Luna Dons a Red Dress

Winter 2008 Total Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse 2008: a Sketch

By Frank McCabe

Lunar Eclipse 2008: a Sketch

  I was favored tonight in two ways, clear skies and good location for the 2008 total
lunar eclipse. Beginning about 1:00 universal time prior to the beginning of the
umbral portion of the eclipse, I went outside to where I had set up to sketch the
total lunar eclipse. Using a HB graphite pencil on white sketching paper to which I had
earlier added a 15 cm diameter circle using an Alvin protractor, I sat down at the
eyepiece and drew in outline form a sketch of the maria and highland features of
the Moon. I finished in time to see all of the earth’s shadow passage to totality.

 During totality I began sketching from the darkest side to the lightest. I decided
to use oil pastel crayons (Cray-Pas) which I have used a few times in the distant
past. Oil pastels are messy so when I returned indoors I needed to clean up some
stray marks. I prefer not to draw in color due to my limited experience. I
practiced with both oil pastels and drawing pencils about a week ago and since the
pastel experience went better in practice, that’s what I decided to use. I enjoyed
making this  sketch, but I did feel a little rushed.
  For this sketch I used: white sketching paper 8”x 10”, and a 2HB graphite pencil,
assorted colors of oil pastel crayons (Cray-Pas). I also used a piece of black
construction paper with a 15 cm hole cut from the center to create a dark sky
  Telescope: 4.25 inch f/ 5.0 Dobsonian and 26mm eyepiece –  21x
  Date: 2-21-2008   3:01-3:50 UT
  Temperature: -12°C (10°F)
  Seeing:  Pickering 5
  Co longitude   85.2°
  Lunation:  14 days
  Illumination:  100% through the earth’s atmosphere
  Frank McCabe

2 thoughts on “Luna Dons a Red Dress”

  1. Frank, Congratulations on your eclipse observation! I love the way that you rendered the difference between the bright and eclipsed part of the moon. Excellent choice of colors as well.


  2. Rony,

    Thank you. It was a fine eclipse for those of us lucky enough to be able to see it.


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