Southern Sky

Crux, Lambda centauri, Eta carinae, Pléyades del sur
Crux, Lambda centauri, Eta carinae, Pléyades del sur

Hi ASOD, in my country there are not a good average of cloudless nights, and that to say of my city, however the weather of January and February has left draw these sectors of south sky with my binoculars 10×50.

Hola ASOD, en mi país no hay un buen promedio de noches despejadas y que decir de mi ciudad, sin embargo el clima de principio de año me ha dejado dibujar estos 4 sectores del cielo sur con mis binoculares 10×50.

1. Crux: 23 feb 2015, 06:7 UT.
2. Lambda centauri: 14 jan 2015, 07:58 UT.
3. Eta carinae: 12 jan 2015, 07:46 UT.
4. Pléyades del sur: 07 jan 2015, 07;32 UT.

Location: Medellín, Colombia.
Media: Graphite Pencil- 2H, HB, 2B, PS invert.
Optical instrument: Celestron Binoculars 10×50.

this are me first contribution, I hope you will enjoy it.

The tropical Scorpion

"The tropical Scorpion", the constellation Scorpio as seen over South Vietnam
“The tropical Scorpion”, the constellation Scorpio as seen over South Vietnam

Last month my family visited the home town in southern Vietnam where (my) wife’s mother lives. Several days and nights passed too fast as (they) always did to appreciate enough the tropical life and nature. The feeling of daily life here is always bright , busy, active,pleasant ,greenish,abundant and warm and noisy, the sun shines far intensely than in Korea, every roads every rivers flooding with motorcycles , boats , peoples, …. One late afternoon we visited a near temple to pray, have a conversation with a Buddhist priest ,rest until the sun set and ate noodles in a small restaurant near the temple . When the darkness spread on the west horizon where still remained in vermillion hue, I could see the magnificent Scorpion in full of stars, constellation rising 40 degree altitude which I always could only see the scorpions head in Korea, my location. Reaching mother’s house I aimed my hand binocular at the scorpion’s tail and I saw 7-8 globular, 8-10 open clusters. On the other nights I saw the Sirius hang on almost 75 degree altitude and the Altair hang on the zenith. I love Vietnamise song much, that helps artwork,astronomy together . —————-

Object; Constellation scorpio

Observe/ Sketch for 2 hours; (September) 9, 2014

Water color painting for 4 hours ; (September) 10, 2014

naked eye (with eyeglasses) , x1 power

Location ; Southern Vietnam ,T.P.Cantho near Equator [ ca 5 degree N]

White paper [50 x35 cm] with pencils , watercolors with brushies

Jupiter in the Constellation Gemini

Jupiter in the constellation Gemini - December 4, 2013
Jupiter in the constellation Gemini – December 4, 2013
Jupiter in the constellation Gemini - December 4, 2013 original sketch
Jupiter in the constellation Gemini – December 4, 2013 original sketch

Jupiter was almost directly at zenith and very bright. It was also located directly atop the star Gemini Delta. I could spot all four Galilean moons easily through my binoculars. Towards the end of this sketch, a heavy mist/fog rolled in, diffusing my view…

Object: Jupiter in constellation Gemini
Date: December 4th, 2013 – 4:30 – 5am CT
Location: New Braunfels, Texas – front yard
Conditions: 54°F, misty/fog
Instruments: 10×50 Wide-Angle Binoculars
Medium: Graphite on white sketch paper, inverted
(see the original sketch)

Thank You,
Jen Bishop

Stars of Jen

Southern Skies Over Bogotá

The southern skies over Bogotá, Colombia on March 29, 2014
The southern skies over Bogotá, Colombia on March 29, 2014

Object name: Crux and Centaurus constellations

Object type: Constellation

Location: Bogotá, Colombia

Date: March 29, 2014 1+30 hours

Media: Digital sketch with adobe photoshop CS2, based on a graphite pencil sketch

Equipment: Naked eye view

Seeing conditions: moonless, transparency 2/3, Bortle 8.

Hello all,

I live in a city with around 9 million of people, just located at 4 degrees north from the ecuador. The light pollution is very intense but I feel also blessed that I can see both hemispheres at the same time from my location. I tried to reproduce the bright of my sky in a clear night in Bogotá and the stars that can be seen in it. I feel I´m improving on Photoshop but there is a long way of trying and learning.

Thanks to all for watching!

Clear Skies.

Orion’s belt stars

Orion's Belt
Orion’s Belt

Hello ASOD, here join my last watercolor

Object Name (Orion’s belt stars and M42)
Object Type (Constellation and nebulae)
Location (Porquerolles on board of Aquarellia)
Date (02-10-2013)
Media (watercolor on white paper, for inverting the sky)

In the night of October the first, our old two masts Aquarellia was anchoring close to the harbour of Porquerolles, one of the three “Provencal golden islands”.
At one o’clock in the night I wake me up,… maybe ‘cause of some wave noise? I was surprised by seeing the Orion’s belt stars and M42 rising close to the ‘Sainte Agathe’ fort. With my 7×50 binoculars I sketch this original encounter, the mythic Orion warrior at the rear of a real castle.
The French coast, here in my nord, is full of light pollution but to my surprise, the castle illumination was the only light in the sight. The island is not so close to the polluted coast, so the Orion’s constellation was pure in the dark while rising.
This watercolour was made on board with local salt water (;

I hope you enjoy

Michel Deconinck

Facets of the Dolphin

Objects in Delphinus
Objects in Delphinus

Dolphin Constellation

several objects

Location: The Bullaque – Ciudad Real – Spain

Date: 2013 – September – 01

Media: Graphite Pencil HB, torchon drawing sheet 1 and 130g

Inverted colors with GIMP 2.8

The Dolphin is a summer constellation modest, but can be very interesting for the amateur observer. Spend an evening full observation of its four most significant objects two planetary nebulae and two globular clusters, has been very rewarding.

When observed at the same time, are more striking differences between the two planets:
NGC 6905 is sees as a small disk, very bright and is easily distinguished in the field, and
NGC 6891 is quite the opposite, very small, very bright and compact, ie stellar appearance, difficult to distinguish from the other stars in the field.

The two globular clusters are very different concentration among them, but the different distances from us makes visual texture is very similar:
NGC 6934 (Class VII and 50,000.) Is bright, large, round, with denser center, feathered edges and mottled texture, and
NGC 7006 (Class I and 150,000 al.) Is less bright, somewhat smaller, round, with denser center, feathered edges and mottled texture.
A sample of observation is the sketch I made (picture above).

Finding NGC 6891 has been a challenge, stellar appearance has remained up to 200x and only from the 220x has started to show a very small round and compact disc.
The UHC filter and averted vision were needed in the localization and subsequent observation of nebulae.
For all objects have the best view obtained with the 220x. Good quality of the sky with a 21.41 SQM (roughly Male zone 6 was 6.2).

Greetings to all visitors of this page

Pedro Villamiel 09/04/2013

Cygnus through an Airplane Window


Object Name : Cygnus through an airplane window.
Object Type : constellation
Location : In the airplane, 10Km height above Guinea
Date : 8 June 2013 23:45
Media : Sketced S Note by Galaxy Note 10.1

For business, I visited Africa. I moved from South Africa to Senegal by an airplane.
I just looked outside the window, I saw Cygnus, Lyra, NGC7000 and etc.
First, I sketched this image using pencils and memo paper. Then I re-sketecd the image using my tablet pc.
I cannot forget the fantasic image forever through the window at that night.

Altair83 Observers at Flassans

Altaïr83 Club Observing
Altaïr83 Club Observing

Object Name (form Orion to Venus)
Object Type (End winter sky)
Location (Flassans-sur-Issole Provence France)
Date (3/16/2012 )
Media (graphite pencil, watercolour, white paper, software

During the March 16th night the Flassans-sur-Issole, a nice south France site was sketched with some observers of the Altaïr83 club. The site is mainly used for astrophotography I liked the red light effect of the atmosphere, brilliant eyes and red led. On my sketch we can see from left to right the Orion constellation, the Hyades, Pleiades and near the horizon, Venus close to Jupiter.

I made this sketch using graphite pencil, then I put the red colour effect in my workshop then I had to reverse the sky via

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck

Mars in Leo

Mars in Leo
Mars in Leo

Hello astro-artists

I send you a Mars and Regulus conjunction sketch made this morning, November 13th 2011 at 4h50 UT.

The technique used is watercolour for the foreground and inverted graphite pencil for the sky.

To merge my sketches I use the free software.

The chimneys are typical for my Provencal region. Observation made from Rocbaron in France.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck

My Mate Scorpius


Hover mouse over image to view labels.

Object type: constellation
Location: Itajobi, SP, Brazil (on a farm)
21º19′ S
49º03′ W
Date: July 2011
Media: 2B 0.5mm graphite pencil on white paper, scanned then inverted
Instrument: naked eye and 10×50 binoculars
Observer: Rodrigo Pasiani Costa

July 2011 was definitely a great month for me to observe the night sky. In fact it didn’t rain at all, so I could set my telescope on my mom’s farm several times. I spent many hours a night observing, sometimes from seven pm (local time) untill half past trhee am (local time), and I would be alone if not for a mate: Scorpius, high above in the sky, always looking at me from the top, crossing from East to West through the zenit. So, between one object and another, I skethed this fascinating constellation together with some of its stellar clusters and nebulosity. The details were observed with a 10×50 binoculars, but the stars and the Milky Way were observed with the naked eye. I hope you enjoy it, it took me three or four nights, and was a great experience.
Oh, I could not forget. Past September 24th was the 18th birthday of my friend Camila. Happy birthday, Camila, enjoy the great dark sky you have from your garden.

More July sketches coming soon.
Dark skies to everybody.
From Brazil,
Rodrigo P. C.

Moon visits the Scorpion

Moon and Scorpius
Moon and Scorpius

On holiday in France I witnessed a beautiful conjunction between the Moon and the constellation Scorpius. Sketching the background with a pastel pencil was the most difficult task to do. I think I will use a chalk pastel next time for a smoother result. There is also still some work on the stars (I almost never draw naked eye stars). On the other hand the glow around the Moon looks very nice. Hope you like my holiday souvenir.

Clear skies
Jef De Wit

Object Name: Moon and constellation Scorpius
Object Type: moon and asterism
Location: Louroux-Bourbonnais, France (46°33’ N 2°51’ E)
Date and time: 7 August 2011 around 20.15 UT
Equipment: naked eye
Medium: color pastel pencils on black paper, Antares and Moon were redraw digital, process with Paint

Taurus in the Year 1054

I send you an illustration of what happened in Taurus in the year 1054 A.D.
This is the supernova which created the “Crab Nebula” (M.1).
Nearby to NE is the cresent moon. On old drawings on stones and so on,
the cresent moon was there when the SN exploded on 4. July this year.
More info on my sketch!
I used pen and pencil on white paper and inverted.

Best wishes for clear sky, Per-Jonny Bremseth

A Piece of Sagittarius

Sketch information:
Object name: A piece of Sagittarius
Scope: Skywatcher dobs 1200/200 + SWA 32mm
Place: Poland, Silesia, Skrzyszow
Seeing: 8/10 Transparency: 4/5
Date and time: 10.07.2010r, 23:50PM (21:00)
Technique: Pencil, GIMP
Author: Marek Płonka (Poland, Silesia)

Note: I’ve always used only pencil.
I use GIMP only to improvement brightness, contrast, resize and crop
images.Under clear, summer skies I was able to sketch this nice view.
I drew this picture moving from star to star, taking the view and sketching.
In my location there are still not dark nights, but I hope, you enjoy my view.

Marek Płonka

In Flight through the Milky Way to Andromeda

Milky Way
Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy
Sketch and Details by Patrick Van Beeck

The milky way and the stunning great galaxy of andromeda
38000 feet over north western Italy
Feb 7th, 2010

This sketch was made at an altitude of 38000 feet over the north western Italian coastline enroute to Paris in an Airbus 319 cruising at 455 kts groundspeed.
The views from the cockpit at night can be truly amazing, the reason being that 70% of the atmospheres mass is below us! Giving a crystal clear view of the sky almost right down to the horizon. What stuns me every winter, is the size of the blob of the andromeda galaxy almost as big as the moon!

This sketch was made digitally with photoshop

Enjoy this nightly cruise with me as the atmosphere rushes by…

Patrick Van Beeck

Moon over Armagh

Moon over Armagh
Moon over Armagh on Christmas Eve
Sketch and Details by Miruna Popescu

This painting depicts how the southern sky looks on 24 December 2009 at 5.30 pm, when the Moon’s phase reaches first quarter. The next brightest celestial object at this time is the planet Jupiter, which this year is the “Christmas Star” for the Royal School, Armagh. Jupiter is seen here just before it disappears behind the school. The painting shows stars in Pisces, Pegasus, Aquarius and other constellations, and the location of the planet Uranus (visible through a telescope) about a third of the way from the Moon to Jupiter. Uranus was found in 1781 (seven years after the old building of the Royal School was completed) by the astronomer and musician William Herschel, the discovery constituting the first identification of a planet since ancient times and earning Herschel the post of King’s astronomer from George III.

In 1609, the year after the founding of the Royal School, Galileo Galilei used an early telescope to map the Moon and discover satellites of Jupiter. To mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope to observe the sky, 2009 is being celebrated worldwide as the International Year of Astronomy.

Dr Miruna Popescu from Armagh Observatory is the coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Ireland.

Binocular Icon 57 : Sagitta and M71

Sagitta and M71

The Constellation Sagitta and M71 (NGC 6838)
Sketch and Details by Rony De Laet

Sagitta is a small but fascinating constellation. It fits completely in a common pair of binoculars. A fine bonus is offered by the presence of the loose globular, M71. This globular is visible as a hazy spot between Gamma and Delta Sagittae. The object is flanked by two mag 11 stars, one NW of the cluster and one S of the cluster. My 15×70’s shows both Gamma and Delta in one field of view. The whole field gives a great sense of depth. Gamma Sagittae (near the left edge of the sketch) is relatively nearby with a distance of 260 l-y. Delta Sagittae’s distance is about 460 l-y. M71 on the other hand is 13.000 l-y away, hovering at the edge of the galactic plane. From our line of sight towards M71, we probably have to look through a large portion of the dust and gas clouds of the galactic plane. It occurs to me that a lot of M71’s light might be blocked by interstellar absorption.
My choice of binoculars was the 15×70 (compared to my 8×56) to conquer the sky glow of our midsummer nights.

Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51° N )
Date : June 16, 2009
Time : around 23.30UT
Binoculars : TS 15×70 Marine
FOV: 4.4°
Filter : none
Mount : Manfrotto tripod and head
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 2.5/5
Sky brightness : 19.49 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Nelm: 5.3
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.

(Note: if the sketch does look too dark on your monitor, try to darken the room.)
[click twice on image to see full size sketch]

Treasures of Uru-anna


Ancient Sumerian Constellation Uru-anna
Sketch and Details by Rony De Laet

Some 5000 to 6000 years ago, one of the most ancient civilisations, Sumer, was based in southern Iraq. The Sumerians invented their own written language. Many Sumerian texts have been found on clay tablets. The Sumerians also practiced astronomy and gave names to the constellations.
The constellation of the Hunter, Orion, was known to the Sumerians as Uru-anna or The Light of Heaven. It has been suggested that Orion is named from Uru-anna.

Uru-anna or Orion is indeed a bright constellation. Most of its stars belong to the Orion OB1 association. Such is the case with the ‘Sword’ of Orion, a part of the sky which can be seen with the naked eye as a line of four fuzzy stars hanging under the Belt of Orion.

This region of the Orion OB1 association is filled with very bright stars. Many of these stars are very young giants or supergiants. The brightest star of the scene is Iota. Just a few minutes S of Iota is the double star Struve 747. Its components are only 36” apart, but clearly split at 7x. Struve 747 may look a little elongated in the sketch, due to the lower resolution of the rendering. It appears to me that Iota could be the lucida of a little poor open cluster, of which Struve 747 is also a member. The showpiece of the scene is M42, the Orion nebula. My 8×56 binoculars reveal two stars in the middle of M42 : Theta 1 and Theta 2. The latter is accompanied by two fainter stars to the E. The heart of the Orion Nebula is extremely bright. It can be seen with direct vision, also from an urban location. With patience and averted vision, a larger part of the nebula can be witnessed. Several faint stars can be discovered in the fading glow too. The western part of the nebula is the largest and the most obvious ‘wing’ of M42. Its northern border seems to be sharply cut away. As if a dark nebula separates M42 from the fainter M43 a few minutes to the N. M43 looks like a faint star embedded in a misty glow. The dark nebula also curves S as if it wants to separate the Theta stars as well. The southern ‘wing’ is a very diffuse feature. It is the thick and long filament know from the photos, that point towards Iota. With averted vision, this filament can be seen with 8×56 binoculars.
At 30’ N of M42, the faint glow of the reflection nebula NGC 1977 shows up around 42 and 45 Orionis. A total of 3 stars can be seen within the nebula.
The final object is the loose open cluster NGC 1981, N of NGC 1977. My 8×56 binoculars show a total of about 10 medium to faint cluster members.
The above mentioned objects are all members of the OB1 association, at a distance of about 1600 l-y.

A second observation of this region with the 15×70 binoculars will be posted later.

Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51° N )
Date : January 18, 2008
Time : around 20.30UT
Binoculars : Bresser Spezial-Jagd 8×56
FOV: 5.9°
Filter : none
Mount : Trico Machine Sky Window
Seeing : 2/5
Transp. : 3/5
Sky brightness : 19.86 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Nelm: 5.4
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.

(Note: if the sketch does look too dark on your monitor, try to darken the room.)

Constellation Gemini

Constellation Gemini

The Constellation Gemini
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

At 10:30 pm local time the constellation of Gemini the twins was rising in the east above the roof of my home. The two brightest stars to the left (north) in the sketch are Castor above Pollux. It has been enjoyable to have two clear or at least partly clear nights at the freezing point following a couple of weeks of very poor weather with overcast skies. As I sketched, clouds interrupted me and so I rushed a bit more than I would have wished in order to finish. I did have a telescope at my side but the clouds prevented its use. Although this was a brief encounter with the heavens it was fun.

Naked eye drawing
Date and Time: 12/30/2008 10:30 pm -11:15pm local time
8.5″ x 11″ textured light tan paper, #2HB Dixon Oriole graphite pencil,
white Conte’ crayon, gum eraser.
After scanning I rotated and cropped the drawing to create more interest above the roof line. Using Microsoft Office Picture Manager brightness was decreased -2 and contrast was increased +3.

Frank McCabe

A Scorpion on the Horizon


Sketch and Details by Ron De Laet

Last night, I drove to a dark site with a clear view to the horizon. The nelm sunk below mag 6. M13 and M5 were visible with the naked eye. I made several sketches with the binoculars. Finally the constellation of the Scorpion caught my attention. I could not resist to put the Scorpion to paper. Constellation sketches are very enjoyable to do. Here is my impression.

Milky Way in Cassiopeia

Milky Way in Cassiopeia

The Milky Way in Cassiopeia
By Rony De Laet

 This is a lawn chair observation of the Milky Way passing through Cassiopeia. The view was so beautiful that I wanted to capture it in a sketch. I studied the region for about 20 minutes before sketching. North is right in the sketch. The two patches on top of the view are the double cluster in Perseus. I tried to simulate the glow of the Milky Way as it crossed this mighty constellation.

Location : Bischofshofen, Austria
Date:  Dec. 25, 2006 , 21.00UT
Seeing:  4 on a scale of 5, Transparency : 4, Nelm : 5.1
Scope : naked eye