The Ever Popular Rupes Recta

Rupes Recta

In the morning hours before sun-up the early waning crescent moon was superimposed
on the firmament just west of the Pleiades. I was somewhat transfixed by this
scene but I was set up to sketch “straight wall” on the floor of the lunar Sea of
Clouds. From the eastern edge of Mare Nubium you can see the Triplet craters
Thebit (57 km), A and L. Next moving westward is the Imbrian escarpment Rupes
Recta , not a true wall in the usual sense but on one side standing more than 300
meters high at some  points and 114 km in length. The scarp face would be visible
from crater Birt (17 km) to the west, the youngest of the larger craters sketched
here. Touching the rim of Birt to the east is Birt A.  Continuing westward we see
Rima Birt a 51 km rille from the Imbriam epoch. At the end of the rille to the
south, is tiny 3 km crater Birt F seen in this sketch. Finally sitting on a
wrinkle in the floor of the mare is crater Nicollet (15 km) a Eratosthenian epoch
impact scar.
  For this sketch I used: white copy paper, graphite pencil and pen and ink 
  Contrast adjusted with Imageenhance software
  Telesccope: 18 inch f/ 5 Dobsonian working at 222X (9mm ocular)
  Date: 8-16-2006 9:30-10:35 UT
  Temperature: 17°C ( 62°F)
  Clear, calm
  Seeing:  Antoniadi  III
  Colongitude 178 °
  Lunation 22.3 days
  Illumination 45.9%
  Frank McCabe

Phil’s Sax


The Alpha-Persei cluster caught my attention during a naked eye observation in
Austria. Melotte 20 is very large: 3°! The brightest star in the sketch is Mirphak
(Alpha Persei). I used the ETX 70 at the lowest power of 8.75. The FOV is 4.8°. A
total of 88 stars are captured. The limiting magnitude at that power is mag 9.5. A
higher power would reveal more stars, but then the cluster-look is lost. This
cluster also has a nickname : the Saxophone Cluster. Mel 20 is not a famous target.
But the view is very rewarding. I made a naked eye observation of Mel 20 last year,
so a powered view was the next logical step. Here is an observation of the cluster
at a power of 8.75 with the little ETX 70. Melotte 20 has also a Collinder number,
but I like the Melotte designation (patriotic feelings rise, due to the fact that
Philibert Jacques Melotte had Belgian parents  )
(North is up, West is right)

Location : Bekkevoort, Belgium
Date:  February 4, 2007 , 19.00UT
Seeing:  2 on a scale of 5, Transparency : 2
Scope : ETX 70
Eyepiece : TV 40mm

Rony De Laet, my personal website.

The winter King


Sketch of M42 drawn with graphite pencil on white paper, hand made directly
looking throught the 12 x 80 binoculars sitting in a quiet place in the
centre of Guadalajara country.

The night was very clear and transparent, without clouds and no pollution. I
was drawing it looking with both eyes, it was wonderful because the nebula
was very bright, three nebula regions were visible surounding star clusters
(north and south of M42)

I scanned the sketch and changed to negative only. This is my first M42, I
remember the night was very cold and the pain in my fingers while drawing
it. The image through the binoculars was esplendid, impresionant, very
bright, impossible to draw all the stars in the field.

I hope you enjoy it.

Leonor Ana

Subtle Southern Splendor

NGC 5367 

 Located 2.2° north of 4th magnitude Phi (φ) Centauri, you’ll find what discoverer
John Herschel termed a “remarkable object”: a neat little double star shrouded in a
circular haze of nebulosity.  Described as “bright” in several references I was
expecting something a little more conspicuous in the eyepiece than this object
proved to be.

My first view of this object occurred atop a wind-blasted bluff at Sunset Crater
National Monument in Arizona on May 12, 2007 (UT), and was hampered not only by the
howling winds but poor transparency near the horizon that only became truly apparent
a few hours later when the rising Milky Way failed to reveal itself in its usual
splendor as the Sagittarius through Cygnus region rose in the east.  A second
observation took place two days later back home in California under somewhat
improved conditions (at least as far as horizon haze was concerned) and this sketch
was completed.

The initial appearance of NGC 5367 is that of a faint circular haze, about 3′ in
diameter surrounding a 10th magnitude star (which proves to be double at high
magnifications, and bears the designation h4636).  Its appearance (particularly on
May 12) was very much like the halo produced by a slightly dewed up eyepiece.  Two
field stars of similar magnitude did not exhibit this characteristic, however, thus
demonstrating that the haze surrounding the star was genuine nebulosity in the
depths of space and not condensation on my eyepiece.

With less certainty, averted vision sporadically hinted at more extensive structure
here, especially while slowly slewing the telescope back and forth in an east-west
motion.  Faint strands of nebulosity curving northward from the circular haze
partially delineate a dark cometary globule (designated CG 12).  This globule also
sends a dusky finger southward into the heart of the reflection nebula.  Additional
nebulosity (designated GN 13.54.9) was suspected around a 12th magnitude star about
6′ to the south-southeast and possibly a tenuous bridge between the two patches. 

Subject: NGC 5367
Object Type: Reflection Nebula
Constellation: Centaurus
Right Ascension (2000.0): 13h 57m 42.0s
Declination (2000.0): –39° 59′ 00″
Diameter(s): 2.5′ x 2.5′

Subject: J. Herschel 4636
Object Type: Double Star
Constellation: Centaurus
Right Ascension (2000.0): 13h 57m 43.1s
Declination (2000.0): –39° 58′ 45″
Magnitudes: 9.9, 10.5
Separation: 3.6″
Position Angle: 33°

Observer: Eric Graff
Location: Cuyamaca Mts., San Diego Co., California (4000 ft. elevation)
Date & Time: 14 May 2007 at 05:15 UT
Transparency: NELM ~6.2
Seeing: Pickering 6/10
Telescope: Parks Astrolight EQ6 (6″ f/6 Newtonian Reflector)
Eyepiece: 7.5mm Parks Gold Series-5 Plössl (120x, 26′ TFoV)
Filter: None
Sketching Materials: #2 pencil, black ink, blending stump, 24# copy paper

NGC/IC Project:
Cragin, Murray and Emil Bonamno. 2001. Uranometria 2000.0, Volume 3: The Deep Sky
Field Guide. Willmann-Bell, Inc. Richmond Virginia U.S.A.
Jones, Kenneth Glyn, Ed. 1987. Webb Society Deep-Sky Observers Handbook, Volume 7:
The Southern Sky. Enslow Publishers, Inc. Hillside, New Jersey U.S.A.
Strong, Robert A., and Roger W. Sinnott. 2000. Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion, 2nd
Edition. Sky Publishing Corporation. Cambridge, Massachusetts U.S.A.

Three craters from the top of Alto Rey

Three craters

Hi Friends,

I would like to share my sketches with all of you, I have lots of them in
my notebook and when I discovered the ASOD site recently I was surprised and happy
to find it. Its wonderful, a really good idea.

I made this sketch of three moon craters of the southern region with graphite
pencil on white paper, three craters are hand made without processing after,
just painted looking directly through the ocular and with red light. They
took me almost an hour aproximately.

The equipment used: Meade 8″ SC. Date:
3 Jun 2006;  Moon age:  8 days.

The night were very good conditions, I was on top of a mountain called Alto
Rey in Guadalajara, Spain.

All my drawings are almost first drafts in the place of observation, the
best I try to do them again and then more good and after change to negative
to get them more real. I havent still practice with photoshop, but I will
try it.

All my drafts are kept tenderly because they are the result of the night,
all filled with annotations and details by hand,

I hope you enjoy!
Thanks a lot.

Leonor Ana

Sword of the hunter

Sword of Orion 

One of the most majestic places to visit with a small scope or binocular might be
the sword of Orion. With every new magnification this fascinating complex of
clusters and nebulae shows more hidden treasures. So here is a 4° Fov impression of Orions Sword.

Place : Bekkevoort,
Date : Feb 21, 2007
Time : 21.00UT
Seeing : 3 (of 5)
Transp. : 2 (of 5)

Scope : ETX 70 with 26mm SP, no filter.
Power : 14x
Fov : 3,9°

North is up (bino orientation)

The sketch is digitally ‘drawn’ with Photopaint, based on a raw EP-sketch. I hope
you like it.
Rony De Laet, my personal website.

Glowing triangle


Observing M 103 requires a good deal of magnification, in binoculars or
at low powers, the cluster is only visible as a more or less bright
nebula or a small and distant group of stars. At higher powers, its
specific triangular shape becomes visible, three stars forming its
corners with two brighter stars in its center, one of them with a
striking reddish tone. Its catalog number is BD+59 274, a class M1Iab
star, a Red Supergiant. The double star at the cluster’s Northern-most
point is Struve 131.

Date: November 16, 2006
Location: Erbendorf, Bavaria, Germany
Instrument: Dobsonian 8″ f/6
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Seeing: II of VI
Transparency: II of VI
NELM: 5m0
Magnification: 200x

Sebastian Lehner

Sphere of influence


7th May  2007. around 21:30UT
Novo Cice, Croatia

This sketch was created on plain A4 paper using graphite pencils and
fingers (for blurring). Later it was scanned and inverted in Photoshop
after some minor contrast and brightness adjustments.
I used 8″ F6 Dobson and 6mm Super Plossl Eyepiece. Magnification was
200x and field of view was 0.25°. Limiting magnitude was 5.50 and
transparency was very good.

M5 is beautiful globular cluster in Serpens. M5 was discovered by the
German astronomer Gottfried Kirch in 1702 when he was observing a comet.
Charles Messier found it in 1764 and thought it a nebula without any
stars associated with it. William Herschel resolved individual stars in
the cluster in 1791, counting roughly 200 of them.Spanning 165
light-years across, M5 is one of the larger globular clusters known. The
gravitational sphere of influence of M5, (ie. the volume of space where
stars would be gravitationally bound to the cluster and not ripped away
from it by the Milky Way’s gravitational pull), has a radius of some 200

At 13 billion years old it is also one of the older globulars associated
with the Milky Way Galaxy. The distance of M5 is about 24,500
light-years away from Earth and the cluster contains more than 100,000
stars up to perhaps 500,000 according to some estimates.

Vedran Vrhovac

Jovial Giant

Jupiter by Hand 

These are sketches created by hand and processed with Photoshop CS after being
scanned. I use graphite pencil and colored pencils on white paper.

Jupiter PS 

Naturally some of these are based to looking at astrophotography, for more details.
Here are two sketches. The one is by hand and the other after being scanned and
processed with Photoshop.

With this method, I’ve created sketches of the Sun Prominences, and other objects of
the Deep Sky…

Basic equipment used: My Telescopes, ETX-125 5″/ LX 200R 8″/ and my
PST/Coronado/SolarMax 40/TMax Filter- Double Stacked.(For the Sun Sketches)

II-DSI-c..and my SBIG (recently) ST-2000XM.!!

Peter Desypris

Veiling the Red Planet

Mars Dust Storm 

2005 Martian Dust Storm

In late October during the 2005 Martian apparition, a dust storm 
began to roar across the planet’s southern hemisphere. Over the 
course of two nights, I was able to make four sketches of the storm 
as it developed and rotated into view.

In the sketches, the dust storm can be seen wrapping out of the Solis 
Lacus region. On the first evening, I was not able to detect any 
color in the storm, but on the second evening, I thought I could 
discern a very subtle, yellowish tint. I supplemented the 
observations with 21A Orange and 80A Blue filters while using a 6″ f/
8 Newtonian at 240X magnification.

The sketches were made with 2H and HB pencils on 28# bond within 2.5″ 
diameter circles. For each sketch, I began by completely shading one 
circle very lightly with a 2H pencil and then blending with a 
blending stump. Then, using both unfiltered and 21A filtered views, I 
shaded darker albedo regions with the HB pencil and blended again 
with the blending stump. I described bright regions by using both art 
gum and kneaded erasers to remove the base shading.

I made a second sketch of each view while using a 80A Blue filter. 
This supplementary sketch consisted of a simple line drawing denoting 
the brighter areas I saw.

After scanning the sketches and adjusting for contrast, I applied a 
black background with a slightly blurred edge to approximate the soft 
view through the eyepiece. By using additional layers in Adobe 
Photoshop, I added color over the pencil drawing as described in my 
notes. Where the 80A line drawing indicated bright spots, I added 
some blue to the boundaries of those areas to show that they were 
strong in blue light.

Jeremy Perez