Galaxy with a Grand Design

NGC 2997
Iford NSW Australia
56cm f5 dobsonian telescope
Field: 27′
Magnification: 218x
Sky quality meter reading: 21:70

Black Canford paper
White pen
White pastel pencil
White pastel chalk
Blending stump
Paint brush

NGC 2997 has a certain sentimental value for me. Many years ago when I
first got a chance to look through a large dobsonian telescope it just
happened to be the first galaxy
that I was able to see spiral structure in, goes to show that on some
occasions there is no substitute for sheer aperture.

The only drawback with trying to sketch this elegant galaxy from my
location is that when it is at the zenith it is right up in Dobson’s
hole, making for some very
precarious conditions for sketching atop my observing platform.

Despite the balancing act the sketch came out reasonably well. Subtle,
somewhat large and diffuse spirals can be tricky to portray accurately.

NGC 2997 was discovered by William Herschel in 1793, and it lies about
25million light years away.
The plane of the galaxy from our vantage point is about 45°, so imagine
the view if it was directly face on.

Scott Mellish

5 thoughts on “Galaxy with a Grand Design”

  1. Scott,

    Seeing a galaxy like this one through a large telescope would certainly cause a severe case of aperture fever.
    This is an excellent sketch of a lovely spiral.

    Frank 🙂

  2. Aperture fever, alright! Hmmm, how can I convince the missus that I NOW need a 30″ scope? Maybe I can sneak it into the house and she won’t notice it…

    Scott, another marvelous work. You’ve rendered nicely the odd arrangement of the arms, which suggest tidal distortion.

    Very acute observation too, my friend. I’m impressed at how you’ve left a ‘void’ between the start of the arms and the nucleus. This is a marvel of observation and skill in illustration.


    Alex M.

  3. Scott,

    SQM 21.70 and an enormous dob, that’s paradise!!

    Of course the sketch is really great too 🙂


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