Rocket and Moon for Dad

Cohete y Luna para Papa
Cohete y Luna para Papa

Estimado equipo de ASOD,

Para mi cumpleaños mi hija Sofía, de 9 años, realizó esta hermosa composición desplegable en “3D”. Un cohete con una carita feliz rumbo a la luna con un fondo de estrellas y cúmulos.

Sofía me acompaña en mi pasión por la Astronomía desde hace algunos años. Utilizamos un telescopio refractor 90/900 y unos binoculares 10×50, Ella es muy entusiasta y decidida a la hora de manipular la montura ecuatorial, especialista en encontrar satélites artificiales.

Conocedora de mi pasión por la llegada del hombre a la Luna, como todos aquellos que eramos niños en aquellos años, se decidió a realizar este regalo sorpresa.

Muchas gracias Sofi!

Mario Castillo (padre orgulloso)

In english (poor):

For my birthday my daughter Sofía, 9, did is beautiful composition “3D”. A rocket with a happy face towards the moon with a background of stars and clusters.

Sofia accompanies me in my passion for astronomy for several years. We use a 90/900 refractor telescope and binoculars 10×50, She is very enthusiastic and determined when handling the equatorial mount, specializes in finding satellites.

Aware of my passion for the man on the moon, and all those who were children in those years, she decided to make this surprise gift.

Sofi, thank you very much!

Mario Castillo (Proud Parent)

Thanks in advance!

Mario A. Castillo

International Space Station

The International Space Station
The International Space Station


Object: International Space Station

Date: 16. June 2013

Time: 22:51 – 22:56 MEST

Location: Stegersbach Austria Europe

Instrument: 200/1000mm Newton

Camera: DBK 41 for the pictures

Observer: Markus Vertesich

I copy this sketch from one of my best ISS pictures that i made with my DBK 41 camera.

Thank you


NGC 6384

NGC 6384
NGC 6384
By Erika Rix

2010 June 8, 0457 UT

NGC 6384, Galaxy type SAB(r)bc I, Ophiuchus, ~80 million light years away
Hazy oval with a brighter oblong middle, 6.4’ x 4.3’, magnitude 10.4v

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
16” Zhumell, 13mm Ethos and 8mm TeleVue Plossl, magnification ~138x – 225x
Temp: 8C, Humidity 92%
Seeing: P 7, Transparency: 3/6

Sketch created scopeside with Rite in the Rain paper, black ballpoint ink pen, #2 pencil then the stars cleaned up in Photoshop and inverted with adjustment to brightness and contrast.

At first glance, this spiral galaxy looked small and oblong nesting with a triangle of stars. Putting a dark cloth over my head and studying it further, I was able to make out a larger fainter portion of it extending to nearly two of the stars in the triangle. I couldn’t make out any structure on the outer portion other than it was almost oval. The inner, brighter portion was more oblong and the density was uneven.

During this observation, two satellites crossed the lower portion of my FOV, traveling west to east. The second one came through about half hour after the first. It seemed to be moving a little slower and was not as bright as the first. The second was at 0440UT. The courses were marked on my sketch by the dashed lines.

SDO Launch

SDO Launch
NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory Launch
Sketch and Details by Stephen Ramsden

I know that this is a bit off the wall, but I got so inspired by the SDO going up safely that I decided to sketch it. Hope you like it.

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

Atlas V rocket

Cape Kennedy Space Center, FL USA

Feb 11th, 2010

This is colored Conte oil crayons, #2 pencils and a napkin for smudging on black Artagain recycled sketch paper. This sketch was my impression of several frames from the NASA launch video.

I was very thrilled when the SDO launched successfully. I cannot wait until data starts streaming into Goddard Space Flight Center from this, the first mission in NASA’s living with a star program. Great timing too as we have seen such a dramatic uptick in Solar activity the last few weeks.

Stephen W. Ramsden
Atlanta, GA

Man Made Noctilucent Cloud

Man Made Noctilucent Cloud

Black Brant XII/CARE test
Sketch and Details by Janis Romer

Black Brant XII/CARE test

A group of us were out observing at New Ringgold, PA on Saturday evening Sept 19th when we were surprised by the sudden appearance of the test cloud. I got out my sketching materials as fast as I could and made made this drawing of what we saw. I used conte pastel pencil on black paper to record its naked eye appearance. From our perspective, Jupiter was to the lower right of the cloud. The whole show was over in minutes.

ISS Times Two

ISS Times Two

The International Space Station
Sketch and Details by Aleksander Cieśla

At night of 13th July I have captured two of the International Space Station flights secondly, one.

Object: International Space Station
Scope: Celestron SCT 5″ on SLT computerized mount.
Place: Poland, Wrocław – near city center
Technique: Graphite pencil
Tooling: GIMP 2

Sketches details:
sketch #1: July 13th 2009 at 22:19 (10:19PM)
with Antares W70 25mm, magnification 50x
seeing 2/5, transparency 2/5

ISS Times Two

The International Space Station later that same evening
Sketch and Details by Aleksander Cieśla

sketch #2: July 13th 2009 at 23:58 (11:58PM)
with LVW 13mm, magnification 96x
seeing 2/5, transparency 1/5
light clouds

Aleksander Cieśla

On the Trail of a Rocket

On the Trail of a Rocket

Cosmos 1154 Rocket Booster, on June 13th, 2009
Sketch and Details by Janusz Krysiak

Object Name:Cosmos 1154 Rocket
Object Type:Satellites
Date:13.06.2009(11.40 a.m.)

medium: pencil, white paper

This is Satellite Cosmos 1154 Rocket. I made this sketch in
Pyrnik(Poland) on 13.06.2009(11.40 a.m.)

Janusz Krysiak

Lost In Space

ISS Toolbag

The ISS Tool bag
Sketch and Details by Jef De Wit

On November 18 2008 Endeavor astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper lost her grip on a tool bag during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The tool bag cost $100,000 and its loss meant astronauts had to share the remaining tool bag for subsequent spacewalks. The bag weighs about 14 kg and measures only 50 x 40 x 20 cm. It contained two grease guns, a scraper tool, a large trash bag and a small debris bag.
On websites like and you can find the visible passes for your location. The maximum brightness of the tool bag is 4,8 mag. So in theory it can be a naked eye object. But in practice it turned out to be more difficult. I first tried to spot the tool bag with binoculars (7×50). After six failures I asked help on Cloudy Nights.
Armed with the good advice from a kind Neal and a little refractor I was more lucky on the first of July. The tool bag passed almost overhead at a distance of 280 km (in his 3534th turn around the Earth).
I was especially surprised by the speed of the satellite and there is no second chance. So I’m not sure that the sketched path is 100% correct (it differs a little bit from the calculated one). It was far more difficult to recall where the tool bag entered than where it left the FOV. It was also the first (and maybe the last) time I used a lath for an astro-sketch. The calculated brightness of the bag was 5,4 magnitudes. The bright star on the right border of the sketch (north) is Kappa Cygni. The two bright stars below (east) are Iota 1 and 2 Cygni.
When I was sketching some background stars there was at 0.57 UT an unexpected visitor. A bright (mag. 2,3) satellite passed the same FOV than the tool bag. Some research on CalSky revealed it was a cylindrical rocket-piece (IGS 3A H2A) that measured 13,5 by 2,5 meters. A nice extra!
Don’t wait too long to observe the tool bag, because in the future it will fall back to Earth. It is not expected that any components of the tool bag will reach the Earth´s surface. But maybe some beautiful morning you will find a grease gun in your backyard…

Clear skies
Jef De Wit

Object Name: ISS / Shuttle tool bag
Object Type: satellite
Location: Hove, Belgium (51°09’ north lat. 4°28’ east long.)
Date and time: 1 July 2009, 0.52 UT
Equipment: Meade ETX-70 (2,75 inch refractor)
Eyepiece: 35mm Celestron Ultima (FOV 4,4° and magnification 10x)
NELM: 4,2 mag.
Medium: graphite pencil HB/n°2, lath, printing paper, scanned and inverted, some cleaning up was made with Paint

Catching a Passing Space Station


The International Space Station
Sketch and Details by Janusz Krysiak

Object Name:ISS
Object Type:Satellites
Date:15.05.2009,20.54(8.54 p.m.)

medium: pencil, white paper
equipment: Newton 300/1500
magnification: 68x

This is International Space Station. I made this sketch on 15.05.2009. I
have seen solar panels, it was a wonderful view!

Reflections from the High Frontier

ISS and Shuttle

ISS and Progress M-02M
Sketch and Details by Janusz Krysiak

Object Name:ISS&Progress M-02M
Object Type:Satellites
Date:12.05.2009,21.12(9.12 p.m.)

medium: pencil, white paper
equipment: Newton 300/1500
magnification: 68x

These are International Space Station and Progress M-02M about 11
minutes before docking.Progress M-02M was about 150 meters from
International Space Station.It was a wonderful view.

Janusz Krysiak