A Lunar Sketching Duet
Dale Holt of the UK and I have sketched from across the Atlantic in the past more or less at the same time and even on the same target. This past week it was all different as we met in Phoenix, Arizona and for five, dark, dry, transparent nights observed on the Peralta trail road near the base of the SuperstitionMountains not far from Apache Junction. Following crescent moonsets each night we scrutinized many deep sky targets up to the predawn hours and beyond on one occasion. This was possible as my daughter Michelle generously provided her two Dobsonian telescopes for our use all week. Back at our respective home observing sites, we are thankful to get that rare, clear transparent observing night but for this entire week, we never encountered a single cloud daytime or night time and fantastic transparency around the clock.
A highlight of our week together was lunch with Jeremy Perez in Flagstaff, during a day trip to northern Arizona.
On the last night of our observing, it was time to sketch the first quarter Moon and this time side by side from our base in Mesa, Az. Dale chose for his sketching target the lunar Alps including the front range from Promontorium Agassiz past P. Deville to Mons Blanc and including Mons Piton out on Mare Imbrium. Dale used the ten-inch Orion dob. telescope f/ 4.7 with a 9mm Ortho.eyepiece. Note the long shadows extending from the peaks and pointing towards the terminator, an awesome view in the eyepiece. I used the six- inch dob. telescope f/ 7, a 12mm Plossl eyepiece, and my targets were the three craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel along the terminator further on to the south.
If you have the opportunity to do a sketching duet, do not pass up the great opportunity; it can be great fun as we quickly discovered.
White pastel on black Daler Rowney paper at 133 x
Graphite on white recycled Strathmore sketching paper at 89 x
Time: 9 June 2011 beginning 04:25 UT we finished in about an hour
Lunation: 7.3 day old Moon