the time I observed with it. As it was, I observed in the observatory for protection of the wind as I view with a shade attached to the objective and wanted to avoid vibration.

There is a possible new active region between 1209 and 1208 that, while observing in white light, had several little spots forming an elliptical shape with pointed ends like a football. I noticed facula around 1208, but the seeing was so bad that I couldn’t make out a definite shape. The umbra of the preceding spot in that region was displaced, as was the preceding spot in 1203. I didn’t notice any sunspots in 1209 during my observation, but that may have been the result of the seeing.

The band of active regions is still putting on a nice show in h-alpha with more-defined plage around them.


Craters Posidonius at Sunrise

Craters Posidonius at Sunrise

A rare clear evening this spring got me to the eyepiece of my scope to view and sketch the moon. The Apollo 11 landing site was just receiving first light as was crater Posidonius some distance to the south. I have sketched Posidonius at sunset but never at sunrise and this was my opportunity.

The narrow sharp edge wall of 95 km. diameter Posidonius was reflecting much light at the time of this observation. The floor fractures were not well illuminated at the time of this viewing but the central crater A (11 km.) was prominent. Posidonius is an Upper Imbrian period crater that formed by impact at the time lava flooding was occurring in Mare Serenitatis.

Other craters visible at the time of this sketch include from south to north Chacornac (51 km.), on the north rim of Posidonius you see partly illuminated Posidonius B (14 km.), then J (22km.), M (10 km.), Daniell (26km.), and P (15 km.) out beyond the terminator shadow.

Sketching Information

Posidonius crater on ebony black Canson paper using white and black Conte’ pastel pencils
Sketch Date: May 8, 2011, using a 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian telescope riding on an equatorial platform with a 6mm eyepiece for 241x at 01:15-02:30 UT
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Weather clear, breezy, 55 degrees F (12 degrees C)
Lunation 4.8 days
Moon 21.5% illuminated
Colongitude 331.6°
Rükl Atlas Pl 14

Frank McCabe


Our Star Revealed

2011 05 05, 1230 UT – 1515 UT
Solar h-alpha, NOAAs 11203, 11204, 11205, 11207 and prominences

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix, www.pcwobservatory.com
Temp: 22.5°C, Humidity 38%
Seeing: Wilson 4, Transparency: 3/6

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell, ETX70 AT w/tilt plate and white light glass filter.

H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil. White light sketch created on photocopy paper with 0.5mm mechanical pencil and #2 pencil.

The Sun was a little too low in the observatory for me to stay inside at the beginning of the session, so I pulled all my gear onto the grass. It was probably the best move anyway, since it warmed up quite a bit during the session.

I started off with the Maxscope for an overall view. The prominence at the western limb caught my eye initially, but it was the prominence on the eastern limb that really put on a show. It was nearly three times taller than the other and had the faintest wisps of filament reaching out connecting the brightest three areas of that prominence section.

The h-alpha full disk was filled with filaments and plage within the band of active regions. I’ve flipped the views of both the white light and h-alpha full disk sketches to match the standard view (at least a little more so as I didn’t rotate it completely) for comparisons with SOHO views. In white light, there were three distinct areas of faculae, one each on the western and eastern limbs and one around AR 11207. I couldn’t detect 1205 in white light and although the Sun had rotated slightly, I’m fairly sure 1207 is indeed that designation in my sketch and not 1205. Prenumbrae were noted around the preceding spots in 1204 and around the entirety of 1203.


Crater Lambert on Mare Imbrium

Lambert crater is a smallish complex crater of 30 kilometers diameter resting on the floor of Mare Imbrium. This Eratosthenian crater must be some 2.5 billion years old. Its outer rampart is impressive, as is its floor, which unfortunately was not seen on this occasion due to morning shadowing.The ghost crater Lambert R was detectable but is best seen closer to the terminator as sunset approaches during the waning crescent phase. Further south from Lambert and Lambert R, crater Pytheas (20 km.) was also visible. Closer to the sunrise terminator Mons La Hire was casting long shadows while crater Euler (29 km) was just catching light on its eastern rim.
To the north of Lambert, Dorsa Stille and Dorsum Zirkel were easily visible along with many small craters.

Sketching Information

Lambert crater on ebony black Canson paper using white and black Conte’ pastel pencils
Sketch Date: April 13, 2011, using a 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian telescope riding on an equatorial platform with a 6mm eyepiece for 241x at 03:00-04:10 UT
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Weather clear, calm, 50 degrees F (10 degrees C)
Lunation 9.5 days
Moon 67.9% illuminated
Colongitude 27.7°
Rükl Atlas Pl 20

Frank McCabe


Sunspots and Proms, Filaments and Plage

2011 03 08, 1703 UT – 1945 UT
Solar h-alpha, NOAAs 11164, 11165, 11166, 11169, prominence sequence 240 pa (11165)

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
www.pcwobservatory.com
Temp: 16.8°C, Humidity 34%, SE winds 8mph
Seeing: Wilson 3.5 w/moments of 1, Transparency: 1-2/6
Alt: 44.5°- 36.4°, Az: 168.1°- 221.1°

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell

H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

It was a nice surprise to see the Sun out and the thin clouds scattered enough for a solar session, especially with 4 active regions present. I didn’t pull out a white light filter. It certainly would have made a great comparison to the h-alpha views with all the sunspots scattered about. The fibrils in NOAA 11166 were outstanding and plentiful, reaching out through plage in wide arcs. 11164 looked etched near the limb with stark contrast between the filaments and plage.

It was 11165 that kept most of my attention today with its area of prominence changing so rapidly that I’m fairly certain portions of it erupted and then collapsed on itself. Two times sections had broken free and floated off. During those times, a sketch was completed every 5-10 minutes.

I would have liked to have stayed out for at least a few more hours, but the transparency became too horrendous to pull detail out of the prominences and full overcast skies was soon to follow.


Craters Kepler and Enke

Craters Kepler and Encke
  
At nearly 11 days into the current lunation sunrise has just finished for the rim of crater
Kepler. Even during this early morning view, some of the brightest rays of this crater were seen radiating eastward from the ramparts on that side. Kepler is a 31 kilometer diameter complex crater with a low central peak and a flat debris covered floor from inner wall slumping. As I saw it during the time of this sketch, the floor was in complete darkness and had the perception of great depth. Crater Kepler lies between the Oceanus Procellarum and the Mare Insularum both of which consist of dark surface lavas.

The Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli named Crater Kepler about 28 years after the death of Johannes Kepler. He also named Crater Tycho after Tycho Brahe, the man with the accurate data measurements that helped make Kepler famous for his three laws of planetary motion.

I was hoping to include Rima Milichius in this sketch but the seeing was so poor I never saw a hint of it even at its widest part that would have been located in the lower left corner of the sketch. The other crater captured in this sketch is 1 kilometer smaller in diameter and 3 times older than Kepler. This is crater Encke named after 19th century German astronomer Johann Franz Encke. The rubble-covered floor of this crater was well illuminated because of its greater distance from the terminator and much shallower depth.
  


Sketching and Equipment:

For this sketch, I used black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9” x 12”, white and
 black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.
 Telesccope: 13.1 inch f/6 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece (222x) riding on an equatorial platform
 Date: 2-14-2011, 00:30-02:00 UT
Temperature: 4° C (40° F)
 Partly cloudy, very windy
 Seeing:  Very poor – Antoniadi  IV-V
 Colongitude  39.8 °
 Lunation 10.9 days
 Illumination 96.7 %
  
 

Frank McCabe


Domed Citadel

Sketch of Mons Rümker

On this rather fine fall night, with the sunrise shadow moving across Sinus Roris, yet not quite reaching crater Harding, I was able to see and sketch the volcanic mound feature known as Mons Rümker, named after German astronomer Karl L. C. Rümker. This hummocky volcanic multi-domed plateau is raised above the basaltic plain of northwestern Oceanus Procellarum just enough to make it stand out in grazing light.

In the late 19th and on into the 20th century, this feature was believed to be an old collapsed and battered crater. Today it is known to be the frozen remains of a once active cluster of lunar volcanoes arranged in an incomplete circular arching mound. This entire mound measures 70 kilometers across and was observed and sketched while the lighting was good enough to see nice relief from the flat surroundings.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: 400 series black Strathmore Artagain paper 9″ x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils, Conte’ crayons, a blending stump, and plastic eraser. Brightness was decreased -1 and contrast increased +1 using my scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 13.1” f/ 6 Dobsonian with 6mm eyepiece (333x) on an equatorial tracking platform
Date: 11-19-2010 06:00 – 07:30 UT
The Moon was nearly 60° above the southern horizon
Temperature: -1°C (30°F)
Weather: mostly clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 65.1°
Lunation: 13.1 days
Illumination: 94.1%

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe


Sunset Terminator Across Mare Crisium

Mare Crisium is that interesting isolated sea on the northeastern side of the visible lunar surface. Only about half of it was visible during this sketching session.
The Nectarian Period 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 across the floor, wrinkled ridges were visible in the north to south direction. Also on the western floor craters Picard (24 km.), Peirce (19 km.) and Swift (11km.) stood out in the low light. I could clearly see the lighter colored 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. Also beyond the sea to the West crater Proclus (28 km.) with its remarkable bright rays was reflecting some sunlight.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: 400 series black Strathmore Artagain paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic eraser. Brightness was decreased -2 and contrast increased +1 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x)
Date: 12-23-2010 10:00 – 11:30 UT
Temperature: -8°C (18°F)
Weather: clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 120°
Lunation: 17.7 days
Illumination: 94.5%

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe