Spiraling into the Whirlpool


M51 (NGC 5194 and 5195), The Whirlpool Galaxy
Sketch and Details by Janusz Krysiak

Object Name:M 51
Object Type:Galaxy

medium: pencil, white paper
equipment: Newton 300/1500
magnification: 68x

Under a dark sky you may see the spiral galaxy structure. I made this
sketch on 18.04.2009 in Pyrnik, Poland.

Janusz Krysiak

Sunrise on the Moon: Gates of Mare Imbrium and Ptolemaeus

Gates of Imbrium and Ptolemaeus

Gates of Mare Imbrium and Ptolemaeus
Sketch and Details by Leonor Ana Hernández

Object name: oriental region of Mare Imbrium and Ptolemaeus crater
Object Type: Lunar Crater and Maria

The last sunday 31th we could point the telescope to the moon in a beautiful place called “Las Inviernas” Guadalajara, Spain. The moon was just on the seventh day and stood high on the beautiful background of blue sky. I looked through the telescope and I was fascinated by the beauty of the image it shows: “it was dawning at the gates of the east of Mare Imbrium”…

Leonor Ana

Raining Suculae


Hyades Open Cluster, Melotte-25
Sketch and Details by Math Heijen

On december 27th 2008 I observed the Hyades with my 12×60 Celestron binoculars, mounted on the SkyWindow. The field of view (FOV) that these binoculars provide is about 5 degrees (300′) and the Hyades are just a little to wide, to fit into FOV. But although I didn’t see the whole cluster in one FOV, the first impression of this cluster was simply stunning. The brilliant deep orange Aldebaran, which actually isn’t a member of the Hyades but a foreground star, dominates the field of view, together with three bright yellow companions. These are three of the four yellow giants of the Hyades: Delta, Gamma, and Theta-1. The fourth is Epsilon (which again didn’t fit in the same FOV). There were many different chains of stars and small asterisms (triangles and other shapes) visible. The northern and southern half’s of the cluster seemed to be more or less divided by a dark empty zone, with almost no stars.

Beside Aldebaran and the three yellow stars, there were two other stars that drew my attention. First of all the brilliant white Theta-2 Tauri, with magnitude 3.3 the brightest star, the Lucida of the Hyades. It makes a beautiful double with the Theta-1, one of the yellow giants. To the south of this nice couple I detected the other prominent star, the reddish M-type variable V1146 (or 84 Tauri). In total I counted about between 75 and 85 stars, but I’m sure with my 300mm Dobson I could double or triple that number easily. According to Archinal and Hynes (Star Clusters, Willmann and Bell) the Hyades contain about 380 stars. This makes it a rich cluster. I could not detect any nebulosity of unresolved stars or of any other kind.

This sketch was made with led-pencil on white paper and later processed in Photoshop. The technique used I learned from Jeremy Perez’s website. If you want to learn more about this object or see a few more sketches of open clusters and double stars, please feel free to visit my website at http://www.starobserver.eu

Clear Skies!

Math Heijen


Revealing the Veil

The Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebula (NGC 6960)
Sketch and Details by Dan Israël


I made this sketch in a small hamlet in Aubrac, south of France, altitude 1100m, with average transparency and no moon. I used a 80mm refractor at 30x magnification
and an OIII filter. The sketch was made on the spot with graphite pencil on white Canson paper. Some minor improvements were made later in the daylight (shading, shape of stars).

Object Name NGC 6960 (Veil Nebula)
Object Type supernova remnant
Location Aubrac, France
Date August 2007

The Veil Nebula processed

Computer processed Veil Nebula (NGC 6960)
Computer Sketch by Dan Israël

PS: this version with software processing is a little bit more realistic (but less authentic).



Reflections from the High Frontier

ISS and Shuttle

ISS and Progress M-02M
Sketch and Details by Janusz Krysiak

Object Name:ISS&Progress M-02M
Object Type:Satellites
Date:12.05.2009,21.12(9.12 p.m.)

medium: pencil, white paper
equipment: Newton 300/1500
magnification: 68x

These are International Space Station and Progress M-02M about 11
minutes before docking.Progress M-02M was about 150 meters from
International Space Station.It was a wonderful view.

Janusz Krysiak

Immersed in Darkness


Lunar crater Copernicus
Sketch and Details by Krzysztof Jastrzebski (Jarzbi)

I’m sending the charcoal sketch of the crater Copernicus immersed in darkness.

Object Name:
* Object Type (Moon: Copernicus crater)
* Location (Skawina City in Poland)
* Date (03 May 2009, 20:00 UTC)
* Equipment: Synta 8” Dob, Eyepice SP10 mm.

Krzysztof Jastrzebski (Jarzbi)

Stars Like Tiny Pinpoints


M53 (NGC 5024) Globular cluster
Sketch and Details by Kiminori Ikebe, translation by Mr. Eiji Kato

This is a globular cluster southeast of Mel.111 in Coma Berenices. It is fairly large and even at 110x it is finely resolved. This is a beautiful globular cluster with individual stars appearing as pinpoints.
The core shows even brightness and stars are well resolved to the center. North of the center there is a double, but they do not seem to belong to the cluster. The outlying regions in the northern half show scattered faint stars. The southern nebulosity does not show this.

Date of observation: 2000/04/09 02:58 UT
Observing site: Makinoto, Japan
Transparency/seeing/sky darkness: 3/4/4
Instruments: 32cmDB with XL14 at 110x
Width of field: 0.6 °
Kiminori Ikebe

Space Duo

M97 and  M108

M97 “The Owl Nebula” and Galaxy M108
Sketch and Details by Janusz Krysiak


These are the planetary nebula M97 and the galaxy M108. Together are beautifully visible.

Object Name: M 97, M 108
Object Type: Planetary nebula, Galaxy
Location: Pyrnik(Poland)
Date: 14.04.2009

medium: pencil, white paper
equipment: Newton 305/1500
magnification: 68 x