Height of Lunar Features

The measurement of the height of lunar features by measuring the length of the cast shadows - December 28, 2014
The measurement of the height of lunar features by measuring the length of the cast shadows – December 28, 2014

Lunar Features at First Quarter
Lunar Craters and Montes
Dunboyne, County Meath, Ireland
Graphite pencils plain paper

This is a sketch I did as part of an assignment for an Astronomy course I am taking for fun. The exercise was to calculate 4 lunar features heights by making accurate sketch observations, measuring the shadows and calculating the height using the distances along with the Earth-Sun-Moon angles. It just happened to be clear at exactly first quarter. I am having trouble sketching a very dark black and new to many of the sketching techniques and making it up as I go along. Is there an extra dark lead past an 8b or should I be looking sketch on black paper? I am also having problems scanning and am taking photos of my sketches? Any help appreciated. Clear Skies! Kevin

Vallis Schröteri

Vallis Schröteri, a huge lava vent and rille system on the Aristarchus Plateau - January 2, 2015
Vallis Schröteri, a huge lava vent and rille system on the Aristarchus Plateau – January 2, 2015


find attached a charcoal and pastel sketch of Aristarchus, Herodotus and the famous Vallis Schröteri. I hope you like it.

Object Name: Vallis Schröteri, Aristarchus, Herodotus
Object Type: Lunar Valley and Crater
Location: Germany, Dusseldorf area
Date: 2015-01-02, 1800-1845 CET
Media: chalk pastel pencil and charcoal pencil on black sketching cardbox
Telescope: Martini 10” f/5 Dobsonian
Eyepiece: Skywatcher HR Planetary 5mm
Clear skies!


Gassendi, Rimae Mersenius and Rupes Liebig at the terminator

Mare Humorum including Gassendi, Rimae Mersenius and Rupes Liebig at the terminator - December 2, 2014
Mare Humorum including Gassendi, Rimae Mersenius and Rupes Liebig at the terminator – December 2, 2014
Gassendi, Rimae Mersenius and Rupes Liebig at the terminator labeled
Gassendi, Rimae Mersenius and Rupes Liebig at the terminator labeled


This was one of those nights things just fall together. Excellent seeing and light enough from the Moon that I could see the paper well. After finishing my sketch at the eyepiece I went inside to clean it up and was pleasantly surprised that I liked it pretty much the way it was.

110km wide Gassendi Crater showed some excellent roughened floor details with hummocks casting shadows as well as floor rilles illuminated as bright & dark lines. Rima Mersenius is brilliantly lit on the terminator and the bright scarp of Rupes Liebig can be seen at the base of the wall.

Gassendi Crater, Mersenius Rille, Rupes Liebig, Mare Humorum @11.7 days lunation
.12/2/14 2030-2140 HST
12.5″ Portaball, 227x
Canson Black paper and white and black Conte’ Crayon, white charcoal pencil
Photoscape to adjust contrast

Cindy (Thia) Krach
Haleakala Amateur Astronomers
Maui, Hawaii


Lunar crater Schiller and environs - August 6, 2014
Lunar crater Schiller and environs – August 6, 2014


Crater Schiller

Object Type: Moon

Location: Tarragona – Spain

Schiller crater formation is still unknown, but one of the most plausible theory argue that due to an impact of a small asteroid or comet fragmented with a small impact angle.

While I was observing and drawing this beautiful crater, I imagined what it would have been to observe the crash and its immediate aftermath. Actually, the moon never disappoints.

For more details of my observation you can visit my blog:


Date and Time: 2014-08-06, 21h 58m UT

Telescope: SC Celestron 235mm (9.25″); CGEM mount.

Eyepiece: 7.5mm (313x)

White paper, HB2 graphite pencil, and scanned with Photoshop

Seeing: 4/5 (5 the best)

Transparency: Clear. Rural skies.

Thank you and best regards.

Taoism on an Anomalous Lunar Phase Night

Lunar mountains as they appear along the limb - December 6, 2014
Lunar mountains as they appear along the limb – December 6, 2014
Anomalous December 6, 2014 libration illustrated
Anomalous December 6, 2014 libration illustrated

The night on December 6 , 3;00-4;00 am was great to observe the 15day moon.

After study some pdf Taurus-Littrow Valley ,NASA, in web, l looked through the eyepieces and soon l found the position of the 15day lunar shade terminator was wrong and strangely for, l remember the lunar phases on 15day moon were always [East-West]ward apparent, this time it was anomalously [North-South] ward.

l think it was not because by libration definitely but by some unknown force pushed the moon downward against the flat normal orbital plane of moon-earth system. l was so tired that night that l had only one hour observation not enough time to check how the limb shade was changing even l could’nt sketch reasonably well the old China or Korean Taoism like landscape and this magnificent similarly scenery was stretched along the limb almost 350km long and of course my limitation was only 70km span , yes-, l have also experienced the Grand Canyon like scenery once with the 8′ og in Dec 2013, twice was recently with the 13″ og 1.5months ago. Now is a Taoism scene.


320mm homemade refractor x420

2014, 12. 6th

Transparecy,seeing together superb ,8/10;.8/10

White paper, graphite pencils, black acrilic

Shot with a Olympus d-camera

K.S.Min S. Korea

Craters Billy and Hansteen

Lunar craters Billy and Hansteen with the mountain Mons Hansteen - December 4, 2014
Lunar craters Billy and Hansteen with the mountain Mons Hansteen – December 4, 2014
Billy, Hansteen and Mons Hansteen labeled
Billy, Hansteen and Mons Hansteen labeled

Craters Billy and Hansteen

It has been cold in Chicagoland and although it was sunny most of the day, high cirrus clouds moved in after sunset to block out all stars fainter than 3rd magnitude. Ice crystals at high altitude generated a colorless halo around the Moon. Not the best conditions for sketching but the first chance in 4 weeks for me. My target for this sketch was the pair of craters at the southern edge of Oceanus Procellarum. Crater Billy (46 km.) with its dark smooth lava covered floor and crater Hansteen (45 km.) with its hilly, irregular floor and terraced walls present contrasting looking craters of similar size and age. Between these craters is a large arrowhead shaped volcanic extrusion feature called Mons Hansteen. This object always looks very bright at or near full Moon.


Black Canson paper, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils, white Pearl eraser, blending stumps
Telescope 13.1” f/6 Dobsonian telescope on an equatorial drive platform at 222x with 9mm eyepiece

Date: 12-04-2014, 02:00 – 03:00 UT

Temperature: -7°C (20° F) 
mostly cloudy, calm

Seeing: Antoniadi IV (poor)

Colongitude: 54.2 °

Lunation: 11.4 days

Illumination: 92.5 %

Frank McCabe

Crater Posidonius at Sunset

Lunar crater Posidonius and environs at sunset - August 7, 2012
Lunar crater Posidonius and environs at sunset – August 7, 2012

Crater Posidonius at Sunset

On this night I watched the sunset terminator creep slowly toward ring-plain crater
Posidonius; in addition I sketched the crater and other features on the floor of Mare Serenitatis. Posidonius (96 km.) is an old upper Imbrian era impact remnant. Its age is underlined by the way shadows penetrate the rim at numerous points betraying impact damage there. The highest part of the rim is on the terminator side of this crater. Sunlight was still reaching Posidonius A and other high points on ridges including one on the inner ring. Beyond this crater to the west and south the great serpentine ridge could be seen in best light. This ridge is made up of dorsa Smirnov and dorsa Lister.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased just slightly using my scanner.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241x

Date: 08-07-2012, 06:30 – 07:40 UT

Temperature: 29°C (85° F)
clear, calm

Seeing: Antoniadi III

Colongitude 147.9 °

Lunation 19 days

Illumination: 73.4 %

Frank McCabe

Luna Through Cloud

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

Not really an astronomical observation more a romantic interlude.

Best to all, Dale

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

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

Moon-Crater Mersenius

Lunar crater Mersenius - August 7, 2014
Lunar crater Mersenius – August 7, 2014


After some weeks during the “White nights” without a look in the sky, I started observation at the 7th August with my new 130/1200 Aspherical Doublet Apochromat (it was planned by Ralf Mündlein and me in the last two years) the planet. The air was quite well and the conditions were warm and dry.

A nice crater with some little impacts and mountains at the bottom took my attention. So I made a drawing of this view. I hope you like the “Mersenius”.with it´s nice landscape.

CS Uwe

Object: Moon
Object Name: Crater Mersenius
Telescope: 130/1200 Aspherical Doublet Apochromat
Eyepiece: 7mm Nagler / Maxbright Binocular
Magnification: about 170x
Location: near Tauberbischofsheim Germany

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

Sinus Iridum

Sinus Iridum - June 8, 2014
Sinus Iridum – June 8, 2014

Find attached a sketch of Sinus Iridum with craters Bianchini, Laplace A, Laplace D and Heraclides E done yesterday evening.

Object Name Sinus Iridum, The Moon
Object Type Impact basin
Location Dusseldorf region, Germany
Date June 8th, 2014, 2120-2205 CEST
Media white pastel pen, charcoal pen on black cardbox paper
Telescope: Celestron Nexstar 127/1500 SLT
Eyepiece: TS HR Planetary 7mm
Best Regards,


Anaximander environs

Anaximander environs - December 14, 2013
Anaximander environs – December 14, 2013

Tonight, DEC, 14th, 2013. I could have a brief time for an observation/sketching on the nothern moon limb ,

the environs of the crater [ Carpenter, Anaximander, J . Herschel ] .

I have focused 8″ refractor at the curiously connected shadow casted by the splitted rim- walls of each of Anaximander,s and of J, Herschel, s .

Although, seeing was bad , I observed/ sketched this for 40-50 minutes.


8″ f12 a chinise made achromatic lens , x340

location; Backyard home in South. Korea

white paper [40 x30 cm] , graphite pencils , black ink

Date of observe/ sketch ; 12, 14, 2013

Lunar Terminator Near to the Western Limb

LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013

Lunar Terminator Near to the Western Limb

On Sunday evening I was getting a wonderful view of the lunar terminator near the western limb just a half day before full Moon. The favorable longitudinal libration of -04° 40’ was creating an opportunity to see craters along the terminator that are often poorly placed for viewing.
With storms on the way from the southwest this was a good evening to attempt a sketch. The calm before the arrival of storms often leaves the seeing fair to good as was the case on this night. Craters such as Vasco da Gama (99 km.), Bohr (73 km.), Dalton (63 km.), Balboa (71 km.) and part of Einstein (175 km.) were all seen. Craters Cardanus (51 km.) and Krafft (53 km.) and the crater chain (catena) between them were in bright sunlight. The views all along the terminator were magnificent.

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper (9” x 12”), white and black Conte’
pastel pencils. In addition a small artist’s brush and powdered Conte’ white crayon was used for blending. Contrast was slightly increased (+2) using a scanner to better match the original.
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/ 5.9 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 327 X
Date: 02-25-2013, 04:00-06:30 UT
Temperature: 0.0° C (32° F)
Partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 86.9 °
Lunation 14.87 days
Illumination 99.5 %

Frank McCabe

The Apollo 17 Landing Site

Apollo 17 Landing site- January 11, 2014
Apollo 17 Landing site- January 11, 2014

I was hooked when the Chinese [Change III ] had landed on the moon on 14 th December 2013 .

The landing site was in the Mare Imbrium where the peculier landmarks or configurations of the ground were not stood at all, so it seems to me difficult to search the Landing site.

Instead, I have established a plan as an attempting practice to search the Apollo 17 landing site that was issued in the S& T DEC. 2002 p118 or http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~durda/Apollo/landing_sites.html and for the first time I have flown there this night with my refractors …… the result is this a sketch.

It took only 5 minuites to find out where there was with the aid of the one meter diameter paper MOON map of the Arizona University press , …. in the eyepieces, at first I have easily found out the three craters configuration as a red lined triangle marked in my sketch , but without enough previous study for the morphology of this place it was hard to find ” there” [Red lined box].

For the light gathering power of 8″ lens was weak I used only 133 magnification , further the 12″ lens was not adequate in this bad seeing.


Object; The Apollo 17 Landing Site

Observe/ Sketch; 11. JAN, 2014

8″ f12 refractor, x 133

Lunation ; 11 day

Air temperature; – 8 degree C [very cold]

Location ; Backyard home in South. Korea

White paper [40 x30 cm] , graphite pencils

Aristarchus, Prinz and the Harbinger Mtns.

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

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

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

Montes Caucasus

Montes Caucasus - June 15, 2013
Montes Caucasus – June 15, 2013

Object Type: Moon
Location: Barcelona – Spain

I don’t observe the moon as much as I would like. It’s a shame, because when I do it, I always really enjoy it. On the seventh night of lunation, the Montes Caucasus shadows are really exciting. I would like to know how to draw better to capture what I could really see that June night. It was amazing.

For more details of my observation you can visit my blog:

Date and Time: 2013-06-15, 21h 05m UT
Telescope: SC Celestron Nexstar 5i (127mm)
Eyepiece: 6mm (208.33x)
White paper, HB2 graphite pencil, and scanned and inverted with Photoshop
Seeing: 4/5 (5 the best)
Transparency: Clear. A little light pollution.

Thank you and best regards.


Lambert & Mons La Hire

Crater Lambert, Mons La Hire and Dorsum Zirkel - February 9, 2014
Crater Lambert, Mons La Hire and Dorsum Zirkel – February 9, 2014

Made this sketch of crater Lambert, Mons La Hire and Dorsum Zirkel and surrounding areas this evening, using my 505mm mirror and Watec video camera on its least sensitive setting. The view on the monitor was delightful and one I shared with optical designer and engineer Mr Es Reid of Cambridge, all very civilized and enjoyable.

The sketch was made on black A5 220gm art paper using Conte hard pastels and acrylic paint for bright highlights and deep shadow.

I hope you like it.

Kind regards, Dale

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

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

14.16-day-old Moon

Gibbous Moon - February 14, 2014
Gibbous Moon – February 14, 2014

I’ve been doing a study on lunar phases and this is my latest sketch. This is a photo of it from last night after wrapping up my observing session. No adjustments have been made to the sketch other than cropping the lower blank portion of the paper.

My phase sketches used to take close to two hours to complete at the eyepiece. I’ve been building up my endurance to 3-4 hours for a single sketch to include more detail. Obviously, the terminator is drawn first to “freeze” the time stamp on the phase. Then I work my way across the disk at a more leisurely pace, moving my observing chair and stool gradually as the session progresses.

I used a 102mm f/9.8 refractor on an LXD75 mount, 20mm eyepiece setting on my Hyperion zoom, and a 13% T Moon filter to help with contrast. The media is black Strathmore Artagain paper (60 lb., 160 g/m2), white charcoal pencil, black charcoal pencil, white Conte’ crayon, white Conte’ pastel pencil, black Conte’ color pencil,and a blending stump for the maria. I used a circular 6-inch protractor to outline the lunar disk.

Total eyepiece/sketch time is just over four hours on this one.

Best regards,
Erika Rix
Texas, USA

Mount Leibnitz and Environs

Mount Leibnitz and Environs
Mount Leibnitz and Environs

Hello artists,we come in New Year,i hope good Year for all.
I sent one of my last Moon Sketch,made with my dobson 10″ and 12,4 mm
Erfle plus Barlow.
I hope to made in future other sketches with this technics.Frank Mc Cabe
is the Master of this.
I hope like you.
Auguri a tutti di un Bello e Limpido 2014!!!

Site: Pergola,Center Italy,behind my home.
Date: 24 September 2013.
Moon phase: Down (19,6 days)
Instrument: Dobson Gso 10″
Eyepiece: 12,4mm erfle plus Barlow(201,6 x)
Seeing: Good
Zone: Mount Leibnitz ( 8.000 meter of altitude).
Media: White pencil on black paper.

The Gigantic Face on the Yura Mountain Range

Yura Mountain Range
Yura Mountain Range

Although recently I have very much interested in Lunar horizon landscpe observation, and also it is a serious hard work that need preparationes, concentrations, patiences to acquire the most valuable results that nobody has seen yet .

So , for me, Lunar horizon observation time is limited , as a or two months of winter season in a year.

Then, other seasons, I useally observe others.

With a fairly good optics [like mine or better…], anyone can find out enormous amount of details on the face of the moon [also on the limb].

One night, very accidentally, I had just seen a much interesting feature in the binocular eyepieces attatched on my faithful 8 inches refractor on along the Yura Mountains range [= Montes Yuras ] , which very resembance to a human’s face … a giant’s face… !! . I was instantlly surprised at the view …. !!!

It’s real dimension , I measured from the diameter of 100 km Plato , must be about within 20 km in length.

Among the many moon sketches of mine , in which shows many curious, grotesque features.. and this gigantic human face is one of that.

Unfortunatelly, by interuption of front roof top, observing time is limited only as 15 minutes, that limits more details on this sktch.

——-[ Upside is the North of moon, Right side is West. ]—–

by K.S.Min

8 inches refractor x340- 500

white paper, graphite pencils, photographed under 300 watt white bulb

At backyard home, in South Korea

Plato, Archimedes and Environs

Plato, Archimedes and Environs
Plato, Archimedes and Environs

Plato and Archimedes craters
Lunar craters
Eastbourne, UK
28th Aug 2013, 01:15 – 03:15 UT. Temperature 12C
Meade LX90 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with 26mm super Plossl eyepiece, 77x
White and black pastel on Daler Rowney Canford black paper

As a little summer holiday project I made a pledge to myself to sketch lunar craters at every opportunity, casually assuming that the usual poor British summer weather would make this an easy commitment to keep. However, I have been kept busy over the last couple of weeks!

I have been inspired by the quality of the sketches on your website and as you can see I am still some way off those standards; however, I am pleased to see (I think) some improvement in my efforts. I sketched this at the eyepiece using the pastels and just my finger as a blending tool.

Yours faithfully,

Oli Froom

In the Vicinity of Belkovich Crater

Vicinity of Belkovich Crater
Vicinity of Belkovich Crater

One clear winter night , I observed / sketched the hills, mountains with smooth out-lines on the lunar horizon that looks like one of that of the [Chile] Andes mountains of our own globe earth.

With no black ink totch on, instead I rubbed sky-blue pastel color on the background sky. ……….

A nearest alien Place swimming across in cosmos … Nobody stepped , breathed for billion years…

Unfortunately, the original 45×28 cm sketch,s left and upside cut down -out as a A4 size in my home scanner.

span on the lunar limb ; 70 km (cutted from 100km)

8″ refractor x500- 950 (high power observing)

aimed place; maybe Belkovich crater or environs

graphite pencils on a paper

date ; 9th, JAN 2012

seeing ; trembling but clear

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

The Lonely mountain

Mons Pico and surrounding terrain

Mons Pico and surrounding terrain
Hover cursor over image to view labels.

Object Name: Mons Pico and surrounding terrain.
Object Type: Lunar mountain.
Location: York, UK
Date: 19th April 2013
Media: graphite pencil on white paper

A Day 9 moon and clear skies, and Friday, all meant sketching. Mons Pico is an isolated mountain peak (2400m) in the north of Mare Imbrium. The mountain probably marks the northern border of the inner basin ring of the Imbrium, which was afterwards mostly flooded by Mare lavas. For context I also filled in some of the surrounding peaks and nearby Plato. Wrinkle ridges on the Mare near to Pico form a roughly circular outline with the Mountain border to the north, suggesting that they mark the rim of a buried crater, known as Ancient Newton. However, there is still no confirmatory evidence of this. Pico is about 10km long. Montes Teneriffe, to the West, are about 100km long tip to tip.

Apollo 15 Landing Site

Lunar Apennines
Lunar Apennines

A small part of the Moon for You!.

Lunar-Apennines with Archimedes, Aristillus, Autolycus, Mons Hadley , Rima Hadley and…. Apollo 15 landing site—one of the most scientifically successful missions!!!

Yours, Robert

Sketch details:
Object Name: Apollo 15 landing site
Object Type: Moon
Location: Poland, Oborniki
Date: 21.12.2012!
Equipment: Newtonian telescope 409/1800 (Capella 41), 14mm ES eyepiece
Object: – Artist: Robert Twarogal (Ignisdei)

Craters Lansberg and Reinhold

Craters Lansberg and Reinhold
Craters Lansberg and Reinhold

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


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

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

Frank McCabe

Mountains Cabeus on the Lunar horizon

Cabeus Crater Central Peaks
Cabeus Crater Central Peaks

Yesterday, I observed / sketched the two mountains that seems to be the central peaks in the bottom of Cabeus or environs on the soutern lunar horizon.

When the moon approaches near full lunar phase, some mountains , peaks are always seen very prominently on the southern lunar limb .

And I also have a suspect that why the most advanced lunar photograpers do not attempt to capture these pretty scenes as a form of a wide magnifyed photo


Back ground sky,s numerous stars are artistic conception

8 ” refractor x 340 [ nagler 7s w/binoview]

object ; Mountains Cabeus or environs

type ; crater

location ; at backyard home in South korea

date ; 2012 . AUG. 5th ,

white paper , graphite pencil, ink .

Classic Crater

Hi all,

My original intension when I selected the crater Copernicus was to have the terminator line very close to it. I didn’t get my timing right by a long shot! Instead, it was closer to a Lunar mid-day, making the shadows very short.

I was hesitant to sketch it, having my expectations dashed, and took an hour before I decided “What the heck! Just do it”.

Conditions were quite good for Sydney. At the best of times, using 222X is barely useable, giving only fleeting moments of clarity. This night was more good than poor! And an added bonus, NO DEW!

This is the first time I’ve used charcoal and soft pastels to do such a finely detailed sketch. It took a little getting used to, but what I really like about this materials is you can build up the layers to achieve the result you want. I found them very forgiving, unlike the cold.

Two hours, a pot of tea to keep the cold at bay, and a gorgeous orange tube C8, and this is the result.

Object: crater Copernicus
Scope: Orange tube C8
Gear: 9mm TMB Planetary Type II, 222X, + two polarizing filters
Date: 14’th May, 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Conditions: Fair
Media: Black & white charcoal pencils, grey soft pastel pencil, and white ink on black paper, A5 size.


Alex M.

A Lunar Sketching Duet

A Lunar Sketching Duet

Dale Holt of the UK and I have sketched from across the Atlantic in the past more or less at the same time and even on the same target. This past week it was all different as we met in Phoenix, Arizona and for five, dark, dry, transparent nights observed on the Peralta trail road near the base of the SuperstitionMountains not far from Apache Junction. Following crescent moonsets each night we scrutinized many deep sky targets up to the predawn hours and beyond on one occasion. This was possible as my daughter Michelle generously provided her two Dobsonian telescopes for our use all week. Back at our respective home observing sites, we are thankful to get that rare, clear transparent observing night but for this entire week, we never encountered a single cloud daytime or night time and fantastic transparency around the clock.
A highlight of our week together was lunch with Jeremy Perez in Flagstaff, during a day trip to northern Arizona.
On the last night of our observing, it was time to sketch the first quarter Moon and this time side by side from our base in Mesa, Az. Dale chose for his sketching target the lunar Alps including the front range from Promontorium Agassiz past P. Deville to Mons Blanc and including Mons Piton out on Mare Imbrium. Dale used the ten-inch Orion dob. telescope f/ 4.7 with a 9mm Ortho.eyepiece. Note the long shadows extending from the peaks and pointing towards the terminator, an awesome view in the eyepiece. I used the six- inch dob. telescope f/ 7, a 12mm Plossl eyepiece, and my targets were the three craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel along the terminator further on to the south.
If you have the opportunity to do a sketching duet, do not pass up the great opportunity; it can be great fun as we quickly discovered.

Dale Holt
White pastel on black Daler Rowney paper at 133 x

Frank McCabe
Graphite on white recycled Strathmore sketching paper at 89 x

Time: 9 June 2011 beginning 04:25 UT we finished in about an hour
Lunar information:
Lunation: 7.3 day old Moon
Illumination: 51.2%
Co-longitude: 4.1°
Phase 88.6°

Frank McCabe

Cusp of Moon and Sinus Iridum

Hello artists,all o.k.? Compliments for last Moon sketches ,great work ( at Frank in paricular)at all.
I made three sketches of Moon ,two in one week,but at moment i sent you my two sketches,one of a cups of crescent Moon,one of Sinus Iridum and environs.
I used my refractor Kenko 80mm 1000 f.l.,little but perfect for this work.
About my sketch of Moon cups,i go at hill near my town.At first i go for one observing session but when i see in eyepiece this incredible zone i decide to draw quyckly.
I see the mountains coming out from shadow ,one light thread of light on the surface.
The Moon phase was crescent(one day),this is the first time that i made one sketch of this zone,i want to made other,nextly.
The second ( and last) sketch i made last friday.
I mounted my refractor on the roof of my room’s terrace,i list music….perfect Moon sketch session.
One incredible neat vision ,the Sinus Iridum, Bianchini crater, Mount Jura and many splits and shadows…..very difficult work !
I go to bad satisfied but with head-ache.
I hope like you.
Ciao a tutti,Giorgio.

About first sketch( cups of Moon):

Site:Pergola (Serraspinosa Hill,400 meters over see level )
Date:7 of May 2011 10,50 p.m.
Moon phase : Crescent
Instrument:Refractor Kenko 80/1000
Eyepiece:15mm + Barlow (133x)
Seeing :Very good
Air: Calm.light cold.
Technnics:Graphite pencill on withe paper fabriano.

About last sketch (Sinus Iridum and environs):

Site :Pergola,Marche Region,center Italy
Date:13-14 of May 2011 from 10,40 p.m. to 01,13 a.m.
Moon phase: Crescent (11,3 days )
Instrument: Refractor Kenko 80mm/!000
Eyepiece:15mm+ barlow
Seeing:Good,turbulance and light clouds at the end.
Air: Light cold,no wind.

Domed Citadel

Sketch of Mons Rümker

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

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


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

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe

Shattered Rim

Object Name (Valles Inghirami, Baade, Bouvard)
* Object Type (Lunar Valles)
* Location (York, UK)
* Date (18th January 2011)
* Media (graphite pencil, white paper)
Instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 152mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p, x2 Barlow.

What’s an astronomical sketcher to do at full moon? These are actually good times to catch rare details on the lunar limb, and here I have caught three of the valleys on the south-western limb of the moon close to the crater Inghirami, which in turn is just south-west of Schickard. These valleys are radial to the Orientale basin and created by the same impact. Vallis Inghirami is the easiest to spot by virtue of its proximity to the crater of the same name, whilst Bouvard is also striking by virtue of its greater elevation and length. Baade is harder to pick out because it’s behind Vallis Inghirami and mostly hidden behind its own rim. This dramatic landscape mirrors the cataclysmic event that must have created it about 3.5 billion years ago.

Aristarchus and Vallis Schroteri

Object Name: Aristarchus and Vallis Schroteri
Object Type: Lunar Crater
Location: Bristol, UK
Date: 18th Dec 2010
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 use a Bamboo Pen graphics tablet to remaster the sketch. The final sketch was then “blurred” a touch to simulate the actual view which is never as sharp as I would like to see!)

Observational date: I use a Nexstar 8SE teamed with a Hyperion 8-24 mm zoom. Most of the sketch was at the 16mm stop with occassional use of Barlow and was drawn in moderate seeing conditions. The moon was 13 days old.
I could see the main circular formation with the hint of rays in SE. The crater had high walls although I could not see the terraces. The flat floor had a smallish central mountain. Herodotus was prominent to the W. Vallis Schroteri could be seen N of Herodotus by a craterlet called ‘the Head of Cobra’. The valley ran towards N then W.
Chris Lee

Sunset Terminator Across Mare Crisium

Mare Crisium is that interesting isolated sea on the northeastern side of the visible lunar surface. Only about half of it was visible during this sketching session.
The Nectarian Period event that formed this feature occurred more than 3.8 billion years ago. The mare portion of the basin is about 500 kilometers across. In the grazing sunlight across the floor, wrinkled ridges were visible in the north to south direction. Also on the western floor craters Picard (24 km.), Peirce (19 km.) and Swift (11km.) stood out in the low light. I could clearly see the lighter colored bench lava that partly buried craters here such as Yerkes (37 km.). Tall flat top mountains (massifs) beyond the shore stand at 2-5 kilometers above the sea. Also beyond the sea to the West crater Proclus (28 km.) with its remarkable bright rays was reflecting some sunlight.


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

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe

Burning Candles at Both Ends

Clear skies and a prominent day-11 moon on the evening of 16th December had me out really enjoying sketching; it wasn’t too cold (to begin with), the skies were clear, the target was high and I had plenty of time…..all a rare occurrence.

I sketched one of the most architecturally pleasing parts of the moon; the Sinus Iridum, which is a large crater/small basin with a partially flooded rim.

Of the two promontories, the one on the right (Promontorium Heraclides) is also known as the moon maiden, because at certain times it resembles the profile of a lady, with her long hair falling away off her shoulders. Also visible are the wrinkle ridges which might be traces of the buried rim, and craters Bianchini, Maupertuis, La Condamine and Bouguer.

Awaking on 17th at 4am with busy thoughts, I decided that viewing Saturn would be better than attempting to get back to sleep. And so it was.

I was surprised by quite a lot. The rings had opened up quite a bit since I saw them last spring. Not being close to opposition, the planet was quite small and I couldn’t see much detail on the planet itself. Only one moon was obvious; Titan predictably. With effort, another moon could be viewed roughly forming a right-angled triangle between Titan and the planet; it’s the faint spot at middle-left of the picture. This turned out to be Iapetus, which was pleasing because I haven’t seen that very often. It was new for me to see a moon so out of plane with the planet and the rings as last year they were mostly in line. It was good to see such old friends again.

* Object Name – Sinus Iridium, Mare Imbrium; Saturn, Titan, Iapetus.
* Object Type – Lunar Crater, Mare; Planet, Moons.
* Location – York, UK
* Date 16th December 2010, 17th December 2010
* Media – Graphite pencil on white paper. Observing instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 152mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p., x2 Barlow.

“All Hail, Caesar!”

Hello again,

I did this sketch last weekend. My intention had been to do two sketches of the terminator creeping across the Alpine Valley over two consecutive nights. This was supposed to have been the first of those sketches. I only had a vague memory of the location of the Alpine, so when I came across this incredible “gash” in the Lunar landscape, I thought ‘great, that was easy’! Didn’t I get a surprise the next evening!

What I was looking at was the mountain range next to the crater Julius Caesar. This range was being illuminated only on its eastern face, and the main body of it was still completely in the dark. I guess it wasn’t so hard to see how I confused the features. This silhouetted mountain range would otherwise have been overlooked by me as a feature to sketch. I’ll be chasing down a few more now, along the terminator.

Scope: Celestron C5, 5” SCT
Eyepiece: TMB Planetary Type II 6mm, 200X
Location: my backyard in Sydney
Media: Pencil, paint & ink on white paper

Many thanks for looking,

Alex M.

A Quiet Corner of Serenity

Object Name Apollo 17 landing site, Taurus Littrow valley
Object Type Lunar crater, Mare, Mountains, Dorsum.
Location York, UK
Date 11th December 2010
Media Graphite pencil on white paper
Instrument Skywatcher Skyliner 152mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p. plus x2 Barlow. Seeing quite wobbly.
A lovely crescent day-5 moon and clear skies yesterday evening meant that cooking had to wait for lunar sketching to finish.

Because it was rather nicely illuminated near the terminator, I chose to sketch the corner of Mare Serenitatis on the edge of the Taurus mountains which was the site of the Apollo 17 landing. This is also a seasonal ploy as the landing took place on December 19th 1972.

Here, I’ve labeled the sketch, with x marking the landing site of the lunar module “Challenger”.

The rim of the Serenitatis basin is marked by blocky Massifs of uplifted crust, fractured radially, and the landing site is a valley between three of these massifs; North, South and East. A major objective of the mission was to sample the dark mantle which coats this part of the edge of the basin, and which is very obvious in a small telescope.

Below are some links to images taken by the Apollo 17 crew, which illustrate some of the features in the sketch.

Overhead view of landing site in the Taurus Littrow valley

View of the Taurus Littrow valley from orbit.

View from the landing site

North Massif

View to south with South Massif

Peter Mayhew

A Near Full Moon Study

Hi all,

Tonight we had one of the clearest nights for a long time here in Sydney, and I wasn’t about to let a near full Moon spoil the occasion! So I pulled out my easy to set up 8” dob, and made this quick sketch over the next hour. Since this scope is an f/4, I used my 30 year old RKE eyepiece to give me the best low power image available to me. OH, how I love this eyepiece!

I even had a nice surprise too. For one very brief moment, a satellite crossed through my field of view. It’s happened many times to me, BUT this one happened across the disk of the Moon!! At first I thought it was a balloon, but then it occurred to me “since when does a balloon have spiky bits hanging off it?!!!”

Scope: 8” f/4 newtonian, dob mounted
Eyepiece: Edmund Scientific RKE 28mm, 29X
Filters: 2 polarizing filters
Media: China graph & graphite pencils on black paper.

Clear skies,

Alex M

Lunar Crater Prinz and Montes Harbinger

Crater Prinz
Lunar Crater Prinz and Montes Harbinger
By Ferenc Lovró

I was just cruising around the terminator of the Moon, testing the new cooling equipment on my OTA, when I found a very interesting mountain chain with some ruined crater at one end, near the crater Aristarchus which was right on the terminator. The view was so spectacular, that I decided to make a sketch. I found out that the large crater was Prinz, and the mountains attached are Montes Harbinger. I’ve sketched some additional minor craters nearby that have been cropped out from this image. A really unusual view, worth taking a peek when it’s near the terminator!

Also known as: Prinz, Krieger C, Vera, Angström, Montes Harbinger, Rimae Prinz
Date/time: 2010.03.26 20:00 UT
Equipment: 12″ f/5 Newtonian
Magnification and filter(s): 300x + 15% neutral filter(s)
Seeing: 2/10 Transparency: 4/5
Location: Nádasdladány, Hungary
Observer: Ferenc Lovró