Celestial Lollypop


Sketch and Details by Jeff Young

While I suppose the bent stem looks more like a flower, M3 has always struck me as a fuzzy lollypop. However, I’ve attempted to render it as accurately as possible, without colouring the image with any impressions I might have gleaned, so that you can form your own, unique impressions.

M3 (NGC5272); globular cluster in Canes Venatici
sketched 4/31/2008 in County Louth, Ireland
as viewed through 16” Mak-Cass @ 150X; Pickering 8, NELM 5.5, SQM 20.6

My globular sketching technique is a bit different from that I use on other DSOs. I first place as many brighter stars as I can stomach using a medium-soft (HB) pencil. This sketch has about 120 placed stars, most of them in the globular itself. I then lightly smudge the image with a blending stick to show the extent of un-resolved stars. Finally, I place a harder pencil (3H) vertically on the drawing and rotate it slightly to form each of the smaller stars. These are placed randomly to reproduce the levels of shading I see in the eyepiece.

The sketch is then scanned into Photoshop and inverted.

2 thoughts on “Celestial Lollypop”

  1. Jeff,

    This is an excellent sketch of M-3. It is so well done one could go out under the canopy of stars with this sketch in spring/summer and using a 16″ telescope at 160X easily figure out which globular cluster this is. Well done.


  2. Hi Jeff,

    Only having recently found this site, I’ve only just come across your amazing depiction of M3. This is one of the most stunning renditions of a GC I’ve seen. Your technique so incredibly replicates the view through a scope. The core is almost electric, with the outer stars fading off like dimming sparks.

    I sometimes squint at astro sketches, as this helps to reduce glare from either the screen or the paper. Your sketch is SOOOOO impressive.

    Most impressive, mate. Good one!


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