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

Stippling Cauchy and Rumker

PCW Memorial Observatory, OH, USA
Erika Rix

2010 06 30, 0533-0839 UT
Cauchy, rilles, & domes
Zhumell 16”, 12mm Burgess, 2x Barlow, 300x mag
Temp: 11.2°-9.7°C, > 90% humidity
S: Antoniadi III increasing to II-I
Phase: 118°
Lunation: 17.77 d
Illumination: 87.2%
Lib. Lat: -3°28’
Lib. Long: +00°33’
Az: 135°22’, Alt: 25°44’

2010 06 25, 0229 UT
Mons Rumker
Zhumell 16”, 12mm Burgess, 2x Barlow, 300x mag
Phase: 16.2°
Lunation: 12.64 d
Illumination: 98%
Lib. Lat: 3°37’
Lib. Long: 5°33’
Az: 153°57’, Alt: 19°25’

One of the joys of the types of observing sessions we do is trying new
techniques and media to sketch the objects we view (except for my solar
sketches….I’ve sort of settled for the comfortable ol’ shoe feeling of
my black paper and Conte’). I’ve played around with quills and India ink
for years, actually since I was in my early teens. The thought of having
an open bottle of India ink next to me in the dark while observing was a
not appealing. In fact, as messy as I am with ink, nothing within a 10’
radius would have been safe from being splattered black, including my

I’ve been studying some of Harold Hill’s beautiful sketches and fancied
trying my hand at stippling for lunar observations instead of my typical
charcoal or pastels. I believe the norm is to do a schematic sketch in
pencil and label it with a legend. The idea of this is to bring the
sketch back inside and stipple over it with the quill and ink in the
comfort of your home with light. If you took care with your notes and
the labeling, you could even do this days later. It takes me long enough
to write my reports and record all the data from my sessions and I don’t
relish the idea of spending extra time working on a sketch once my
session at the eyepiece is over. Above all, I certainly don’t trust my
ability to redraw (or draw over a schematic sketch) using a shading
legend, which is one reason my sketches are completed at the telescope.
I want to ensure that there is no chance of me messing up (adding
details, misplacing markings, wrong shadings…) the details that I
actually see during my session.

Taking all that into consideration, a good alternative to India ink is
using a marker. Grabbing what I could find on hand, I used white card
stock paper and a permanent marker with a finer point for my sketch of
Mons Rumker. Since this was my first attempt, I went ahead and tried the
schematic sketch with labels first of Mons Rumker. I ended up with lines
and numbers all through the sketch so that soon I was unable to make
neither rhyme nor reason of the sketch itself.

Next, I tried drawing the dome with a pencil as if I were making a quick
regular sketch of it. Then I redrew it inside the house using the marker
for stippling. Although it was kind of fun, if I’m going to do a sketch
with a pencil anyway, what’s the point of doing it all over again with
stippling? Plus, I accidentally inverted my craterlets in the re-sketch.
The final straw was when I showed the stippled sketch to Paul, my
husband who is also an amateur astronomer, and after studying it for a
moment, he asked me what it was.

My next attempt turned out much better. I can’t help but to think part
of that is because I sketched while viewing instead of having to try
decipher my notes or markings of a schematic sketch after my observing
session was over. I was sketching all the subtle blendings instead of
having lined borders where the contrasts changed. Of course, the change
in markers plus a little more experience helped too. I sketched the area
around Cauchy with the rilles and domes nearby. I used an ultra-fine
black permanent marker with Rite in the Rain paper and created the
entire sketch at the eyepiece. I didn’t find a need to use erasers nor
pencils for the Cauchy sketch.

Harold Hill is a master and I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. But the
first step is actually do it. The second is doing it again and again.
Throw in a few tweaks to the media or techniques, and my stippled
sketches are bound to show a result of my efforts.

A First Sketch of Copernicus Crater

Copernicus Crater
Copernicus Crater and Surroundings
Sketch and Details by Ferenc Lovró

This is my first ever Moon-sketch, displaying craters Copernicus, Fauth and Gay-Lussac with some other sub-craters and domes not noted on the sketch. This is my actual sketch done at the eyepiece, no alterations were made after manually or digitally, other than resizing. It took about 45 minutes to finish, and I’m quite satisfied with it, although I’ve found that sketching the Moon is indeed very hard and very different from sketching deep space objects. Perhaps I should not finish Lunar sketches at the eyepiece but create only drafts with different markings for different shades and create the actual sketch in the warmth of the room. As an additional difficulty, the sky was 100% covered with a thin layer of cloud which kept the image in constant change, only 1 or 2 stars were visible here and there. Moon phase was about 69%.

Equipment: 12″ f/5 Newtonian
Magnification and filter(s): 250x + 30% neutral filter
Seeing: 4/10 Transparency: 1/5
Date/Time: 2009.12.26 17:15 UT
Location: Nádasdladány, Hungary

Object: Copernicus crater – Artist: Ferenc Lovró – Sketch Date: 12-26-09 – Sketch Location: Nádasladány, Hungary

Above the Hills

Above the Hills

Sunrise over Marius and the Marius Hills
Sketch and Details by Giorgio Bonacorsi

Hello sketcher,all o.k.?This night,the sky was cover by fog and clouds but ,at 10p.m.,the fog go out and the Moon was very hig over my head.I decide for the first time, to take my Dobson 10″ for the Moon and made my sketch with white pencill on black paper.
I see the Crater Marius go out from shadow and i decide to made that sketch.I used my 15mm eyepiece (83x).I stopped my sketch because the clouds coming quickly.
That sketch is dedicated at Frank McCabe and other sketchers who used this technics.
Ciao a tutti,artisti.
Giorgio Bonacorsi

Site:Pergola,Marchr Region,Center Italy
Date:28 November 2009
Time for made the sketch:From 10,50 to 11,30
Moon phase:Crescent(10,7 days)
Instrument:Dobson GSO 10″
Seeing:Good,clouds and turbulence at the end.Sketch interrupted cause the clouds
Technics:White pastel on black paper Fabriano3.

Two Domes of Tranquility

Two Domes of Tranquility

Lunar crater Arago and domes Arago Alpha and Arago Beta
Sketch and Details by Balázs Benei

Object name: crater Arago, domes Arago Alpha and Beta
Object type: Lunar crater, Lunar dome
Location: Gyöngyös, Hungary
Date: 2008. 10. 19. 23:20 – 23:40 UT


This sketch is one of my oldest, I made it one year ago. The crater and the domes were very easy to find and observe, this triangle is my favourite Lunar area. ‘É’ means north, ‘Ny’ means west on the sketch.
My equipment: 110/800 (4′) Newtonian reflector, 2x barlow, 10mm eyepiece, 160x magnification.

Yours sincerely
Balázs Benei

Concave Convex

Concave Convex

Crater Milichius and Lunar Dome Milichius Pi
Sketch and Details by Michael Kießling

This drawing I made with my Tak FS-102 refractor, magnification was 205x. Transparency was very good, seeing 5-6/10 (Pickering scale). I used white printer paper, HB and 2B pencils.

Object Name: Crater Milichius and Lunar Dome Milichius Pi
Object Type: Lunar Crater, Lunar Dome
Location: Melbeck, Germany
Time: 2009 Jan. 6, 20:00 UT

CS, Michael.

An Excellent Piece: Kies Pi Dome

Kies Pi Dome

Kies Pi Lunar Dome
Sketch and Details by Balázs Benei

Object name: Kies craters, dome Kies
Object type: Lunar crater, Lunar dome
Location: Gyöngyös, Hungary
Date: 2009. 03. 06. 18:20 – 18:40 UT


this is one of my first sketches from a Lunar object. I liked to observe the domes of the Moon and I decided to make sketches. The Dome Kies Pi was hard to observ, seeing was not very good (s=5). I made the sketch with graphite pencil. It was very exciting to make this sketch, I hope, my technique will grow up in time.
My equipment: 110/800 (4′) Newtonian reflector, 2x barlow, 10mm eyepiece, 160x magnification.

Yours sincerely
Balázs Benei

The mysteries of Mons Rumker

Mons Rumker

Mons Rumker
Sketch and Details by Richard Handy

Mons Rumker sits in isolation on the dark basalts of northwest Oceanus Procellarum like a lonely sentinel on the edge of some vast undiscovered wilderness. The Rumker Hills dome complex, situated on the western flank of the Aristarchus Plateau, lies on the top of a local swelling that is about 140 km in diameter. It is composed of a remarkable set of about a dozen volcanic domes and low mounds, which are scattered in a rough semi-circular plateau approximately 70 km in diameter. The surficial domes apparently overlay preexisting low domes so that the elevated northwest sections have a pancake like appearance. Despite the long shadows when viewed close to the terminator, nowhere do these domes rise much above 500 meters in elevation from the mean surface of the mare. A central depression to the southeast of the domed crescent displays a strange dichotomy between its darker and lighter floor that is very reminiscent of areas on the Moon that have pyroclastic deposits. The mysteries of Rumker are manifold: why is this the only such layered dome field on the surface of the Moon? Why is located here? Does it predate the mare lavas or is it the representative of the last vestiges of differentiated magmas that ended the mare sequences in this area? Is the central depression part of a preexisting separate domain or were both aspects, both domes and depression deposits, created over the same period of time?

Sketch details

Subject: Mons Rumker and environs Rukl: 8
Date: 3-31-07
Session Start 8:03 UT End 9.48 UT
Seeing: Antoniadi II-III Weather clear
Lunation 1042, 12.3 days Phase: 25.2 deg Illumination 95.2%
Colongitude: 60.7 deg
Lib in Lat: +00 deg 05 min Lib. in Long: +04 deg 04 min
Telescope: Meade 12” SCT f/10
Binoviewer: W.O. Bino –P with 1.6X nosepiece
Eyepieces: 12.4 mm Meade Super Plossls
Magnification: 393X
Sketch medium: White Conte’ Crayon on black textured Strathmore paper
Sketch size: 18” x 24”

Capuanus at the Marsh of Epidemics

Capuanus Crater

Capuanus at the Marsh of Epidemics
By Frank McCabe

At my geographic location during the fall, it is not uncommon to have a sequence of days with fog and mist under heavy cloud cover. At sunset the fog lifted and the sky cleared. It was time to take advantage of this break to observe and sketch.
The sketching target I chose near the terminator is Pre-Imbrian era crater Capuanus. This ancient crater rests on the shore of Palus Epidemiarum. At 58 kilometers in diameter, this is a large crater with extensive rim damage from multiple crater impacts. A narrow gap in the low north wall nearly connects the crater floor to the marsh. Brightly illuminated in the rising sun is the high western wall which towers at 2.5 kilometers above the crater floor. The basaltic lava on the floor of the crater appeared mostly dark. Two of the domes or dome-like rises could be detected on the southern crater floor. These volcanoes were active during the age of prokaryotic life here on earth 3.5 billion years ago. Ridges extending from the west of the crater, line up nicely with the margins of both mare Nubium and mare Humorum. Perhaps these are remains of a basin rim which was part of one of these seas.Across the floor of Palus Epidemiarum a wide segment of western Rima Hesiodus could be seen approaching the northern most of these ridge reminants. Two hours after I began sketching clouds moved in and closed my window on the moon.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 9”x12”, white and black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump. Brightness was slightly decreased after scanning.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 4mm eyepiece 362x
Date: 11-20-2007 0:05-1:40 UT
Temperature: 14°C (58°F)
fog, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 33°
Lunation: 10 days
Illumination: 72.2 %

Frank McCabe

Lunar luminaries

2006 07 07

Lansberg/Gamma and Delta

“Wednesday night (Thursday for UT), was a practice session for imaging with my
Rebel.  I finally bought a t-ring adaptor during a star party a few weeks ago and
had some fun playing with the new toy. The guys in the DSLR forum are giving me some
great pointers.  Feels very strange entering that realm, but I have a feeling it
will compliment the sketching well for my observations.  Plus gives me yet another
way to enjoy this hobby to the fullest!

It was then time to put the camera away and dig out my sketch kit.  Paul, being the
thoughtful husband that he is, bought Tom L’s binoviewers for me last month.  Tom,
if you’re reading this, I absolutely LOVE them!  Wow!  Thank you both so much!!!
I’ve been having a lot of fun with black Strathmore paper and Conte’ crayons for my
solar work, so with Rich in mind, I got up the nerve to try my first lunar sketch
with this media. Lansberg and the surrounding craters were my main targets that
night.  I explored the terminator, tried to count craterlets in Plato, and admired
Copernicus (and was tempted to try it again, as the last time I tried to sketch that
beauty, my sketch was cut short and it was never completed).

Lansberg is from the Imbrian period and is about 41km.  The central mountains stuck
out like two eyeballs in a dark room and I was pleased to see some terracing.  All
the little craterlets around Lansberg belong to it with Kunowsky D being the
exception to the NW.  Reinhold is trying to slip into the scene to the NE, but got
its toe stuck in the door.  Montes Riphaeus was very dramatic, or at least compared
to the rest of the scene in that area.


After a great day today, which included solar observing (boy, that sun feels
great!), I set up with the binoviewers again tonight.  Although seeing was poor, I
went ahead and bumped up magnification with 8mm TV Plossls (love that EP so much, I
had to get another one!).  It was good enough to support the level of detail needed
to observe domes.  Had I wanted to jump into a few complex craters, I believe a 20mm
would have been best.  So, domes it was and why not a pair?  Mons Gruithuisen Delta
and Gamma were flagging me down and I just could not resist. 

Gruithuisen Domes Delta and Gamma

They are also from the Imbrian period and close to 20km each.  Looking at VMA, Delta
is classified as a mountain and Gamma is a dome.  Rukl calls both of them a domelike
mountain massif.  Hmmm, let’s see what Chuck Woods has to say about them.  Aha!  He
calls them domes, most likely formed of silicic volcanic rocks.  For more reading on
this, see The Modern Moon, page 37.  I would love to be one of the geologists that
Chuck suggests may someday bang on the domes with their rock hammers to see what
they are made of.
It was a bit disappointing that I didn’t see the summit crater on Gamma, but there
was an obvious darkened area on the western top portion of it.  I loved buzzing
around in the all the little dips and valleys to the north of it, though.  The
little raised line between Gamma and Gruithuisen K looked like a pea pod. Isn’t the
lava covered floor beautiful in that region?”
Sketches done with black Strathmore Artagain paper and white Conte’ crayons

Erika Rix

Zanesville, Ohio