Spring’s Trio

Spring's Trio, "The Leo Triplet", galaxies M65, M66 and NGC 3628
Spring’s Trio, “The Leo Triplet”, galaxies M65, M66 and NGC 3628

It is spring’s trio.

The dark lane in the 3628 is really fantastic!

Before this sketch, I always confused M65 and M66.
But now I can classify 65 & 66.
Sketch is magical tool in the visual astronomy. 🙂

Object Name : Leo triple
Object Type : Galaxies
Location : S. Korea
Date : Nov. 11, 2013
Equipment : Discovery 15″ Dob
Media : Black paper, Jelly pen, Pastel pencil

Leo II and Copeland’s Septet

Leo II and Copeland's Septet
Leo II and Copeland’s Septet

Object Name: Leo II and Copeland’s Septet

Object Type (Galaxies)
Location (Nienawiszcz, Poland)
Date (05-may-2014)
Equipment: Newtonian telescope 409/1800 (Capella 41), WO SWAN 40mm, ES 14mm eyepiece , Soligor Barlow 2X
Object: – Artist: Robert Twarogal (Ignisdei)

Night from Saturday to Sunday (3-4 May 2014) was beautiful. The observation started at 22.00. Near the Star „Gamma Leo” I found a spectacular Leo II (dwarf spheroidal galaxy UGC 6253 ( distance from Earth of 750 thousand light-years.) Galaxy Leo II was discovered in 1950 by Robert Harrington and Albert Wilson under the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey. Leo II belong to the our Local Group, and is a satellite of the Milky Way. Beautiful large, galaxy, „rather” visible in 41cm mirror + Swan 40mm and Soligor Barlow 2X

Then with some dose of skepticism I began to search a Copeland’s Septet (Hickson 57)

This is a close gropup of seven galaxies that lies about 480 million light-years away in Leo, discovered by Ralph Copeland in 1874. An apparent magnitudes of them: between 13.6 and 15.2, it was hard to divide, They are very faint even in Newtonian 16” + ES 14 mm in power 128X.

Yours Robert

The Biggest Face in the Universe!

Messier 84/86 Group of Galaxies
Messier 84/86 Group of Galaxies

Seeing many objects in an eyepiece view is my favorite things!

So, I love galaxy groups.

M84/86 group like face shape.

He has two eyes, one little nose, smiling mouth, only one eyebrow, and ear…

It is biggest face in the universe!

Object Name : M84/86 group
Object Type : Galaxies
Location : S. Korea
Date : May. 30, 2014
Equipment : Discovery 15″ Dob
Media : Black paper, Jelly pen, Pastel pencil

Nightwid 無雲

Coma Cluster

Coma Cluster panorama sketch
Coma Cluster panorama sketch

“Coma Cluster” is a rich galaxy cluster, which reveals dozens of galaxies even through an amateur telescope under right conditions. This is a panoramic sketch, which shows ~15 of it’s members, with magnitudes down to 14

Object: “Coma cluster” (Abell 1656)
Type : Cluster of galaxies
Location: Negev desert, Israel, ~6.8 mag. sky.
Date: 04-05/04/2013 ; 02:00.
Instrument: 250mm F/5 Newtonian, 13mm Vixen LVW and 6.7mm ES82.
Media Graphite pencil sketch on a white paper. Inverted and processed in Photoshop.

Five Galaxies in Our Nearby Supercluster

Galaxies from left to right M 60, NGC 4647, NGC 4638, M 59 and NGC 4606
Galaxies from left to right M 60, NGC 4647, NGC 4638, M 59 and NGC 4606

• Object Name: From left to right: M 60, NGC 4647, NGC 4638, M 59 and NGC 4606
• Object Type: Gxs
• Location: Bonilla – Cuemca España
• Date: 03/05/2013
• Media: Graphite Pencil HB 2, torchon 1 and 130g drawing sheet
• Inverted color and processed GIMP 2.8

Greetings to all visitors of this page.

PVG. Alcorcon, Madrid 03/05/2013

Beautiful Hydra Cluster

Abell 1060
Abell 1060

Object Name: Hydra Cluster or Abell 1060.
Location: Capitán Sarmiento, Buenos Aires Argentina.
Date: 05/01/2014.
Media: 2H, 2B, HB. Blend stump. Photoshop.
Telescope: Meade LB 12″ on equatorial tracking platform.
Eyepiece: Explore Scientific 11mm N2 82º.

First star party of the year and first non-digital sketch. Hope you like it!

M84, M86 and More

M 84, M 86, NGC 4388, NGC 4402, NGC 4387
M 84, M 86, NGC 4388, NGC 4402, NGC 4387

Object Name: M 84, M 86, NGC 4388, NGC 4402, NGC 4387

Location: M 84: RA: 12h 25m 03.7s; Dec: +12° 53′ 13″

M 86: RA: 12h 26m 11.7s; Dec: +12° 56′ 462

Constellation: Virgo

Observing Location: Bonilla. Cuenca. SPAIN

Date: 13-14 April 2013.

Material used: graphite pencil on white paper. Inverted image and processed with Photoshop.

Celestron Telescope S/C 8″ Mount Cgt-5

Eyepiece: Hyperion Aspheric 31 mm;

Magnification: 65x.

Conditions: NEML: 5.9, Temp.: 10° C.

More information: http://astrodibujo.blogspot.com.es/

Stephan’s Quintet

Stephan's Quintet (NGC7317, NGC7318A, NGC7318B, NGC7319, NGC7320)
Stephan’s Quintet (NGC7317, NGC7318A, NGC7318B, NGC7319, NGC7320)

Object Name: Stephan’s Quintet (NGC7317, NGC7318A, NGC7318B, NGC7319, NGC7320)
Object Type: galaxies in Pegasus
Location: Jodłów – small village in southern Poland (picture made during StarParty Jodłów 2011)
Date: 29.09.2011
Media: graphite pencil, white paper, color invert
Telescope: Columbus 320UL (320/1384 Newtonian) + Meade 5000UWA 8,8mm
Seeing: 2/5 (good)
Transparency: 2/5 (good)
NELM: 6,4 mag

One of the most popular “challenge objects”. If you want to observe this objects, one thing is very necessary – clear dark sky. Why? This objects are vey faint so good contrast between galaxies and sky is the most important thing. After few minutes of eye adaptation you can observe four very faint galaxies on the longest side of triangle of three bright stars (it is quite easy to find because it is near very bright galaxy NGC 7331). Very interesting objects – you must have it on your observation list under really dark sky.

Clear Sky

Markarian’s Chain

Markarian's Chain
Markarian’s Chain

Object Name: Markarian’s Chain
Object Type: Galaxy Cluster
Location: Sketched at a dark sky sight in Wiltshire, UK
Date: 5th May 2013; 23:30; conditions – very good
Media (graphite pencil sketch at the scope and then digitized using graphics tablet and Photoshop)

I usually sketch in some detail at the scope (mainly HB and 2B). I then scanned the result into Photoshop and sharpened the sketch. I annotated the galaxies.
For this sketch I used a Nexstar 8SE teamed with a WO 32mm wide field of view eyepiece. The sketch occupied two eyepiece field of views plus a bit of edge fills for some surrounding stars.

Observing Details

I have wanted to sketch this cluster for a very long time but needed to travel out into a dark sky site to have a chance. M84 and M86 were very noticeable but, with the help of a star chart I was pleased to spot many more than can be seen from my back garden, although NGC 4413 required averted vision.

Hope you enjoy,

Clear Skies

Chris Lee

Hickson 68

Hickson 68
Hickson 68


on the night of 07th on the 08th May, I had good conditions: no wind, warm temperatures (about 14°C) and clear sky.

So I observed the area between Bootes and Ursa Major till midnight. After lot of nice galaxies I steered my telescope to Hickson 68.
The Galaxies around NGC 5350 in the vicinity of a pretty yellow and blue double star are a great few. Only the faintest galaxy NGC 5358 was imperceptible. After 20 minutes I had placed the stars and the galaxies NGC 5350, 5353, 5354, 5355 on my sketchpad.

It was one of the nights where I enjoy working with the Deep Sky observers Atlas by Gerhard Stropek. I traveled from galaxy to galaxy and simply enjoyed the light of the stars.

And so I hope that you like my sketch.

CS Uwe

Location: Germany near Tauberbischofsheim
Telescope: 10″ ACF on Vixen SXD
Eyepiece: 22mm Nagler
Sketch: pencil on white paper inverted colours

Markarian’s Chain

Markarian's Chain
Markarian’s Chain

Markarian’s Chain superb spring object, this curved line of galaxies is my favorite part of the Virgo Cluster. I sketched 10 of them visible in the 16-inch telescope in small-town suburbia (naked eye limiting magnitude is about 5)

I noticed exactly 10 galaxies from the left:

Ngc 4477
Ngc 4473
Ngc 4458
Ngc 4461
Ngc 4435
Ngc 4438
Ngc 4402
Mgc 4388

Of course, the sketch doesn’t represent the field of view 72 degrees (22mm, eyepiece)- it was just sketched by moving the tube 😉 Power is almost about 82x

Yours Robert

Sketch details:
Object Name: Markarian’s Chain
Object Type: Group of galaxies
Location: Poland, Oborniki
Date: 03-03-2013
Equipment: Newtonian telescope 409/1800 (Capella 41), and 22 mm eyepiece
Object: – Artist: Robert Twarogal (Ignisdei)

Hickson 98

Hickson 98
Hickson 98

A clear evening sky with the moon not rising until around 11pm local time saw me out in the observatory with Hickson’s on my mind!

My targets were to be 97 & 98 which are found in Pisces just below the bottom right hand corner of the great square of Pegasus. I engaged in my usual process of ‘star hopping’ the scope from rest position to my target. The smaller the hops, with ‘re-syncing’ at each stop the better my chance of hitting small and faint objects.

…Hickson 98 listed as having NGC 7783 as a searchable member my software database told me it wasn’t listed, so I had to slew the scope manually onto the coordinates given and then search for a suspect galaxy group when I got very close, this didn’t turn out to be too difficult and I soon had the 4 members forming a chaining with a few stars on the monitor screen. A star bright enough to display diffraction spikes headed the chain to the north, all very neat and attractive. It turned out that all 4 members are NGC 7783 A-D so that is likely why I could find it; I probably needed to enter the full nomenclature to find it in the database.

Abell 426 – Perseus Galaxy cluster

Abell 426 - Perseus Galaxy cluster
Abell 426 - Perseus Galaxy cluster

Object name: Perseus Galaxy Cluster (Abell 426)
Object type: Galaxy Cluster
Observation location: Meldert (Belgium)
Date: 17th November 2012
Media: Graphite pencil type 1B on white paper 120g, digital scan & inverted

Equipment used:
– Celestron CGEM mounted SCT C11 (279mm f/10)
– Eyepiece Hyperion 24mm = 35 arcm widefield view @ 117x
– Eyepiece Televue Nagler 13mm = 23 arcm detail view @215x

Sky conditions:
– Limiting magnitude: NELM 5.7
– Transparancy: clear sky, slightly foggy
– Seeing: moderate

More than 25 individual members of this impressive Galaxy Cluster could be observed in a rich Perseus milkyway starfield and were recorded on this sketch during a timespan of more than 3 hours.
In particular the area around the massife Seyfert galaxy NGC 1275 was a visual adventure with faint galaxies popping up in the eyepiece!
For more details on the observation & overview of the individual galaxies: check www.deepskylog.be
Clear skies!

NGC 6781 and HCG 99

NGC 6781
NGC 6781

A brief window to observe the deeper sky was taken tonight as it was clear, dark early and with the moon not due to interfere until around 20.30ut.
As has become the norm, I was intent to grab another of the 100 Hickson groups, but before I did this and as Altair (Alpha Aquilae) was a stop off on my hopping progress up into Pegasus I took a look into Mark Bratton’s excellent Guide to the Herschel Objects to see what was local. I picked up on NGC 6781 which is a beautiful mag 11.8 planetary in Aquila with plenty of exquisite detail to enjoy. Compared to M57 the Ring Nebula in Lyra it is relatively large and faint, yet not so faint that it isn’t visible in smaller, say 8” telescopes, I feel it is more akin to the Helix nebula, though considerably smaller at 2.0′ diameter.
At 16.8 magnitude, the central star (a white dwarf) is clearly seen just off centre in my sketch, made using the 500mm mirror, Watec 120N+ video camera of course! Sketched in pencil on white and then inverted on the computer.
No time to spare, one sketch in the bag, yeeha!, with the Moon getting ever closer to the horizon, I pushed onto Hickson 99 there are 5 members in this group which is located just SW of Alpha Andromedae (Alpheratz) in the square of Pegasus.
(A) member UGC12897 mag 14.8 is extended N-S with a star on its southern tip. (B) UGC12899 is round fairly bright at mag 14.7 with a brighter nucleus. I find (C) PGC 58 to be the most interesting, it is a barred spiral and despite being only mag 15.6 I was able to see and capture arm structure in my sketch, amazing J (D) & (E) members PGC 60 & PGC 57 respectively at mag 17.1 & 17.6 are merely tiny smudges to the south of the 3 main members.
I was very pleased with this short and productive observing session, time to close up and return to the family & gardeners world indoors!

HGC 99
HGC 99

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://chippingdaleobservatory.com/blog/

NGC 4889 and Vicinity

NGC 4889
NGC 4889

Object Name NGC 4889 (=Caldwell 35) and vicinity
Object Type Galaxy (brightest in galaxy cluster)
Location Scheidegg, Bavaria, Germany
Date March 26th, 2012
Media Graphite pencil on white paper using blending stump, digitally inverted

NGC 4889 is the brightest galaxy in the Coma cluster. The view one gets in a larger telescope (I used an 18″ f/5 Dobsonian) is stunning. At least a dozen galaxies could be seen definitely, several more were assumed. The field almost showed as many galaxies as stars. NGC 4889 itself is pretty bright with a significantly brighter nucleus, slightly elongated in WNW-ESE. Sky conditions were good but not perfect, I logged a faintest star of fst 6m4 in Virgo. The magnification of the sketch is 94x. Beside the observation the identification of all seen galaxies was quite demanding. Hopefully, they are all correct.

Best regards,
Christian Weis

28 is 28 & Cleopatra had her beautiful eye on me!

HCG 28

A bitterly cold night that saw the mercury drop to the lowest level I have ever known or recorded -16?C. I wanted to get an early observation in before Moon rise; my primary objective was to add another Hickson group to my list. This I did successfully with very appropriately HCG 28, I say appropriate as this was the 28th that I have observed and sketched. Located in Eridanus there are 4 faint members in the group although my sketch actually includes a 5th galaxy which isn’t a member and is depicted as a faint star. All members have PGC listing the faintest & smallest (d) member is Mag 18, so serious stuff! The commanding member is a nice edge on PGC 15136 running N-S, see my sketch here
Quite how I came to observe the next object I’m not quite sure? I may have noticed it close by on my planetarium software, not that it matters, it was an interesting and valuable observation. Again in Eridanus, NGC 1535 is a lovely planetary nebula, named ‘Cleopatra’s eye’ by Greg Crinklaw aka ‘The Skyhound’ a name that appears to have stuck and grown in popularity. I had observed this planetary back in 2010 with the old 350mm F5 and older first generation Watec camera, but this was my first visit with the 505mm mirror. It did show an improvement, despite the lower focal length employed on this occasion, I used a barlow lens previously to increase image scale and try and pull out more detail, I had failed to resolve a faint star on the very northern edge of the nebula, the central star was easy and steady as were internal annular ring structures rather like those in the ‘Eskimo’ nebula.
Here is my old sketch with the 350mm and here is the latest with the 505mm. At the time of writing I have asked Sue French if she would be so kind as to help assist me on finding the outer stars mag.
Happy days, 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/

NGC 1535
NGC 1535

Treasures of a Lion

The Leo Triplet – three galaxies M65, M66, and the NGC 3628.
It is a small group of galaxies located about 35 million light years away from Earth

Apparent Magnitude of the members is from 9,3 -10,4mag

March 6, 2011- I saw them in SCT 11″ (power of about 70x), in the Swan 40mm, with field of view 72 degrees !
The NELM was about 5 mag, sky was very clear.
These objects like magnification, if we had used it, the Triplet would have shown us a lot of details.

Yours sincerely Robert

Object Name: The Leo Triplet
Object Type (galaxies)
Location (Oborniki, suburbia, Poland)
Date (06-03-2011)
Equipment: 11″ Schmidt ; Cassegrain on CGEM, WO SWAN 40mm
Autor: Ignisdei (Robert Twarogal)

Interacting or Not?

NGC 2294/2291/2289/2288/2290
56cm f5 dosonian telescope
Field: 17′
Magnification: 354x
Sky Quality Meter reading: 21:58

Black Canford paper
White pen
White pencil
White oil pencil
White pastel chalk
Paint brush
Blending stump

This was quite a nice collection of galaxies in Gemini that viewed well in the 56cm dob.

The brightest member of this group is NGC 2294, as is quite evident in the sketch.
Descending to the right is NGC 2291 a diffuse mag 14.0 galaxy, followed directly below about 6′ by two
quite faint and small galaxies NGC 2289/2288 which are only some 2′ apart.

The last object in this group is NGC 2290 another diffuse mag 14.0 galaxy about 1.0′ x 1.0′ in size.

This was a fairly faint group, but they were not overly challenging from a dark sky site.

I do not know whether any of these galaxies are in interaction, but looking at some DSS images of this
group it seems unlikely.

Scott Mellish

Dancing in the Virgo Supercluster

NGC 5566/5569/5560
Ilford NSW Australia
56cm f5.0 dobsonian telescope
Field: 17′
Magnification: 354x
Sky quality meter reading: 21:38

Black Canford paper
White pen
White pencil
White pastel chalk
Fine tip paint brush

From the Realm Of The Nebulae comes this interesting trio of relatively bright galaxies.

From the top of the sketch we have NGC 5569 followed by NGC 5566 (Arp 286) and at the bottom is
NGC 5560.

Deep images show that these galaxies are interacting, with the dominant member being NGC 5566.

One of the best images of this little combination featured on APOD recently http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100813.html
and shows them in all their glory.

Though I would have to say that sketching materials are a lot less expensive than fitting oneself of with CCD gear.

Scott Mellish

Deep Inside the Whale

NGC 839/838/835/833
Hickson 16
Ilford NSW Australia
56cm f5 Dobsonian telescope
Field: 15′
Magnification: 314x
Sky Quality Meter reading: 21:57

Black Canford paper
White pen
White pencil
White pastel chalk
Blending stump
Paint brush

This lovely little chain of four galaxies was easily visible in the 56cm dob.
Though small all of them were fairly bright at around mag 12.5.

Quite a number of the Hickson galaxy groups are faint and challenging objects.
This group however was a pleasant surprise.

Scott Mellish

Hickson 10

Dzień Dobry 🙂

Sketch information:

Obiect name: Hickson 10
-NGC 536 (12,4 M – 3,0×1,1 size)
-NGC 529 (12,1M – 2,4×2,1 size)
-NGC 531 (13,8M – 1,9×0,5 size)

Scope: Sky-Watcher 254/1200

Eyepieces: LVW 8 (150x)

Place: Poland, Zielona Góra (A few kilometers from city)

Seeing: Very Good. 5/5

Date: 24/25.08.2009r

Technique:Pencil,graphics GIMP2

Amateur astronomer: Przemysław Horoszkiewicz (Poland)

So Many Bright Galaxies in One Field

NGC 4268/4272/4277/4281/4270/IC 3153
Ilford NSW Australia
56cm f5 Dobsonian telescope
Field: 17′
Magnification: 354x
Sky Quality Meter reading: 21:43

Black Canford paper
White pen
White pencil
Soft white pastel chalk
White oil pen
Blending stump
Fine tip paint brush for smoothness

Whenever Virgo is well placed in the southern sky I always try and tick
a few more objects off my observing list.

I noticed an interesting group of galaxies as I was checking my charts,
and I marked them down for observation.
I was most impressed when I finally managed to get them in the eyepiece
of the 56cm dob.

It is quite a rare treat to have so many bright galaxies gathered
together in the one field.

I have included a duplicate reference sketch with details.
Hopefully I have got all the designations correct.

Scott Mellish

Markarian’s Chain

Markarian's Chain
Markarian’s Chain
Sketch and Details by Michael Geldorp

Object Type: Cluster of galaxies
Instrument: 8″ Dobsonian at 49X
Date May 10, 2001

This sketch of the chain of galaxies that runs from M87 to M84 was made with an 8″ Dobsonian at 49X and shows M84, M86, M87, NGC 4435 and NGC 4438 while at higher magnifications NGC 4387 and NGC 4388 were also seen near M84. This is a wonderful area of the sky with medium sized telescopes.

The sketch was made with pencil on white printer paper. It was then scanned into the computer and inverted to give the realistic white-on-black look.

for more information and other sketches please visit http://mordorp.zymichost.com/Astrohomepage/htmlfiles/index2.html

Michael Geldorp

Markarian’s Chain

Markarian's Chain

Markarian’s Chain
Sketch and Details by Paul Caucal
Move cursor over image to view labels • Click to view full sketch sheet


First, I’m a French man so sorry for my bad english! This sketch was drawn with a refractor telescope 3.2″ APO (80mm) with a 25mm eyepiece (24x,) on azimuthal mount in Italia during my holiday. About the seeing and the transparency, I noted a seeing of 3/5, a transparency of 2/5 and a light pollution of 2/5. Thus, the sky was very good because I was in the campaign. The sketch lasted three hours and forty five minutes, from 21h45UT till 1h30UT. In the eyepiece, there were ten galaxies which three very bright as M84, M86 and M87! Attached, two versions of the same sketch, one right and one annotated with the name of galaxies.

Other information

  • Object Name Markarian’s Chain (M84, M86, NGC4388, M87, NGC4438, NGC4435, NGC4473, NGC4477, NGC4459, NGC 4461).
  • Object Type Galaxy Cluster Virgo
  • Location Figline Val D’Arno, Toscana, Italia
  • Date 08-09/04/2010 (April 08-09 2010)
  • Media Drawing on black paper with white pencils

Best regards,
Paul Caucal
Web site: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/univers-iles

Leo Triplet

Leo Triplet
Leo Triplet – Messier 65. 66, NGC 3628
Sketch and Details by Mark Radice

Please find a sketch of the Leo Triplet (M65, M66 and NGC3628) attached for your consideration. It was made at my dark sky site in southern England through a recently completed homemade 8.”5 Newtonian. It was a pleasure to find the third galaxy, NGC 3628, readily visible when compared to the view through my 4″ refractor. When you consider the volume of stars in each galaxy, it is wonderful to be looking at three galaxies in the same field of view. The sketch was made using HB & 2H pencils and blending stump on to white paper and then recreated in Adobe photoshop.



The Deer Lick Group

Sketch of the Deer Lick Group

The Deer Lick Group
Sketch and Details by Miłosz Guzowski

today I want to present my sketch of Deer Lick – galaxy grup from Pegasus.
Object name: NGC 7331 (Deer Lick group)
Object type: Galaxy cluster
Location: Białuty (Poland)
Date: 18/19.08.2009
Scope: 10″ newtonian + ploosl 10mm (mag. 120x)

Medium : Graphite/blending stump on white paper + GIMP processing

AGCS 1014 Galaxy Cluster

AGCS 1014
AGCS 1014
Sketch and Details by Scott Mellish

AGCS 1014
Galaxy cluster
Ilford NSW Australia
56cm f5.0 Dobsonian telescope
Field: 15′
Magnification: 314x
Sky Quality Meter reading 21:72

White pen
White oil pencil
Soft white pencil

The far southern circumpolar constellation of Octans is not often considered rich in deep sky objects, at least not bright and pretty ones.

For the more adventurous observer there is a wealth of faint and fascinating galaxies scattered throughout the area to keep one engrossed for hours.

One such object is the remote Abell galaxy cluster AGCS 1014.
R.A: 22 23 47.9 DEC: -80 11 52.
This object is the most interesting of several extremely faint galaxy clusters that inhabit the region, and certainly the brightest one that is nearest the south celestial pole.

What is most rewarding with such little known objects is the fact that the observer may very well be one of only a handful of people on the planet to have seen it in a telescope.

Scott Mellish.

Cities of the Stellar Vorteses

Rivers of the Stellar Vorteses

M31, M32, M110 The Great Andromeda Galaxy and satellite galaxies
Sketch and Details by Milosz Guzowski


Today I want to present my late-summer sketch of M31, M32 and M 110

Object Name: M31, M32, M110

Object Type: Galaxies

Location: Białuty (Poland)

Date: 23/24.08.2009

Scope: 10″ newtonian + ploosl 30mm (mag. 40x)

Medium : Graphite/blending stump on white paper + GIMP processing

Floating on the Rivers of Night

Floating on the Rivers of Night

NGC 7769, NGC 7770 and NGC 7771 Galaxies in Pegasus
Sketch and Details by Ferenc Lovró

I’ve sketched this fantastic trio of galaxies during the Meteor Star Party 2009 in Tarján, Hungary. The two larger ones are the face-on NGC 7769 and the edge-on 7771, both with softly brightening cores. Next to 7771 a small fuzzy object is visible, which surprises me, since my printed star map (TriAtlas B, with a limiting magnitude of about 12) shows no other objects than the two large galaxies at this area of sky. But as I can clearly make out this bright diffuse spot, I place it on the sketch and can’t wait to find out what I really saw. It turns out to be the NGC 7770, another faint galaxy of 13.6m. This value I find a bit misleading, because visually its surface is not this much fainter than its two larger companion galaxies. This discovery makes me really happy, just like when I rediscovered NGC 5981 of the Draco Trio. SQM reading: 20.91 m/arcsec^2.


Constellation: Pegasus
Right ascension: 23h 52m; Declination: 20° 10′
Date/time: 2009.08.20 21:30 UT
Equipment: 12″ f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 32′ Magnification and filter(s): 100x
Seeing: 4/10 Transparency: 5/5
Observer: Ferenc Lovró
Location: Tarján, Hungary

Necklace of Nebulae

Necklace of Nebulae

The Pavo Group of Galaxies
Sketch and Details by Scott Mellish

From left to right: IC 4970/NGC 6872/ PGC 64439/ NGC 6876/ NGC 6877/
NGC 6880/ IC 4981
Ilford NSW Australia
56cm f5 Dobsonian
Field: 27′
Magnification: 218x
Sky quality meter reading: 21:64

This has always been a nice collection of galaxies to visit in Pavo.
Sometimes with a sketch it can be a bit confusing sorting out which
galaxies are which.
Hopefully I have got all their designations correct.

Scott Mellish

Three for the Lion

The Lion’s Trio

The Leo Triplet: M65, M66 and NGC 3628
Sketch and Details by Diego Gonzalez


This is my first submission to ASOD although I am a long time reader of the website. Here is an sketch and small report of the Leo triplet I made last spring from my home in cloudy northern Spain.

The Leo Triplet is easy to find south of bright star Theta Leonis. M 65 and M 66 are seen without much difficulty south of a 7th magnitude star, but under my sky conditions NGC 3628 requires more attention.

M 66, the easternmost of the Messier galaxies, lies next to a group of four stars ranging from 10th to 11th magnitude. The galaxy has a bright nucleus and an elongated halo running NNW-SSE, small and well visible, that is gradually lost in the dark sky. The other Messier galaxy, M 65, has an orientation and size very similar to its companion, but its look in the eyepiece is different. I can’t see a prominent nucleus and the brightness seems rather uniform but increasing slightly towards the center.

NGC 3628 is a bit more difficult than its companions, and I need 45x to make it visible, although the best view comes at 77x (Hyperion 13mm eyepiece). The galaxy is a faint spindle, very elongated in E-W direction. It is noticeably bigger than the Messier galaxies and creates a beautiful contrast with them.

Using my Panoptic 22mm eyepiece, I can see all three galaxies in the same field of view, making it a wonderful view. The three galaxies are Hubble type Sb, but each one has its own features that make it different from the others at the eyepiece. The average distance to the Leo Triplet is about 30 million light-years.

Sketch: 2HB graphite pencil on white paper, scanned and processed with Photoshop Elements 2.0
Object Name: The Leo Triplet: M 65, M66 and NGC 3628
Object Type: Galaxy group
Location: Asturias, Spain
Date: 22th March, 2009
Instrument: 120mm f/8,3 refractor + Panoptic 22m eyepiece (45x)

Diego Gonzalez

Three for the Price of One

Leo composite

The Leo Triplet, M65, M66 and NGC 3628
Sketches and Details by Jeff Young

This is a large-format sketch of the Leo Triplet. The field stars and galaxy positions were drawn from observations through a Takahashi FC-100 at 67X, while the individual galaxy details are from 3 separate sketches through 16” cats (M66 and NGC3628 through my old Meade SCT at 175X, and M65 through my newer APM Mak at 150X).

I scanned the original sketches and increased the contrast, and then printed them to the same scale. The printouts were taped together with the final 12” x 16” sketch paper, and the field stars and galaxy positions were traced with the help of backlighting from a window.

Leo Trio Window

I then copied the galaxy details by hand from the original sketches.

Leo trio details

There’s a bit more noise in the final result than usual because the larger format wouldn’t fit my scanner and I had to take a picture of it with my digital camera.

The Leo Triplet (M65, M66 and NGC3628)

Daler Rowney HB pencil on Daler Rowney A3 150 gsm cartridge paper

Sketched from County Louth, Ireland


— Jeff.

Ursa Major Triplet

Ursa Major Triplet

M81, M52 and NGC 3077 in Ursa Major
Sketch and Details by Jef De Wit

M81 and M82 are an impressive duo. But a lot of people don’t know that there is a third galaxy in the neighbourhood (NGC 3077, magnitude: 9,8, surface brightness: 13,2). Even in a small telescope (like my 2,75 inch refractor) you can easily see a lot of detail in this trio.

M81 is the biggest and best visible of the three, M82 is a little less bright than M81 and NGC 3077 was only visible with averted vision. Nice are also the differences in form. NGC 3077 is round, M81 is oval (elongated NW-SE) and M82 is oblong (elongated NE-SW). M81 is the only galaxy with a bright nucleus and a big difference in brightness between the core and the outer halo, M 82 has a less difference in brightness and NGC 3077 is uniform, without any detail.

The problem making this sketch was that I couldn’t see the three galaxies at once in the wide angle eyepiece. To see the edge I had to look around the corner. This made it (for me) difficult to position the stars. Normally I limit a sketch to the field of view I can see at once.

Once inside I made some brightness adjustments to the stars and finished the galaxies with the use of a blending stump (at the eyepiece I work with contour lines). After scanning I did some cleaning up with Paint.

I hope you like this “Ursa Major Triplet”.

Clear skies

Jef De Wit

Object Name: M81, M82 and NGC 3077

Object Type: galaxies

Location: Buis-les-Baronnies, France (44°16 north Lat. 5°16 east Long.)

Date and time: 15 April 2009 around 1.15 UT

Equipment: Meade ETX-70 (2,75 inch refractor)

Eyepiece: 7mm Nagler type 6 (FOV 1,6° and magnification 50x)

NELM: 5,7 mag

Medium: graphite pencils HB/2 and 8B, blending stump, printing paper, scanned and inverted, some cleaning up was made with Paint

A Stunning Leo Triplet

Leo Triplet

The Leo Triplet: NGC 3628, M65, M66
Sketch and Details by Dale Holt

Last week using the 14″ Newt & Watec Camera, I sketched each member of the Leo Triplet individually. There is only a very small FOV using the camera with this scope but the detailed revealed is quite incredible. Have made 3 individual sketches I asked my very good friend & accomplished planetary imager Simon Kidd if he could make up a composite for me in Photoshop and add some field stars. He duly did this (something I couldn’t contemplate doing myself!)

If I do say so myself the result is pretty impressive, what do you guys think?

Sketches made using black conte pastel & blending stumps on white cartridge paper, scanned and inverted to white on black. All the magic is then carried out by simon 🙂

Let me know what you think? Dale

A Handful of Peculiars

ARP 229

Arp 229
Sketch and Details by Jeff Young

Here’s another entry from Halton Arp’s catalog of Peculiar Galaxies: Arp 229. (I believe Arp’s designation applies only to the central galaxies in my sketch.)

I thought this made a particularly interesting view as the galaxies are quite varied even though there’s not really any structure visible in my instrument. From the top, we have NGC499 which presents an elongated, well-condensed core, followed by the bright over/under pair of NGC508 and 507, both of which present semi-stellar cores. The little guys around that pair, clockwise from the center of the sketch are IC1687 with no core visible, MCG+05-04-048 with a dim semi-stellar core visible, and NGC504 with a bright stellar core. Lastly is IC1685 in the lower left, which is quite bright but shows no core at all.

Sketched 11/30/2008 from County Louth, Ireland,
as viewed through a 16” Mak-Cass @ 150X; Pickering 5, NELM 5.5, SQM 20.4.
Daler-Rowney HB Graphic pencil on white cartridge paper. Scanned and inverted in Photoshop.


— Jeff.

String of Pearls

ARP 331

Arp 331, “The String of Pearls”
Sketch and Details by Jeff Young

Here’s something a bit off the beaten path: Arp 331, comprising a string of NGC galaxies in Pisces.

My sketch shows NGC383 in the center, with NGC380 and then NGC379 to the N. Somewhat dimmer are NGC385 and NGC384 to the S, with the averted-vision-only NGC386 in between (the dimmest one captured on the sketch). I missed NGC382 (which was too close to NGC383 to differentiate), and NGC388, which was too dim for my instrument and conditions.

Sketched 11/27/2008 from County Louth, Ireland,

as viewed through 16” Mak-Cass @ 150X; Pickering 8, NELM 5, SQM 20.4

Daler-Rowney HB Graphic pencil on white cartridge paper. Scanned and inverted in Photoshop.

Before Two Become One

NGC 2207

NGC 2207 and IC 2163
Sketch by Eiji Kato, text by Frank McCabe

This remarkable sketch was made by Eiji Kato using a 47 cm. f/4 reflector and looking out to a distance measured to be 114 to144 million light years. These beautiful, large, interacting spiral galaxies are located in the constellation of Canis Major at R.A. 6 hrs.16 min.22 sec.; Dec. -21° 22′ 21”. The smaller of the two IC 2163 is about the size of our own Milky Way galaxy. Both members were discovered by John Herschel in 1835. Supernova hunters may be familiar with this pair since the brighter, larger member NGC 2207 has been the site of three supernovas in the past 33 years. The visual magnitudes of these galaxies are 12.2 (IC 2163) and 11.6 (NGC 2207). The nuclei of theses spirals are about 1.4′ of an arc apart. In time, galactic cannibalism will complete the merging of this pair.

Hubble Heritage Image from November of 1999 http://heritage.stsci.edu/1999/41/big.html