Needle tip end of the crescent Moon

l like the crescent Moon shining on the western sky in remained blue,vermilion hue just after sun set.

lt was always looked as most mysterious, beautiful, or with some a feeling of affection.

Of course l used to see not the horizon alone but l see beyond over in my mind trillions of trillions of moons rising on over its parent planets maybe from in our own galaxy to in the Hubble Deep Fields galaxies. Also l think about trillions of advanced civilizations.

J2-schamali -IMG_0345

J2-schamali -IMG_0344

Observed; 2014. 10.29 ( Original eyepiece sketch)

Painted; 2015. 6.5

320mm refractor x270

Graphite pencils, water color, acrylic color, white/black paper

Moon limb span; 50km for [A], 50km for [B], [A]&[B] to be connected

South Korea

The Zuben-eschmali & Fantasy


The Zuben-eschamali…. a old beautifuly Arabian-named emerald greenish blue star was lonely shineing that May night just a year ago when l firstly aimed fixed star with freshly constructed 13″ refractor at the highest power which can bears. For more than 2 decade l usealy like to see the fixed single stars of 3-0 mignitude range especially since from the time my 8″, 8.5″ glasses were used

and l looked Vega, Arcturus, Sirius, Capella, Alteir, or 2-3 mignitude stars like this one through 12,13″ glasses particularly at high power 950-1500x . l represented the Zubeneschmali as possible as l can do as you see here but the real thing was far from my humble art for in the 1480 magnification Nagler 2.5s window image l can explain nothing but it was eradiating beautifuly & magnificently, even l felt eerie emotions with the large but still sharpest star image ragely gushed out spokes of light bunches. To explain the 2.6 mag, 160 ly distant alien sun, l made some 20 pages eyepiece sketches with explanationes & l introduce here only one on the recent night Arcturus record as almost 2-0 mag suns to be looked similaly except colors , l named myself the 3 parts at the 1000-1480x images ( under 1000x the 3 parts could not be seen easily with its break downed parts ) as a Diffraction disk part(Airy disk) , 1st flames part , Spokes part …. one 1st flame exactly confrontations one spoke each other & total number of this star,s spokes was observed of 18-25 bunches at every 1/30 second because ca 3-4 rowes of radial spokes rotating each other in slight different directions that l could not represent it here for the spokes were so dynamic as each 3-4 rows spokes rotated once in a 1/50-1/30 seconds that may lie in a human eye,s limited captureing time spans so there l could observe the perspective among the 3-4 rows….

For the other explanations l have to omit as thousends words not equals to just you look through once.

With these observations of years l could more &more feel the fixed stars are alien suns like ours in not fictions (in papers or photos) but in reality, reality emotion… that l feel only just a few minutes for in a full one year,s automatic robotic diary life time span , stangely , in my private opinion , we humanbeing (include other species on earth?) have not yet the 7th sensor organ feel direct the existent emotions in cosmos.

l have to thanks for the pioneers who firstly sought the star parallaxes.

My humble instruments are imposing enough against the 5 billion doller HST at least when they aim fixed stars , if l seated in it with 15,000x power, it,ll show me nothing but a 1/10 diameter Airy disk of mine even the HST can,t show the Alien sun,s limb circle even in pinpoint size at all that tells the vastness of the interstellar space.


K.S. Min

Observed; 2014. 5

Painted ; 2015. 5

320mm refractor x1480

Graphite pencils, water color, acrylic& oil color, white paper 30x45cm (working time; 4 hours)

Himax follows the Blackmax climing snowy hills where on a old Taoism landscaped alien planet in the Zubeneschamalli solar system

Photographed in a room w/ lights with a Canon 450d camera

South Korea

Venus and Mercury After Sunset, release 2

Venus, Mercury and Meteor - 10 January 2015
Venus, Mercury and Meteor – 10 January 2015
Venus, Mercury - 10 January 2015
Venus, Mercury – 10 January 2015

Object Name (Venus and Mercury)
Object Type (Plante conjunction and meteor)
Location (Artignosc-sur-Verdon France)
Date (Jan 10th 2015)
Media (watercolor, white paper, inverted after scan)

January the 10th the two inner planets of our solar system are very close. Following the nice pastel sketch made by Frank Jan 6th (ASOD Feb 2nd) I will take the opportunity to compare its view with this I made 4 days later.
While my watercolor session, a probable Quadrantide meteor produce a brilliant flash.

The two planets are easily seen in the field of my UWA EP.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Heart beating Ganymede

Jupiter - 2-3 January 2015
Jupiter – 2-3 January 2015

The beginning nights of this year l could study intensely the physics of the Jupiter and moons such as motions, speeds, approachings, etc.

Great seeing were on the nights January. 3, 5, 18th, l made 2 main body of Jupiter sketches, 100 of the moons’ movements brief sketches with my 13″ refractor during just only 3 nights and these were seems to surpass the total amount of knowledges about Jupiter system saved in past 20 years with my 5-8″ instruments.

Am 2- 5 ;00 , the seeing was maintained 9-10 /10 for 3 hours on 18th Jan. l could see even the internal simplest details on Ganymede that heart beating with it’s limb between expanding and contracting with a 2 -3 seconds cycle . You can see its one of the mouments here as a water color painting , the feature on the moon was not settled as one but changed as ” T,Y,<,V,X,*..." shapes in the eyepieces because of the hard 1.7 arcseconds dia observing object also because by the 4.5 Ju-Dia distant Jupiter's glare. l observed Ganymede for 1 hour , the features were seen 20 times with one time as long as 5 seconds in 3 minuts interval for 1 hour. The large grayish white "NPC of Mars like" looking feature was impressive. Notice the Io, Europa's circular disks transformed as strong ellipsoid at 3;20 , weak at 4;02 on 3rd Jan. when they approaching together in the center of the field of the eyepieces. lt was very much impressive. l prepared that night's moons contact time-site markings in their syncronous motions in my bird-eye view scale plans describes the objects' exact time-positions to seek light speed for following 2-3 months as the Roemer did 350 years ago. "Seek himself (or herself ) the light speed"... lt is a must for a ama-astronomer. K.S. Min 2015. 1.3 - 1. 18 320mm refractor x400-600 Graphite pencils, water color, acrylic, crayons , white paper South Korea KSMin_Diagram1


Lovejoy for Charlie

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) - January 11, 2015
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) – January 11, 2015
Michel's fellow observers on the night of January 11, 2015
Michel’s fellow observers on the night of January 11, 2015

Object Name (C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy)
Object Type (Comet in Eridan)
Location (Verdon river in France)
Date (Jan. 11th 2015)
Media (watercolor on white paper, inverted after scan via

During the “Charlie Hebdo” event we had to keep the pencil in hand, to prove that life goes on and is beautiful and that cretinism can’t win, ever. Today, poverty of spirit associated with force no longer have a voice in civilized countries !

The Lovejoy expedition.

Four of my good friends astronomers propose to come and enjoy the dark sky of the region. Appointment is made on 8 January in the early evening. The day before I found a good ground for observing this beautiful comet without too many trees in the view. Near the small village of Saint-Laurent, a platform overlooking the north side of the Lake of Artignosc on the Verdon river. First I will make some sketches and (yes I know… sorry guys) photographs of the landscape and material that will serve my watercolor the day after.

The photo of the sky taken on Jan. the 7th (Pentax K50 3.5 – 3sec 25600 ISO -18mm) shows the comet as a brillant green star equivalent magnitude to Pi ORI +/- 4.0. But I’m not here to make photo ! it just allow me to position the stars on the sky background on my future painting.
The evening of Jan. 8th everyone is there, my friends Vincent, Antoine, Yvan and Jean-Bernard, made the trip from Brignoles, La Garde, Forcalqueiret and Salon. It’s cold, the wind and the news from Paris make us shiver.

The comet is visible to the unaided eye, even in direct vision. During the previous night, a tail departure was barely noticeable in my Dobson 12ˮ f 5. Today we are three of us observing a double tail, a very short first part is attached to the hair while another, a sort of fine filament spreading further.
It was extremely difficult to see that tail, face this huge ball of light that is the coma of Comet Lovejoy.
Through a set of 2ˮ filters provided by Vincent (CLS, OIII, UHC) we got to see something other than the coma. This is strangely due to the CLS filter that we have been able to detect some clarity in front of the dark sky. We had to get the coma out of the eyepiece to discern the low-contrast gradient between the black sky and the thin clouds of the tail. We are here at the border of the possibilities for the vision.

Dobson used was a 12ˮ f/d 5 and 2ˮ eyepieces Meade 24mm to Omegon 38mm, UWA. We deployed 80mm and 150mm refractors as well as quality binoculars: Echo and Swarovski.

The watercolor shows our group gathered for this “Lovejoy expedition” after two hours of dense observation.

So the final watercolor shows the views of the sky the day before, a view of the Dobson and -with a flash- portraits taken by the Vincent’s camera.

Observing is also meeting us for the same vibration, the same enthusiasm, and that night it was … it was … there was … something strong in the air!

Michel Deconinck

Difficult Uranus

The Planet Uranus and its moons, Oberon, Ariel, and Titania December 11, 2014
The Planet Uranus and its moons, Oberon, Ariel, and Titania December 11, 2014
Uranus and it's moons, Oberon, Ariel, and Titania - December 11, 2014
Uranus and it’s moons, Oberon, Ariel, and Titania – December 11, 2014

Object Name (Uranus with moons)
Object Type (Planet and satellites)
Location : Observatoire Astronomique de Bauduen, Provence France
Date 2014 Dec 11th
Media (graphite pencil, and inverted watercolor on white paper, for the inversion)
That’s maybe because I like to use this great telescope, or it’s because I like challenges but,… it’s certainly not the best optical combination for this observation.
On 11 December, I finally found a corner of pure sky above the 24-inch reflector made by Olivier Planchon. To observe Uranus, the speed is definitely too high: f / 3.3 d, so we had to use very short focal EP to reach the useful magnification (Nagler 3.7 and 2.5) !.
If you look at my watercolor you can see a somewhat elongated comet hair that diffuse around the planet, that’s exactly how we see the planet area in the field, this is probably linked to a not 100% perfect collimation, but still. I get the impression that the work of collimation facing these big tubes, it is not a piece of cake.
Anyway, we can say two things:
1- We observed three of the Uranus satellites: Oberon, Titania and Ariel, this last one being a bit lost in the lights of the planet
2- the disk of the planet was not uniform as seen in a small telescope or some photos. It’s very difficult to confirm, but a diffuse zone clearer was observed in the upper atmosphere of Uranus, is that an artifact, I do not know? Anyway the main direction of the area is not in the direction of the cloud bands of Uranus.

Another composition of this observation is given here:

Sun Super Spot – Unaided Eye

The naked eye view of the Sun through solar eclipse glasses and detailed view of AR 2214 through a refractor telescope with a white light filter - November 20, 2014
The naked eye view of the Sun through solar eclipse glasses and detailed view of AR 2214 through a refractor telescope with a white light filter – November 20, 2014

Object Name (Sun)
Object Type (Sun photosphere)
Location (Artignosc-sur-Verdon/France )
Date (2014/11/20)
Media (graphite pencil (sketrch down) and watercolor (full sun up) on white paper,
The old sunspot 2192 is now making its second pass across the face of our sun with a new number : 2214.
It’s the first time that I can see a spot naked-eye after a complete sun rotation. For the inverted watercolour shown here up, I use special glasses for eclipse, the orange color is this of my glasses, you can see some mist in the foreground meaning that the conditions were not perfect. For the telescope view I use a white light objective filter, I add an orange color layer after scanning.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel & Jannik Deconinck-Roosens

Total Lunar Eclipse

The Total Lunar Eclipse of October 8th 2014 as seen from the skies north of Catherine, Australia
The Total Lunar Eclipse of October 8th 2014 as seen from the skies north of Catherine, Australia
Detail of background sketch of full Moon that had color applied
Detail of background sketch of full Moon that had color applied

Total Lunar Eclipse of October 8, 2014, observed T250, Australia, north of Katherine. Nice atmosphere in the twilight moonrise partially eclipsed silhouetted against the red cliffs. This string is selected among the eight drawings, sketches showing the COLLECTED colors and visibility of lunar formations.
Full Moon déssinée the eve of the eclipse. It served as the background image for the realization of the rosary.

Occultation of Saturn by the Moon

The Occultation of Saturn by the Moon - October 26, 2014
The Occultation of Saturn by the Moon – October 26, 2014

Object Name (Saturn, Moon first croissant)
Object Type (Occultation)
Location (Artignosc-sur-Verdon, France )
Date (2014 Oct 26)
Media (graphite pencil, watercolour, white paper, for inversion and crop)
Occultation of Saturn by the Moon

Here join a watercolour I made while Saturn just leaves the very young moon.
That was a very nice spectacle indeed!
The original sketch was done in B&W on white paper; the small brilliant point on the very end of the moon croissant was used to define the Saturn disk intensity.
The colours were added in my workshop and the inverted while scanning.
During the emersion (17:17 UTC) the moon was less than 4° up my horizon and the sun was only 6° behind. So the sky was still clear.
The observation was made with a 102 f/10 refractor and a 10mm Delos EP, no filters.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

The Cat’s Eye Nebulae

NGC 6543, "The Cat's Eye Nebula", a planetary nebula in the constellation Draco
NGC 6543, “The Cat’s Eye Nebula”, a planetary nebula in the constellation Draco

• Object Name (NGC 6543)
• Object Type (Planetary nebulae)
• Location (OAB – Bauduen – Verdon – France)
• Date (October 16th 2014)
• Media (graphite pencil, watercolour, white paper, inverted via

To obtain this sketch I use the following optical combinations via the 24” f/d 3.3 on equ. mount of the OAB (Observatoire Astronomique de Bauduen)
An OIII filter to obtain better contrasts. Under a magnification of 240X and the OIII filter the nebulae center darkening is clearly visible.
With the same magnification but without the filter we can easily see the central star with direct vision; anyway we are a little dazzled by the close light of the nebula.
With a magnification of 120X we can observe the structure of one or two of the outer rings.
A 550x magnification allowed me to discern one of the two jets that extend the basic ellipse.

Michel Deconinck

The tropical Scorpion

"The tropical Scorpion", the constellation Scorpio as seen over South Vietnam
“The tropical Scorpion”, the constellation Scorpio as seen over South Vietnam

Last month my family visited the home town in southern Vietnam where (my) wife’s mother lives. Several days and nights passed too fast as (they) always did to appreciate enough the tropical life and nature. The feeling of daily life here is always bright , busy, active,pleasant ,greenish,abundant and warm and noisy, the sun shines far intensely than in Korea, every roads every rivers flooding with motorcycles , boats , peoples, …. One late afternoon we visited a near temple to pray, have a conversation with a Buddhist priest ,rest until the sun set and ate noodles in a small restaurant near the temple . When the darkness spread on the west horizon where still remained in vermillion hue, I could see the magnificent Scorpion in full of stars, constellation rising 40 degree altitude which I always could only see the scorpions head in Korea, my location. Reaching mother’s house I aimed my hand binocular at the scorpion’s tail and I saw 7-8 globular, 8-10 open clusters. On the other nights I saw the Sirius hang on almost 75 degree altitude and the Altair hang on the zenith. I love Vietnamise song much, that helps artwork,astronomy together . —————-

Object; Constellation scorpio

Observe/ Sketch for 2 hours; (September) 9, 2014

Water color painting for 4 hours ; (September) 10, 2014

naked eye (with eyeglasses) , x1 power

Location ; Southern Vietnam ,T.P.Cantho near Equator [ ca 5 degree N]

White paper [50 x35 cm] with pencils , watercolors with brushies

4 Dimensions for Jacques

C/2014 E2 Jacques - August 24, 2014
C/2014 E2 Jacques – August 24, 2014
C/2014 E2 Jacques - August 24, 2014
C/2014 E2 Jacques – August 24, 2014

Object Name (C/2014 E2 Jacques)
Object Type (Comet)
Location (Varages Provence France)
Date (24-08-2014)
Media (watercolour, 4 white paper, and 3D photo maker)
With our sketches we are staying with 2D only, the two dimensions of our papers.
So, I project to reach 3D with anaglyph (cyan-red) glasses. It’s not so easy to make four watercolour layers, two inverted one naked eye for the sky and another through the eyepiece for the comet, plus two classical views one for the telescope and one for the landscape… and then compile all of them with stereo slip.

But on top of that I want to reach another dimension, the time! Today, it was the good time to try that!
This Lautter refractor, was build in 1830 ! The telescope and this lovely mount aren’t copies but originals. In the year 1830, the comet Jacques was very far from the today’s orbit. To give an idea of this 1830 old-time, we just invent photography and railway, the country of Belgium, the cities of Miami and Victoria doesn’t exist yet. That gives us an idea of the fourth dimension.
The light coming from the comet Jacques was seen trough those very old lenses.
The watercolours show this old lady refractor of Jean-Luc and Caroline, my friends from the “La Blaque” domain, near Varages in Provence.
This antiquity was shown for the first time to the public during our yearly star party : august 2014 24th; what a success! I was lucky to receive some EP time (just 15 minutes) to sketch the comet Jacques. Regarding the long queue of curious waiting for a view of the comet I was quite happy.
A diameter of 180mm f/d 15 with a 40mm eyepiece gives a magnification of 67X. The end time for the comet field was 21:45 UTC.

To see the 3D effect of the second picture you have to use anaglyph glasses.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

The Sun in H-alpha – aquarel technique

The Hydrogen-alpha solar disk on July 25, 2014 using Aquarel pencils on Aquarel paper.
The Hydrogen-alpha solar disk on July 25, 2014 using Aquarel pencils on Aquarel paper.

Date and time: 25th July 2014, UT 15:30
Place: Tarjan, Hungary (Astronomy Camp of the Hungarian Astronomical Association)
Equipment: 35/400 H-alpha Lunt LS35T, 12 mm
I used colour aquarel pencils on special aquarel paper.


Moon Race Watercolour

July 4-8, 2014 - Conjunction of Moon with Mars, Saturn and Spica
July 4-8, 2014 – Conjunction of Moon with Mars, Saturn and Spica
July 4-8, 2014 - Conjunction of the Moon, Mars, Saturn and Spica
July 4-8, 2014 – Conjunction of the Moon, Mars, Saturn and Spica

* Object Name (Moon, Mars, Saturn)
* Object Type (Conjunctions)
* Location (Artignosc-sur-Verdon – Provence – France)
* Date (2014 from 4 to 8 July)
* Media (Watercolour, white paper, to invert the result)

From July 4 to 8 Moon played with planets. From a purely astronomical point of view the Moon showed us some beautiful conjunctions, Mars, Spica and then Saturn. By the way the game was a little complicated with the clouds. What a season!
On July 5, the moon was still visible behind heavy clouds. The next day, I have not even been able to detect the moon light ! I had to invent the sky. July 7, when the Moon approaches Saturn, clouds returned to disturb the magic of the moment. I’m a bit fed-up about this weather, and I think not being alone!
The advantage of astro-artist on the astro-photographer is that we can complete our design. This time I have to add the missing lunar position on the view. And to capture those irritating clouds, I painted a hazy wash around the Moon as was the case on July 5.
The small hilltop village that served as a foreground is called Artignosc-sur-Verdon. I confess to being quite happy by this view. Artignosc is just halfway to two now well-known astro-spots “The Blaque” in Varages and the OAB in Bauduen. And ‘cause we are nevertheless in Provence, believe me above the clouds the sky is very dark!
Still … what a season!

To do this watercolour, I went out on my terrace at ten PM every night, sometimes before the storm, sometimes after and once during, being passionate or you do not. Every time I sketched some sketches in a hurry, and took two or three pictures allow me to keep the shades. At the workshop, I started by gathering the different positions of the stars and their locations relative to the village. In less than a week, only the Lunar race was noteworthy, Mars and Saturn are much quieter than the stars. Then I realized in reverse mode (colors and contrast) this watercolour. I just had to scan my sheet and reverse the colors.

Michel Deconinck

Double Crescents

The conjunction of the Moon and Venus - January 2, 2014
The conjunction of the Moon and Venus – January 2, 2014

I got a quick walk up the hill behind the house this afternoon with 8×32 Nikon binoculars, I scanned for Venus at 16.20ut and was surprised to see a very thin crescent moon in the same fov, also even in the binoculars Venus was a sharp and beautiful crescent, I walked home quickly and made a memory painting in watercolours to try and capture a totally exquisite sight 🙂


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

On the Horizon Near Mare Orientale

Mountains on the lunar horizon near Mare Orientale - June 15, 2014
Mountains on the lunar horizon near Mare Orientale – June 15, 2014
Mountains on the lunar horizon near Mare Orientale, water color painting- June 20, 2014
Mountains on the lunar horizon near Mare Orientale, water color painting- June 20, 2014

Goddess Selene showed me this beautiful old Lunar horizon landscape on the good seeing night on 15th 6. 2014.

I was very happy to see this view .

I opened covers of optics at soon after sun set , …. always the 35kg 18″ flat in front of the 13″ og cools slowly, the image saturn began to show encke minima when I started observing at 10 o’clark.
I was very tired then to give up observing as this 13″ never showed me a Lunar view that surpass 8″….. until now , I slept for 2-3 hours till 2 o’ clock ….. I woke up and again looked through the bino eyepieces.

The beautiful whole Lunar surface was there in incredible details that far surpass the 8″ even along the entire moon limbs… even in that low transparency night, then every skepticisms about the optical qualities shattered , vanished away.
The power of 13′ OG could penetrated twice times into the lunar horizon, so sketch span reduced from 70- 80 km of 8″ og to 30-40 km of 13″ og.

I was interested in water color painting when I was a high-school student and there is 40 years vacancy till worked again on this a lunar limb water -color picture.

…..Still work-able…, right?

Always clear nights, to all amateurs
K. S. Min


Object; Two mountains near Mare Orientale West Lunar limb

Observe/ Sketch for 2.5 hours; 15. 6, 2014

Water color painting for 2 hours ; 20. 6, 2014

13″ refractor, x 530, naglar 7s type 1

Lunation ; 16 day [14 day is incorrect]

Altitude of moon at 3 ;00 am; about 40 deg [maybe the amount of photons flow from that night’s moon came into the 13″ was 1/100 in compare with that from the clear cold winter nights’ high alt. moon ]

Location ; Backyard home in South. Korea

White paper [40 x30 cm] with pencils , [70x 40 cm] in color with brushes


Mars - April 28, 2014
Mars – April 28, 2014
Mars - April 30, 2014
Mars – April 30, 2014

Please find attached 2 of my recent Mars observations from this week rendered with Watercolour paints.

I used my 153mm Triplet F9 refractor, binoviewer and neodymium filter, 15mm Tele vue panoptic eyepieces yielding 215x.

I hope that they are of interest. Seeing was difficult on both occasions, but I have enjoyed seeing the bright clouds which the refractor has shown ably.

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

PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and STF1758

PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and STF1758 from the Olivier Planchon Observatory located near the nice small village of Bauduen, France. May 1, 2014
PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and STF1758 from the Olivier Planchon Observatory located near the nice small village of Bauduen, France. May 1, 2014
PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and STF1758 - May 1, 2014
PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and STF1758 – May 1, 2014

Object Name (PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and STF1758)
Object Type (Comet and Double Star)
Location (OAB – Observatoire Astronomique de Bauduen)
Date (May 1st, 2014)
Media (graphite pencil, watercolor, white 300gr paper)

Ahhh, this night I really enjoyed myself! Imagine a unlikely place of beauty, the St. Croix lake, with the emerald waters of the “gorges du Verdon” and just above a sky of dream.
Between the two: the Olivier Planchon Observatory located near the nice small village of Bauduen. In the observatory a heavy reflector holding a main mirror of 24″ (620mm) f/d 3.3, a series of brand new Ethos eyepieces and voila.
My pencils show the target of the moment: another comet PanSTARRS, still quite small, but just near the comet a very pretty double star.
My friend “Apilaure” a specialist of double stars, talks about this double:
– It is also called STF1758, a Struve of 1830. The separation was 3.4” in 2010. It is more than likely a physical double because Hipparcos gives the same parallax for A and B, so a distance of 279 light year. The couple turns slowly, 15° in almost 2 centuries.

This is undoubtedly the superb material and this nice double, that I was deprived of the sight of the ion tail, I will return in this observatory, that’s more than sure!

I wish all the best to the ASOD community !

Michel Deconinck

Mars Opposition Watercolou​r

Mars Opposition-April 15, 2014
Mars Opposition-April 15, 2014

•Object Name (Mars)
•Object Type (Planet)
•Location (Artignosc sur Verdon – France)
•Date (April 15th)
•Media (Watercolour on white paper, digital tools Paint.Net for the text)

I use my 4” refractor (achromatic) f/10 – 200x to make the initial sketch; sadly the 12” Dobson give me less contrast for this target. Although the full Moon was very bright, (maybe more bright because of the clear sky of my new small village of Artignosc), details on Mars were easy to watch.

After making the first sketch, some locals came in my backyard to have a look, I like that, and sharing beauty is so easy to do.

For this image I use watercolour, on a very humid 300gr paper, I let the pigment floating as I saw the planet colours. The water helps me to give a natural look and feel. Of course this image has no any scientific value; this is just to keep a souvenir of this Mars close passage. Don’t try to compare the little details of my watercolour with reality; I let that to my astrophotography friends, they are so good today!

More info (in French sorry) on

Friendly yours

Michel Deconinck

The Smoke Ring

M57, The Ring Nebula
M57, The Ring Nebula


This time I send you my observation of the wellknown planetary M. 57 in Lyra.

The centralstar was not seen in my telescope, but the ring is allways beautiful to see!

The west and the eastern “ends” of the ring was more diffuse, and the northern

part of the ring brighter and sharper. Info on my sketch.

The sketch was made with watercolor crayons on black paper.

Location: Trondheim, Norway.

Best wishes from Per-Jonny Bremseth.

M82 and Supernova News

SN 2014J in M82 - February 2, 2014
SN 2014J in M82 – February 2, 2014

Object Name (SN 2014J in M82)
Object Type (Supernova in galaxy)
Location (Provence – France)
Date (Feb 2nd 2014)
Media (graphite pencil, watercolour on white paper)

Hello sketchers, here is my contribution to the observation of SN 2014J.

From Jan. 23rd till Feb. 11th I spend a lot of good time with the M82 supernova. Sketching the galaxy, estimate the visual magnitude and made watercolour of the sceneries.
Sometime I observed with friends and their materials, sometime I’m alone on the middle of no where, between the Provencal wild nature and the dark sky. Here in south France the temperature is quite high for the season but wind blows, so, often I place my car to protect the 12” Dobson from the mistral.
Attached is a kind of “auto portrait” (yes, that’s me!), from a photo I take tonight. On the basis I add the AAVSO curve with my own visual observations (blue cross is DMIB).

The technique used is inverted watercolour, so I invert the colours of the sketch while scanning. For the galaxy this is common sketch black on white – inverted.

Thanks to read this, clear sky to you all !

Geminid’s Rain

Geminid Meteor Shower - December 14, 2013
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 14, 2013

Object Name (Geminids)
Object Type (Meteor shower )
Location (Provence France)
Date (14 dec 2013)
Media (graphite pencil, watercolor, white paper, digital inversion )

From 4UT just after the moonset, I was observing one hour looking around the Leo area.
I begin to sketch the sky region where I was looking, +/- 45° from the radiant. We can see the Leo and the red Mars underneath.
Each time a meteor was burning out I put the trace on my white paper link with the estimated magnitude. Let says one minute after, because already years ago, I realized that sometime a meteor is following shortly by another one, just on the same track, like a double meteor. This morning I saw 42 Geminids and 2 sporadic’s, I don’t sketch the sporadic meteor here. The speed was quite low and the magnitudes quite brilliant.
The small village where I’m don’t care about light pollution, ok then, I use this to sketch the Christmas street decoration like it is.
Here follows my result of the watch,
December 14, 2013 (Val d’Issole, France)
Longitude 006 degrees 05′ 25″ East,
Latitude 43 degrees 18′ 15″ North.
UT Period Field Teff LM GEM SPO
4:00-5:05 60SSE 1.00 5.20 42 2

Total Meteors: 44
Magnitude Distributions:
Shower  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1   0   1   2   3   4   5

GEM      0   0   2   4   5   5   6  10   8   2   0
SPO      0   0   0   1   0   1   0   0   0   0   0

Based on this, my ZHR observation reaches 250!

It was a nice watch, a wonderful spectacle indeed.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck

C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) – December 3, 2013

C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) - December 3, 2013
C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) – December 3, 2013

Hello sketchers,

Object Name (C/2013 R1 – Lovejoy)

Object Type (comet)
Location (Provence France)
Date (3/12/2013)
Media (watercolor on paper 65cm/25cm)

This very morning, early, from Néoules, a nice dark sky area, I made 5 sketches with :
a 80/400mm refractor (10x) for the large field and the long tail,
a Dobson 12”, 58x and 150x for the coma around the nucleus
and a 102/1000 refractor (25x and 100x) for the intermediate view.
I used miscellaneous EP from 40mm to 10mm Delos, sometime with UHC filter.
I made this watercolor today 3 December at home, the idea was to put together the different magnifications on a single view.
Oh yes, something funny, to sketch the tail, I used a light sand paper to take away the pigment from place to place; this sand feels like real comet dust : scale 1/1…

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Watercolor Prom

Solar Prominence - April 22, 2012
Solar Prominence – April 22, 2012

Object Name (Sun)
Location (Rocbaron – Var in Provence)
Date (April 22 2012 16h12 local time)
Media (white paper, emerald green watercolour, inverted scanning.)

Hello artists

Just a few hours after the great sketch of Stratos Tsanaktsidis, I had the opportunity to draw this one. I use a common H alpha PST Coronado.

My technique is quite original, after a light circle portion made by a graphite pencil on white paper I use directly a pure watercolour “green emerald” to sketch the solar surface on a water base and then the protuberances on the dry part of the sky, taking into account that light green will become dark red and vice-versa. Then I just have to invert the colours after scanning. The white sky is becoming black while the green part is becoming “H alpha red”.

Right, I add the approximate dimension of the earth and the moon orbit.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck

Orion’s belt stars

Orion's Belt
Orion’s Belt

Hello ASOD, here join my last watercolor

Object Name (Orion’s belt stars and M42)
Object Type (Constellation and nebulae)
Location (Porquerolles on board of Aquarellia)
Date (02-10-2013)
Media (watercolor on white paper, for inverting the sky)

In the night of October the first, our old two masts Aquarellia was anchoring close to the harbour of Porquerolles, one of the three “Provencal golden islands”.
At one o’clock in the night I wake me up,… maybe ‘cause of some wave noise? I was surprised by seeing the Orion’s belt stars and M42 rising close to the ‘Sainte Agathe’ fort. With my 7×50 binoculars I sketch this original encounter, the mythic Orion warrior at the rear of a real castle.
The French coast, here in my nord, is full of light pollution but to my surprise, the castle illumination was the only light in the sight. The island is not so close to the polluted coast, so the Orion’s constellation was pure in the dark while rising.
This watercolour was made on board with local salt water (;

I hope you enjoy

Michel Deconinck

Nova Del 2013

Nova Del 2013
Nova Del 2013

Object Name (Nova Del 2013)
Object Type (Variable Star)
Location (Provence France)
Date (sept 5th, 2013)
Media (graphite pencil, water colour, white paper, to invert and compil)

Hi sketchers

I like things moving in the sky, and the Nova Del 2013 was the kind of progression that I like to chase.
A little bit less artistic, you can find the curve made of 30 magnitude estimations I did during 20 successive nights, no one single cloudy night!
The original sketch was done during the first night (Aug. 15th) the Dolphin constellation is easily visible.
The observation was made via 10×50 binoculars and then with a 80/400 refractor, received from my friend Yvan, to follow this observation . The sketch of the nova story, on the upper let corner, was made with inverted watercolour.
Hope you like, it’s difficult to make an artistic curve, isn’t it?
Michel Deconinck (from Polaris83 Forcalqueiret)

Michel Deconinck

Star Party under the Perseids

Perseid Star Party - August 11, 2013
Perseid Star Party – August 11, 2013

Object Name (Just a Perseid)
Object Type (Falling star and star party)
Location (Sainte Anastasie sur Issole – Provence)
Date (august 11th 2013)
Media (watercolour on 300gr paper – dim : 25cm/65cm)

The national star night, august 10th 2013 with AFA (Astronomical French Association)
At night, a lot of curious, tourist or passionate are join us under thousands of stars, fixed or falling.
A storyteller playing Celtic harp tells children “how they tried to assassinate Jupiter.” Another storyteller playing bagpipe tells the strange story of the constellations, the gods who watch us from the sky. A dozen of telescopes were in place, including a real antiquity made before the first edition of the Messier catalogue… Workshop were organised around magnitudes and star colours. Children dancing as orbited around our big model of Jupiter and its four main moons…
All this achieved thanks to the Sainte Anastasie’s municipality, turned off the lights around our observation field.
For all of us, this night was,… an astronomical success!

Michel Deconinck

Early Planets

Mercury, Venus, alpha Libra, Saturn and Spica
Mercury, Venus, alpha Libra, Saturn and Spica

Please find here my last watercolour

Object Name (Mercury, Venus and Saturn)
Object Type (Planets conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (December 5th 2012 5:55 UT)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr paper plus white colour for planets)

It was quite cold this morning 1°C but I would like to see the rising of Mercury from my terrace.
Bottom-up we can see: Mercury near the chimney, Venus near alpha Libra, Saturn and Spica .

Clear sky to you all, and if possible, with warmer atmosphere !

Michel Deconinck

Conjunction of Mercury and Venus

Mercury and Venus Conjunction - June 20, 2013
Mercury and Venus Conjunction – June 20, 2013

Hello sketchers

Here my last observation of Mercury and Venus

Object Name (Mercury and Venus)
Object Type (Planet conjunction)
Location (Val d’Issole)
Date (June 20th 2013)
Media (Watercolour for the landscape and graphite pencil for the planets)

During this very “non cloudy” evening with a perfect transparency, I observed this planet conjunction from my own terrace. I use a 10×50 binocular to find Mercury as early as possible, then with my 102/1000 refractor I begin to sketch this planet that I see with a pale orange light, until masking by the horizon. Some time after, I sketched Venus, with a more blue light. The EP I used was a 40mm to find the planets and then a 10mm SWA to sketch.

What is uncommon here is the apparent diameter of both planets, they looks very similar in size but with very different colours. In fact, Mercury was close to us, nearly between the sun and the earth, and Venus was far further our star.

Michel –

Michel Deconinck

Lunar Terminator – August 25, 2012

Lunar Terminator - August 25, 2012
Lunar Terminator – August 25, 2012


I send my sketch of the Moon. The sketch was made on Aug. 25, 2012, by means of white watercolor and dry pastel. That night the moon was 8 days after the new moon. He was low on the horizon but still was strong in my telescope. This is my first picture of the moon.

Date: 25th August 2012
Location: Pasry in Poland
Telescope: Newton 8 ”
Media: white watercolor and dry pastel, black paper

Epsilon Lyrae

epsilon Lyrae
epsilon Lyrae

Hello astro-sketchers, here my last contribution…

Object Name (Epsilon1/2 Lyrae the Double double)
Object Type (Multiple Star)
Location (Château de Berne – Provence – France)
Date (May 8th)
Media (watercolor and ink, inverted while scanning)

Epsilon Lyrae, the “double-double” star, seen in the 450mm Dobson of my friend Philippe.

During this 4th yearly animation made in the “Château de Berne”, a nice vineyard domain in Provence, I had the opportunity to sketch this difficult multiple star.

The northern star is called ε1 and the southern one is called ε2; they both lie around 160 light years from Earth and orbit each other. In this big 450mm eye, both stars of the binary can be further split into binaries; that is, the system contains two binary stars orbiting each other. The component stars of ε1 have magnitudes of 4.7 and 6.2 separated by 2.6″ and have an orbital period that can only be crudely estimated at 1200 years, which places them at roughly 140 AU apart. The component stars of ε2 have magnitudes 5.1 and 5.5 separated by 2.3″, orbit perhaps half that period. ε1 and ε2 themselves are not closer than 0.16 light years apart, and would take hundreds of thousands of years to complete an orbit.

I made the watercolor taking into account the further inversion needed, that means black for white and orange for blue, for example.

Astro sketch website :

Clear sky to you all !
Michel Deconinck

The Setting of Comet PanSTARRS from France

C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)
C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Object Name (2011-L4 PanStarrs)
Object Type (Comet)
Location (Val d’Issole – Provence – France)
Date (2013 March 18th)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr white paper, scan but no digital adaptation)

Hi comet hunters, here follows my contribution.

March 18th, 19:24 UT, from a small hill of the Val d’Issole, I had a nice view of our PanStarrs comet.

It was raining during the first part of the day, but then after a strong “Mistral” wind, the sky was completely cleaned, really pure, just in time for the evening view. I was able to see the tail easily with unaided eye. With a 102/1000 refractor, 25x eyepiece, I made a quick sketch, that was just one minute before the nucleus set followed quickly by the tail. Then at home I made the watercolour. A very nice spectacle indeed!

Michel Deconinck

Mars and Mercury

Conjunction of Mars and Mercury
Conjunction of Mars and Mercury

Here join my last watercolour

Object Name (Mars and Mercury)
Object Type (Planet conjunction)
Location (Sainte-Anastasie-sur-Issole, Provence, France)
Date (08-02-2013)
Media (watercolour)

This February 8th between 17h and 18h (UT) I wanted to watch an unusual planets conjunction and set, Mars and Mercury separated by only 15 ‘. This could be seen through the long and wide belt of Venus. I found a peak of 360° free to obstacles – 500 meter altitude. North we see clearly two winter sports resorts and South the Porquerolles Island and its lighthouse – 2 x 10 sec, so… the “M” morse letter, to celebrate our two planets M.. ?
It was cold with a strong wind, I still observed one hour. Some pictures with my little camera and two quick sketches, a complete landscape and an eyepiece vision, in order to be ready to make a watercolour, the day after.
Mercury was bright, clearly visible with a white light. Mars was 8 times less light but very red. No details with my reflector 100/500, plus an eyepiece K12mm. We can just imagine the disc-shaped appearance of the two planets. Mercury was gibbous almost full and very close the tiny and still red planet.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Early Planets

Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon
Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon

Please find here my (this morning) watercolour

Object Name (Mercury, Venus and the Moon)
Object Type (conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (December 11th 2012 6:00 UT)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr paper plus white colour for planets)

It was quite cold this morning -1°C plus Mistral (north local wind)… but I would like to see again the rising of Mercury from my terrace.

Bottom-up we can see: Mercury near the chimney and Venus close to the Moon.

The watercolour was done on the spot, taking off the pigment for the planets with a brush when the paper was not yet dry. I add some hot coloration to the dark part of the very old Moon. Then I scanned the picture.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

InOMN Daylight Moon

Crescent Moon on International Observe the Moon Night
Crescent Moon on International Observe the Moon Night


Another watercolour I did during the InOMN event (International Observation of the Moon Night) but… during the daylight.

Object Name (2012 September 22 Moon)
Object Type (Daylight Moon)
Location (Néoules Provence France)
Date (2012 September 22 – 16hoo Local Time)
Media (graphite pencil for the moon, watercolour for the landscape)

We organize a special event for the InOMN (International Observation of the Moon Night).

21 of us attended this pleasant event organized by the local club “Polaris83”. We used 7 miscellaneous telescopes during the event.

I made two separate sketches, one with standard graphite pencil for the moon, the second one is a common watercolour I did of the local wild landscape. I scanned both paper and compile them together.

I used my 1000/102 Bresser refractor with a 40mm eyepiece to get a good contrast facing the bright background sky.

The compilation was done with the freeware software : Paint.Net

Conditions were perfect, the sun was hot here… !

Clear sky to you all
Michel Deconinck

Transit of Venus from Alavi High school

Transit of Venus
Transit of Venus

I’m AhmadReza Hoseini from Alavi Association of Astronomy.
I and my َAstronomy students in Alavi high school in Tehran had a memorable Observation of Venus transit in 6 June 2012.
This sketch from Ali BabaNalbandi is the best in students’ sketches.
in addition, I attached some pictures of our observation for you.
Excuse us for the delay in sending this sketch.
We have got familiar with your site during this month and we hope to have better communications and interactions with you in future.

Sketch Properties:
Observer: Ali BabaNalbandi
Object Name: Venus Transit 2012
Object Type: Sun & Venus
Location: Alavi (High School) Association of Astronomy, Tehran, Iran
Date: 6 June 2012
Media: graphite pencil, charcoal, gouache, watercolor
Observing Tool: SkyWatcher 8″ Dob
Weather: Sunny and clear
seeing: very good

Yhank you
A.R. Hoseini
Astronomy Teacher at Alavi Association of Astronomy
(Alavi High school)

Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon

Jupiter Occultation and Conjunction
Jupiter Occultation and Conjunction

Hi, here attached my last souvenir

Object Name (Jupiter, Moon, Venus and Hyades)
Object Type (occultation)
Location (Néoules Var France)
Date (2012 July 15th)
Media (graphite pencil for the moon, and watercolor for the dolmen sketch)

So early! I observed with a friend of mine from 3h to 5h AM local time.

Close to Néoules, we have a good place with a good sky to observe the rising of Sun, Moon and planets.

The telescope I use to sketch is a Bresser 1000/102.

The two first sketches were made in this place; the watercolour was made just after the occultation, 5 km further. How many occultation this megalithic dolmen has seen?

On the watercolor, we can see the planet Venus and perceive the Hyades open cluster with Aldebaran

That was very early but,… what a wonderful spectacle !
Kind regards

Michel Deconinck

Jupiter Occultation
Jupiter Occultation
Jupiter Occultation
Jupiter Occultation

Sunrise Transit

Venus Transit
Venus Transit

Venus as a star, once more,…

Object Name (Venus transit…)
Location (Néoules – Provence – France)
Date (06-06-2012 & 13-06-2012)
Media (red wine, graphite pencil, watercolour)
Refractor 1000/102

I made this sketch directly while the sun was rising, just with pencil on white paper.

I had to sketch very quickly.

Today, at home I used yellow watercolour and black for the dark part of the sky

For the clouds I used red wine pigment, from here we are in France.

I was on a hill, the time for this sketch was 3:50, 2 or 3 minutes before the theoretical sunrise time, so my telescope was downwardly inclined. Strange and fantastic souvenir.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck
Site Web:

Venus and Two-Day Moon

Moon-Venus Conjunction
Moon-Venus Conjunction - November 27, 2011

Moon Venus conjunction 2011-11-27 – 5 PM Local Time

Object Name (Moon, Venus)
Object Type (conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (2011-11-27 5PM Local Time)
Media (graphite pencil and watercolour)
Material (Newton telescope 114/500 25x for the moon and naked eyes)

I climbed during half an hour with a light telescope on my back to reach the St Sauveur Mountain close to Rocbaron. This is a fantastic position. I can see the Med from the Golden Islands Porqueroles and Port-Cros to the Toulon surroundings and the sunset.

After sketching the landscape with a graphite pencil, I place the Moon and Venus. Then through my telescope I sketched the new born moon.

The home work was to colour the sketch and adds Venus and the moon reduced to the correct size on my digital watercolour.

The full adventure is described on a small youtube animation:

Thanks to you all

Michel Deconinck
Téléphone : 00 33 (0)4 89 36 54 03
GSM/portable : 00 33 (0)6 99 42 42 47
email :
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