C2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) - January 14, 2015
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) – January 14, 2015

Hello Asodians!
After the clouds went away Comet C2014Q2 (Lovejoy) appeared glowing in the
sky! The nucleous was very bright, nearly stellar but the tail was not
visible. Not yet.
I observed from my balcony on the 7th floor…
Immediately – after placing my chair there – I went to work but had to wait
for an annoying Cirrus blanket that covered the view. It finally cleared
but before I even looked through the binos, I tried to spot it with my eyes
alone but I just couldn’t convince myself that it was visible. However, I
suspect that with excellent sky conditions the first naked eye observations
will be reported very, very soon!
I made this sketch with white pastel and blending stump on black

Big Bowl of Pythagoras

Lunar crater Pythagoras - January 3, 2015
Lunar crater Pythagoras – January 3, 2015

Object Name – Pythagoras
Object Type – Lunar impact crater
Location – Deventer, The Netherands
Date – Januari 3, 2015
Media – White pastel pencil on black paper

So far this winter is terrible for astronomy. Nothing but clouds and rain in the Netherlands… But yesterday evening the skies finally cleared and my 3″ Polarex Unitron was quickly set up in the backyard. Crater Pythagoras on the northeastern limb of the Moon looked particularly nice – like a deep rocky bowl in the lunar surface. Seeing conditions were fair, so I pumped up the magnifcation to a crazy (for a 3″) 200x. It still gave a pleasant and sharp view and sketching was quite comfortable with the crater looking big in the eyepiece.

Pythagoras is a 130km wide impact crater with staggering 5km high terraced walls. The central peaks (I could see two of them) are also pretty huge: 3,5km high! Imagine the panoramic view from the top op one of those mountains….

Sketch made with a pastel pencil on black paper, through a 3″ Polarex Unitron at 200x (Baader 6mm BGO). The image is mirror reversed.

Clear Skies,
Roel Weijenberg

Craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel

Lunar craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel -October 1, 2014
Lunar craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel -October 1, 2014


Here’s my lunar sketch of today.
Object Name: Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel
Object Type Lunar Craters
Location: Home terrace, Dusseldorf region, Germany
Date: Oct 1st, 2014, 1930-2000 CEST
Media: charcoal and white pastel on black cardbox
Clear skies!


Crater Gassendi and the northern part of Mare Humorum

Lunar crater Gassendi and the the northern part of Mare Humorum - September 5, 2014
Lunar crater Gassendi and the the northern part of Mare Humorum – September 5, 2014

Here is a sketch of the Moon on the 5th of September from my backyard
in Adelaide, South Australia.

The moons phase was waxing at 83%, with only the very western edge
still in shadow. I observed with a C11 SCT. Seeing was quite
reasonable, so I took a 15mm eyepiece + 2x Barlow for a close look.

The shallow illumination on Mare Humorum made the creases on the mare
floor stand out. Crater Gassendi, toward the bottom, showed stark
shadows. Rimae Hippalus was visible, passing through the partially
submerged crater Hippalus at the top right. Because I used a diagonal
prism, the sketch is mirror imaged.

I used pastel chalks and black and white pastel pencils on black


Goldilocks & The 3 Sun Bears

Three prominences on the solar limb - September 11, 2014
Three prominences on the solar limb – September 11, 2014


While observing our ever changing Sun today I was struck by a grouping of prominences on the western limb. All of them of high intensity and curving towards the same direction. They made me think of the story of Goldilocks & The 3 Bears!

Cindy (Thia) Krach

Solar Sketch
Black Strathmore Paper
Pastel and colored pencils
60mm Lunt h-Alpha
Maui, Hawaii

Webmaster’s note: Cindy has been instrumental in organizing a new Sketching Observing Award Program for the Astronomical League. Check it out here.

M22 – the quietly spoken big brother globular cluster

Messier 22, the great globular cluster in Sagittarius
Messier 22, the great globular cluster in Sagittarius

Hi all,
This was the second sketch I completed at this year’s Astrofest back in July.

M22 is a true jewel of the night sky. This giant globular cluster from a dark site it can be a naked eye object as well. It is large enough for even smaller telescopes to resolve its multitude of component stars, revealing its large and intense core.

M22 is beautiful in my 17.5” scope. It is very different from Omega Centauri and 47Tuc – could even describe it as the ‘runt’ of the giant globulars as its core is not as busy as its bigger brothers. But the component stars of its core are absolutely brilliant, arranged in so many signature patterns. It is slowly turning into a favourite of mine with its understated brilliance, loud without being overbearing presence, and sitting on a magnificent carpet of the Milky Way glow.

I won’t say much here. I’ll let M22 do its own quite whispering of its magnificence. Yeah, I think one firm fav of mine now…


Object: M22 globular cluster
Scope: 17.5” push-pull Karee dobsonian
Gear: 22mm LVW, 91X
Location: Linville, Queensland, Australia
Date: 24th July, 2014
Media: Soft pastel and white ink on A4 size black paper
Duration: approx. 2.5hrs

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2)

Comet C/2014 E2 (JACQUES) - August 22, 2014
Comet C/2014 E2 (JACQUES) – August 22, 2014

Object Name: Comet C/2014 E2 (JACQUES)
RA: 02h 04m 07.8s; Dec: + 63° 39′ 26.9″
Magnitude: 6.4
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Location: Pueblonuevo de Bullaque. Ciudad Real. SPAIN
Date: August 22, 2014.
Local Time: 01:57 (2h T.U)
Material used: pastel pencil and white ink on black paper.
Celestron Telescope S/C 8″ Mount Cgt-5
Eyepiece: 22 mm L-VW
Magnification: 92x.

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

Light vs Dark – the Ink Spot and a lovely open cluster

The Ink Spot, B86 & NGC 6570
The Ink Spot, B86 & NGC 6570

Hi all,

This was the first sketch I completed at Astrofest in Queensland, Australia. I’ve been wanting to sketch this beautiful dark nebula ever since I first laid eye on it some three years ago. This dark nebula, B86, goes by the popular name of “The Ink Spot”. It sits smack bang in the centre of the densest star cloud in the whole sky, the Cloud of Sagittarius. And what sets it off even more is B86 has a gorgeous bright open cluster right next to it, NGC 6570. Both objects are more-or-less the same size as each other, even though both are not very large themselves. But it is the juxtaposition of these two very different objects against the blaze of the Milky Way that makes this pair a spectacular pairing.

Dark nebulae are clouds of dust and gas that are drifting through the Milky Way galaxy. Many of these conglomerations of dust and gas do end up being formed into stars and planets, but most just end up forming the fabric of the galaxy. In fact, the stars that we see actually only form a small percentage of the actual mass of galaxies. By far the greatest amount of a galaxy’s mass comes from this very dust and gas. The Ink Spot is a small patch of cloud. It is a very opaque nebula too. Dark nebulae are categorised according to their opacity, or how dark they are. The scale of opacity goes from 1 (very tenuous) through to 6 (very opaque). While the opacity of The Ink Spot may be a 5, it is because that it sits in the Cloud of Sagittarius that makes is a striking object.

The little open cluster NGC 6520 really works very well in setting off B86. Open clusters are groupings of stars that are all related to each other having been formed out of the same parent cloud of gas and dust. Evidence for this is seen in the spectra of the stars displaying the same chemical make up. The brothers and sisters of our own Sun have been identified this way, with the same chemical signature as our Sun having been identified in several close by stars even though the Sun’s ‘siblings’ have long drifted off away from each other. Open clusters are loose groupings, so even though they formed from the same source, their gravitational connection to each other is not strong enough to keep the group together for too long.

For me, this tiny patch of sky is one of my most favourite. Tiny and oh so precious. Brilliant, dark, stark, ghostly. All in one. Gorgeous.

Alexander Massey.

Object: The Ink Spot, B86 & NGC 6570
Telescope: 17.5″ push-pull Karee dob
Gear: 13mm LVW, 154X
Location: Linville, Queensland, Australia
Date: 24th July, 2014
Media: Soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Duration: approx. 3hrs

NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

NGC 6520 and Barnard 86
NGC 6520 and Barnard 86

Object Name: NGC 6520 and Barnard 86.
RA: 18h 03m 25.1s; Dec: -27° 53′ 28″
Magnitude: 7.6
NGC 6520 size: 6′
Distance: 6,000 light-years approx.
Constellation: Sagittarius.
Type: Open Cluster and Dark Nebula.
Description NGC 6520: Cl, pS, Ri, lV, st 9 … 13
Location: Bonilla. Cuenca. SPAIN
Date: July 24, 2014.
Time: 00:10 UT.
Material used: pastel pencils and white ink on black paper. Inverted image with Photoshop.
Celestron Telescope S/C 8″ Mount Cgt-5
Eyepiece: LV-M 22mm; Magnification: 92x.
Condition: 21.39 SQM. Temperature: 16º. Humidity 29%. Calm wind.

A little fat Owl

"A Little Fat Owl", Lunar craters Fra Mauro, Parry and Bonpland - May 8, 2014
“A Little Fat Owl”, Lunar craters Fra Mauro, Parry and Bonpland – May 8, 2014

It had been a while since I did a lunar sketch. May saw me complete my first lunar sketch in many months. I made several attempts, but on those occasions, seeing was so poor the Moon was ‘boiling’ using just 100X magnification. Disappointing and frustrating. Eventually things did change in my favour…

As always, unless I have a specific target in mind, I just let my eye wonder along the terminator to see what pricks my interest. And, as there are several repeated alphanumeric apparitions on the Moon, I’ve found a second avian one! Some time ago I spotted an owl formed around the crater Mercator. Last night I found a second Owl, this time around the flooded craters Fra Mauro (the fat body), Parry (the right eye), and Bonpland (the left eye).Cute little fella I think is formed here J.

As it turns out, Fra Mauro is just to the south of the Apollo 14 landing site – south is to the top of the page, so the Apollo 14 site lies just below where the Owl’s feet would be.

Object: “Little Fat Owl”, craters Fra Mauro, Parry and Bonpland
Scope: C8, 8” SCT
Gear: 5mm Baader Hyperion, 400X
Date: 8th May, 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: White & grey soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A5 size black paper
Duration: approx. 2hrs.

M78, A profile of tropical fish

Messier 78, Reflection nebula
Messier 78, Reflection nebula

Hi everyone!

I observed M78 &34 in Nov. midnight with my 15″ Dob.

While I drew M78, I reminded of tropical fish, it’s side face 🙂

The nebulousity of NGC 2071 is shine dimly.

Where does this tropical fish came from?

Deep cosmos? Deep see? or My eyes? 🙂

Object Name : M78
Object Type : Reflection Nebula
Location : S. Korea
Date : Nov. 11, 2013
Media : Black paper, Jelly pen, Pastel pencel

Light vs dark – The Jewel Box and The Coal Sack

The Jewel Box star cluster (NGC 4755) and the Coal Sack dark nebula
The Jewel Box star cluster (NGC 4755) and the Coal Sack dark nebula

Hello all,

A couple of weekends ago saw Ice In Space Astro Camp ’14 happen at Lostock in rural NSW, Australia. I arrived late on the Friday, and when I finally settled at the camp it was dark and I just didn’t feel like setting up a big scope. The sky was clear, the full brilliance of the Milky Way was arcing overhead, so it was a great chance for some wide field sketching with my little 4″ achro.

Some time ago I had made a mental note of a potential sketching target as being the area around the lovely cluster The Jewel Box in the Southern Cross. The great thing about this scope and eyepiece combination is the true field of view encompasses the Jewel Box, Mimosa or Beta Cruxius, and the western edge of the dark nebula The Coal Sack, all set off against the mottled background Milky Way. Gorgeous stuff!

The Coal Sack is also surprisingly detailed. Streamers of darker lines, patches of brighter, and ghostly arcs. These details made for a great challenge as they are, well, black… Another fainter open cluster can also be seen just to the upper right of the Jewel Box. The Southern Cross contains dozens of open clusters within its boarder.

This sketch is very close to showing the full 5deg True Field of View I had.

Object: Jewel Box and the Coal Sack.
Scope: 4″ f/5 achromatic refractor
Gear: 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific, 17X, 5deg TFOV.
Location: Lostock, NSW, Oz
Date: 25th April, 2014
Media: White soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Duration: approx. 2hrs

M53 Globular Cluster

Messier 53 Globular Cluster
Messier 53 Globular Cluster

Object Name: M 53 (NGC 5024)
Location: RA: 13h 12m 55.2s; Dec: +18° 10′ 08″
Magnitude: 7.7
Dimensions: 13′
Constellation: Coma Berenice
Type: Globular Cluster
Description: GC, B, vC, iR, vvmbM, star 12.
Location: Viso del Marqués. Ciudad Real. SPAIN
Date: May 3, 2014.
Time: 00:15 UT.
Material used: pastel pencils on black paper.
Celestron Telescope S / C 8 “Mount Cgt-5
Eyepiece: ES 14mm 100º;
Magnification: 145x.
Condition: NEML: 5’6 (Zone 11 Bootes).

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

Lunar Hide and Seek – Occultatio​n and Lunar Eclipse

The Lunar Eclipse and occultation of April 15, 2014
The Lunar Eclipse and occultation of April 15, 2014


Tonight after setting up with friends and being thwarted by clouds, I raced home to see if I could still observe part of the lunar eclipse from a different location. Upon arriving home I found it was clear and quickly set up my 15×70 binoculars. I was delighted to see h Virginis just peeking its bright head out from behind the limb of the Moon and quickly started a sketch of my observation. The umbra had almost made it over the last portion of the limb and the remaining edge was brightly lit. The Moon took on a coppery glow and the stars shone nearby that normally cant be observed during full Moon.

15×70 Binocular on tripod

Black Stathmore paper, colored pencils & pastels

Thia (Cindy) Krach

Maui, Hawaii

Messier 81 and 82

Messier 81
Messier 81
Messier 82
Messier 82

Date: February 25th, 2012
Location: West Desert, Utah
Time: 07:15 UT and 07:45 UT approx.
Equipment: XX14i, 10mm, 5mm Pentax XW;
Conditions: Antoniadi I
Objects: Messier 81 & 82, Spiral Galaxies in Ursa Major
Sketches done using the Mellish Method with the contrast adjusted in GIMP.

Two of my last several objects of this night were M81 and M82 in Ursa Major. I included them because of the Light Pollution versus Dark Sky comparisons I am wanting to do. Now I just need to the sky to cooperate at home! Nothing but snow that melts the next day and clouds since. M82, Bode’s Galaxy in Ursa Major. Pretty close to spot on how I saw it.

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.

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

Messier 77 (Cetus A)

Messier 77
Messier 77

M77 / NGC1068 / Cetus A
Constellation – Cetus
Spiral galaxy
Distance – 47MLy
Mag 8.9

Date – 10/12/12
Seeing – Antoniadi III
Transparency – Poor
SQM 21.45 (LM 6.3)
Location – Hartland Point UK
Media – White pastels on black paper.

Telescope – 16″ f/4.5
EP – 8mm Delos x236 TFoV 0.18˚

Sketch notes

Very small galaxy that improved with lots of magnification. Bright core makes it an easy find even with low mag EP’s.

High level cloud made the transparency poor making it very difficult to see any detail but I could just make out a couple spiral arms inside the halo of the galaxy.

Very nice object and will go back to under better conditions.

Monster Prominence

Solar Prominence - July 27, 2012
Solar Prominence - July 27, 2012

Object Name: Prominence
Object Type: Large plasma eruption on the solar surface
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Date: July 27, 2012
Media: White pastel pencil on black paper

This morning I aimed my 70mm solar telescope at the sun and I almost got blown away by what I saw. I GIANT prominence on the north eastern limb. I hovered above the surface like a huge dragon. I made a sketch with white pastels on black paper, color added and orientation-flip with Photoshop.

Clear skies!

Roel Weijenberg,
Deventer, The Netherlands

A Conjunction with Some History

Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Aldebaran
Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Aldebaran

At the last day of October I sketched a beautiful conjunction between the Moon, Jupiter and Aldebaran. The building in the foreground was my holiday-resort (illuminated by a streetlight), a renovated farm from 1669. By chance: in the first months of 1669 Jupiter was also next to Aldebaran in the sky. So the first inhabitants could have witnessed a similar conjunction. To add some more history: the location was less than 10 km from Middelburg, the town where the telescope was invented!

Clear skies

Jef De Wit

Location: Biggekerke, Netherlands (51°29’ N 3°31’ E)
Date and time: 31 October 2012 around 19.30 UT
Equipment: naked eye
Medium: pastel pencils and soft pastels on black paper (A4), Jupiter and Aldebaran were brightened with Paint

M20 – The Trifid Nebula

Messier 20
Messier 20

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

Hi. ASOD and everyone.

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


조 강 욱 / Kang Uk, Cho

Weird family of Reichenbach

Reichenbach Craters
Reichenbach Craters

Weird family of Reichenbach.
I mean the craters Reichenbach 😉
Strange, intricate, rugged. They have a sharp hills beautiful shining at this stage of illumination.. And deep gorges.
At high magnification, we find there a long slit running on the slope of Reichenbach C.

SCT 5″. Magnification about 277x. White pastels. Shadows darkened with the soft pencil.
Aleksander Cieśla (Wimmer)

Sunspots: Sketching and Photography

Sun - July 3, 2012
Sun - July 3, 2012

Object Name: Sun-Sunspots 1512-1513- 1515-1517
Location: Tehran-Iran
Date: July 3, 2012
Time: 14:00 Local Time (+3:30 GMT)
Media: Soft Pastels on Black Fabriano paper

Optic: 80 ED APO Refractor Telescope
Focal Length: 600 mm
Eyepiece: 9mm UWA- 1.25′′- 58º

Photo Details:
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Shutter Speed: 1/6400 sec

Clear Skies
Mona Sorayaei

Three Beautiful Craters

Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina
Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina

Object Name: Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina
Object Type: Craters
Location: Płaza, Poland
Media: black paper, pastels
Telescope: Synta 8 (200/1200)
Magnification: 240x
Seeing: 4/5

This is my new sketch of one of the hardest things to sketch. I mean the Moon or craters that you can find on the lunar surface. There are dozens of small holes and surface irregularities that we should put on our sketch. Nevertheless I tried to present three craters which are lying close to each other on a piece of paper. My target were Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina. And here is my sketch.

Siamese Twins and a Friend

NGC 4567, 4568 and 4564
NGC 4567, 4568 and 4564

Object Name The Siamese Twins; NGC 4567 & NGC 4568 with NGC 4564
Object Type: Spiral Galaxies in Virgo (Colliding)
Location: West Desert, Utah
Date: May 12th, 2012
Media: Gray and White Pastels on Black Paper with brush
Equipment: 14 inch Dob, 27mm Panoptic, 14mm Pentax, 10mm Pentax (all with Type I Paracorr).
Sky Conditions: Clear, cold, Antoniadi I
Time: 01:20am MDT or 0720 UT
NGC 4567 is mag. 11.3 with a size of 3.0’x2.0′. NGC 4568 has a mag. of 10.8 and is 4.6’x2.0′ in size; NGC 4564 is mag. 11.1 with a size of 3.5’x1.5.
Notes: This was my last sketch of the night as we felt the moon was going to rise about 1:40 a.m. or so but in reality, it did not come up until after 2:10a.m. NGC 4567 is the northern most galaxy of the two that are colliding. It is rather bright, and fairly small in size. It is more roundish in nature than its colliding companion. NGC 4567 has a higher surface brightness than NGC 4568.
NGC 4568 is the southern member of the colliding galaxies here. It is pretty bright and rather large and is elongated SSW to NNE. The core is very bright.
NGC 4564 actually should be just a little more off, but I ran out of paper and wanted it included in the sketch. It is smaller in size than the other two, and is bright. Like NGC 4568 it is elongated but SW to NE. There is outer diffusion and then a brighter core region with a stellar nucleus.

Vallis Schröteri

Vallis Schröteri
Vallis Schröteri

Object name: vallisschröteri
Object type: Lunar Crater
Location: Amsterdam
Date: 8-5-2012
Media: Pastel on black paper

During a very gray period the last weeks, and with no chance to use the telescope, I decided to enhance my sketching skills by sketching some moon craters based on pictures made by others. This one is a sketch of the vallisschröteri area. Made with pastel pencil on black paper.

Clear skies and kind regards

Matthijs Broggel

Saturn, Titan and Raindrops

Saturn and Titan
Saturn and Titan

Object Name: Saturn
Object Type: Planet
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Date: May 13, 2012
Media: Pastel pencils on black paper

Last night I wanted to make a sketch of Saturn, mostly to capture as much moons as possible through my old 75mm f/15 Polarex/Unitron refractor. After 45 minutes of sketching at 200x with pastel pencils on black paper, Saturn was pretty much done (although I found it surprisingly difficult to draw a good ellipse for the rings), and just when I added the easily visble Titan, I heard some droplets on the trees next to me and felt something on my head: RAIN! I immediately covered the pastel sketch witch my hand and rushed inside my shed. After the sketch was save I pulled the telescope out of the rain. The most abrupt ending of a sketching session ever! I had completely missed the incoming clouds while viewing through the eyepiece.

Anyway, both the sketch and the telescope survived. Sadly with only one moon observed: Titan.

Clear skies and kind regards,
Roel Weijenberg

Eye of the Monster

Omega Centauri
Omega Centauri

Hello all,

The atmosphere appears to be finally drying out here on the east coast of Australia. Viewing from near home on the 24th of April, DSO’s were noticeably easier to see and make out detail in. The clearest for a very long time.

Thought I’d tackle a Monster too. This one’s been taunting me for some time. Teasing through the mushy viewing during the last year. It’s “Eye” staring back in defiance.

Here is my shot at Omega Centauri using my 17.5″. So mind numbingly complex in structure. It’s core shows it’s “eye” looking back, which is washed out in long exposure photos. This is Omega’s most outstanding signature feature.

Alex M.

Object: Omega Centauri, NGC 5139
Scope: 17.5″ push-pull dob
Gear: 16mm Unitron Konig, 125X
Date: 24th March 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: Pastels, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Time: 2.5hrs

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.

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


Hevelius and Environs
Hevelius and Environs

2012 01 07, 0200UT – 0340UT Hevelius, Lohrmann, Cavalerius
PCW Memorial Observatory, OH, USA, Erika Rix
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.

Messier 96

Messier 96
Messier 96

Messier 96
A spiral galaxy in the constellation of Leo
Rush Valley, Utah (West Desert)
February 17, 2012
Pastel on Black Paper, contrast refined in GIMP.

I had some frustrations as my main dark site was muddy and though I could get to it with my 4WD, my observing companions could not. So I called them since I was the first out to the site and we opted for a secondary site and I got there at dusk to set up, after my friends had already set up. After completing setup and collimation, I went to work on open clusters in Puppis and after doing these for a couple of hours, I was tired so I took a break. I then went to work in Hydra on some objects there and decided as I looked up and noticed that it was late in the evening, and both Mars and Leo were up high in the sky so I decided to work on a project that I really want to sink my teeth into. This project is to take some of the Messier and other brighter objects and sketch them from a really excellent dark site and then sketch them again at home in the backyard under light pollution. The goal is to hopefully have some newer people and perhaps some others compare and contrast the sketches to see the difference in detail objects have at a dark site versus when they are observed in a light pollution zone.

So this night I picked several of the galaxies in Leo and in this case, I was pleased with how the sketch of Messier 96 came out, which I present here. I’m still working on the Mellish method though I much prefer it overall then any other method I’ve tried. Now I need to sketch M96 from my backyard if the weather will permit! Skies this night were an Antoniadi II when the sketch was made and the LM was about 6.6 to 6.7 I would estimate (I left my thermometer and my SQM at home along with several other items. It was one of those nights initially). The scope was my Orion XX14i with a 10mm and 7mm Pentax.

Total Eclipse of the Moon – December 10, 2011

Lunar Eclipse - December 10, 2011
Lunar Eclipse - December 10, 2011

After careful plans to observe the total lunar Eclipse of Dec 10th 2011 in the Portland city center, fog formed late, so plans to relocate were rushed at the last minutes as we drove fast from the city to the Columbia River Gorge Crown Point Oregon Vista House, yet only to find a hundred people, photographers, etc, most were ensconced in their cars with engines running, while Gorge east winds gusted to 60 mph with 25 degrees F.

So I set up my Celestron Nexstar 5i telescope anyway, huddled into the wind-shielded side of the Vista House with a few brave other photographers. I made quick mental notes of the image at medium power through the telescope and began to photograph crudely as the wind buffeted the scope and my Sony NEX5 camera poised high and teetering on its tripod over the telescope eyepiece. It was difficult at times as I began to speak as my hands froze and unable to operate the telescope or the camera, worse, many people approached then asking me if I could tell them what was happening as I appeared as the only professional with serious equipment in the grueling wind and freezing temperatures. They heard in the media and then recalled all the hoaxes of misunderstanding of the moons image as a rare visible sight setting in the west while the sun rose in the east. I had to explain the atmospheric effects of light bending through a natural lens. It was fun and although the constant fumes of diesel engines running for those who would not disembark from their warm cars, a few of us weathered the bitter cold, ironically lady friends of mine stayed until sunrise, where my professional photographer friend dressed in Alaskan outback parka and full proper clothing, refused to get out of the car.

Much in post preparation was then later made in the past week at home to produce this accurate large technical documentary dry pastel sketch onto 19″ X 25″ black Strathmore pastel paper completed today, December 19th 2011. It comprises a time span of possibly an hour as the moon was also observed at speed in my Mercedes side view mirror as I drove out the I-84 highway at super-legal speeds, the earths red shadow on the moon changed fast. So the sketch is possibly at just before full totality. Then daylight began to creep up in the east just as I arrived and set up the telescope [as depicted in the reflection of the old historic gas street lamps at Crown Point. Portland’s city lights 30 miles to the west are seen under a shroud of fog. This is also rendered in the sketch and as a final artist’s conception, the still deeper reflection of the moon as an image seen in a mirror within a mirror, on the Vista House windows.

– Mark Seibold

Sunrise over Copernicus

Copernicus Crater
Copernicus Crater

Object Name: Copernicus crater
Object Type: Lunar crater
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Date: Februari 1st, 2012
Media: White pastel pencil on black paper

I made this pastel sketch of crater Copernicus from my backyard in Deventer, The Netherlands. It was very cold (15,8F) but the seeing was pretty good. I observed from 18.00UT till 19.00UT. Sketch is made with white pastel on black paper. The telescope I used was my old 3″ f/16 Polarex/Unitron refractor.

Clear skies,
Roel Weijenberg

Viewing the Crater Line Linne

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

This clear, cold evening provided from my location the opportunity to observe and sketch the straight line row of small craters from Linne A to Linne G. All five of these craters range from three to five kilometers in diameter. Other yet smaller craters were spotted during brief moments of good seeing but were not included in this sketch. Near the top center of the sketch the sixth bowl shaped crater Banting (5 km.) is clearly visible. South is up in the sketch so the Little Linne sequence from top to bottom is A ( 4 km.), B ( 5 km.), F ( 5 km.), H ( 3 km.), and G ( 5 km.). What especially caught my eye here on the floor of Mare Serentitatis were the fine, long shadows from each of these little craters.


For this sketch I used: Canson Black Ingres textured paper 8″ x12″, white and black tone pastel pencils and crayons, blending stumps, white pearl eraser

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece for a magnification of 241x
Date: 01-30-2012 1:20-2:00 UT
Temperature: -4°C (24° F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Pickering 5/10 – Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 347.3°
Lunation: 6.74 days
Illumination: 39.6%
Frank McCabe

Mare Imbrium

Mare Imbrium
Mare Imbrium


I submit my most recent sketch of a close up detail of Mare Imbrium of 1/1/12. First observation of the New Year for me & first attempt using white pastel & black artist paper for a moon sketch. I found it a bit frustrating at fist since I have always sketched in black charcoal on white paper for the moon. After I got the hang of it I really enjoyed the texture & detail I could create with the black paper.

I am currently working on an Astronomical League Certificate for the moon and I am amazed how much more detail I must learn to sketch. I want to know what every crater & peak of light is that I am recording on paper.

On this night I used my 8” Dobsonian & 14mm Explore Scientific EP
Seeing was excellent, Temperature 65 degrees F from 4000 ft elevation
Maui, Hawaii

Thia Krach

Comet Lovejoy

C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy)
C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy)


My name is Peter M Moriz. I live at Moonee Beach, Australia. I’ve just started to do sketching. This is my third sketch I’ve attempted. The other 2 were of small g/c’s…..

This sketch was done at Nana Glen west of my home town to get a little darker skies to see more of the comet’s tail. It was done naked eye and it goes from horizon to crux, say around 30 to 35 degrees. I put the milky way in the top of sketch to get some idea of how big the comet has become. The Coal Sack is there as well….it was done on the 28th of December 2011 and around 3.30am and had taken me around 45 minutes to do..I hope you enjoy the sketch–Alex, a fellow sketcher here in Australia, said I should submit it.

Media: black sketch paper A4 size with white pastel and white ink pen

Thanks for the time to read and view my sketch.

Peter (Mozzie) :my nickname