Thirty Three Million Year Old light

Galaxy NGC 1023 in Perseus

This is a bright galaxy in the constellation of Perseus that can be seen in a 4.25 inch scope under good sky conditions. NGC 1023 is morphologically classified as a SBO lenticular barred galaxy. It looks much like an armless spiral galaxy in large telescope images. At 33 million light years away it is surprisingly bright at 9.5-10.2 visual magnitude and has a bright nuclear core. The bar was not detectable. A faint companion NGC 1023A is superimposed on its eastern side but also not detectable visually in a 10″ scope. This is a pretty good target from light polluted skies if you are looking for galaxies with a modest instrument on a moonless night.

Sketching:
NGC 1023
Date and Time: 11-2-2010, 10:30pm – 11:15pm local time
Scope: 10” f/5.7 Dobsonian. 12 mm eyepiece 121x
8″x 12″ black sketching paper, white Conte’ pastel pencil,
blending stump, printer scanned
Seeing: Pickering 6/10
Transparency: Average 4/5
Faintest stars visible overhead 4.2
Temperature: 3°C (38°F) calm
Galaxy magnitude: 9.5- 10.2
Distance: 33 million light years
Location Constellation: Pegasus
R.A. 2h 40m 24s; Dec +39° 04′

Frank McCabe


Mare Crisium: One Day Past Full Moon

Mare Crisium: One Day Past Full Moon

I made a decision on Saturday evening I was going to try and complete a lunar sketch of Mare Crisium even though the chances of success were poor. I was forced to stop 3 times by dense clouds and a little rain but three and half hours after beginning, something of the view ended up on the paper.
Mare Crisium is that interesting isolated sea on the northeastern side of the visible lunar surface.
The robotic Luna 24 took soil and rock samples from this sea floor and returned them to the U.S.S.R. back in 1976.
The Nectarian Period event that formed this feature occurred more than 3.8 billion years ago as an asteroid –type body slammed into the moon from the west. The mare portion of the basin is about 500 kilometers across and segments of the low ridges of the inner basin ring (375 km.) were visible in the grazing sunlight on the eastern floor. These features are Dorsum Tetyaev and to the south Dorsum Harker just beyond the massifs of Cape Agarum. On the western floor crater Picard (24 km.) and Peirce (19 km.) were also noted.
Beyond the sea to the West crater Proclus (28 km.) with its remarkable bright rays was reflecting much sunlight and large crater Cleomedes (126 km.) to the north was showing off its central peak.
I hope to have another go at this region of the moon in the near future under better conditions.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic eraser. Brightness was decreased -2 and contrast increased +2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) and 8mm (181x ) eyepieces
Date: 10-24-2010 2:05-5:30 UT
Temperature: 16°C (60°F)
Weather: mostly cloudy, some rain, windy
Seeing: Antoniadi IV
Co longitude: 107°
Lunation: 16.4 days
Illumination: 98.7%

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe


Waning Moon High in the East

Waning Moon High in the East

On the night of September 27-28, 2010, I witnessed the rising gibbous moon paired with the Pleiades near the northeastern horizon. By placing my thumb over the moon the seven sisters were clearly visible further to the north. Together they began their march across the sky after 9pm local time.
After I finished some indoor chores I returned to the telescope and set up to do some sketching.
Initially I considered sketching both of them together but soon changed my mind to go after just the moon. I spend about two hours recording as much as I could see before fatigue began forcing me to erase with greater frequency. This is my lunar sketching result.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used black sketching paper 9″ x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils, blending stumps, a gum eraser and brush. Brightness was slightly increased (+1) using the scanner

Scope 4.25″ f/5 Newtonian scope at 45x

Date: 9-28-2010, 1:00-3:00 local time
Temperature: 14° C (58° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 151.6 °
Lunation: 20 days
Illumination: 78.3% Waning Gibbous

Frank McCabe


Waning Crescent Moon in Early Twilight

Waning Crescent Moon in Early Twilight

I was up early on this morning getting a look at some of the winter stars and witnessed a beautiful 25 day old waning moon. The earthshine was poor but after a look through a small Newtonian scope I decided to make a quick 40 minute sketch. It was a fine view.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used black construction paper 9″ x 12″, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils, blending stumps, a gum eraser and brush. Brightness was slightly increased (+1) using the scanner

Scope 2.5” f/10 Newtonian scope at 25x

Date: 9-4-2010, 10:00-10:40 UT
Temperature: 16° C (60° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 220.2 °
Lunation: 25.3 days
Illumination: 22.1% Waning Crescent

Frank McCabe


Before the Nectaris Basin, There Was Rosenberger and Vlacq

This sketch was made on an exceptionally steady night of seeing and centers on two old craters in the highlands of the southeastern quadrant near the approaching sunset terminator. At times of higher sun the dominating feature here is a uniform scattering of similar looking 30-50 km. craters that dot this highland plain. It is something of a nightmare to identify small impactors in this local. This region looks and is ancient. Here you will find two large sketching targets side by side, the craters Rosenberger (96km.) and Vlacq (89 km.).
Both of these craters pre-date the impact that formed the Nectaris basin some 3.9 billion years ago. As obviously ancient as these craters appear at high sun with the worn out rims, lack of large central peaks, lack of ejecta blanket rays, etc. At a low sun angle this pair takes on a more youthful appearance. The sharp shadows hide some tell tale signs of age. The smaller of the two, namely Vlacq is noticeably more youthful, with its larger, central, double massif, lower floor crater count and slight bulge inward onto Rosenberger.
It was a pleasure under near perfect weather conditions to observe and sketch this pair again at the eyepiece after 3 years hiatus.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 9”x 12”, white and black Conte’pastel pencils and blending stumps, gum eraser, brush. Brightness was slightly decreased with the scanner.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241 x
Date: 8-28-2010, 6:30-8:20 UT
Temperature: 22° C (72° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II
Colongitude: 133.2 °
Lunation: 18.1 days
Illumination: 88.8% Waning Gibbous

Frank McCabe


Maurolycus Revisited

Maurolycus Revisited

This is a notable crater in the southern highlands as the terminator approaches. On this twentieth day of lunation the setting sun shadow could be seen crawling across the crater floor to the east. The large size (115 km.), central peaks on a flat floor and high terraced walls identify this ancient crater (Nectarian period) as a walled plain impact. The east wall rises steeply above the floor 4.2 kilometers. Part of a previous large crater juts out from under Maurolycus to the south (on top in the sketch). Central peaks casting shadows were seen north of the center point on the crater floor. The floor is mostly flat and smooth with a few visible craters. Among the many similar craters in the southern highlands this is a crater that truly stands out.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9”x6” (half sheet), white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased (-4) and contrast increased (+4) using the scanner.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241 x
Date: 7-2-2010, 8:30-9:00 UT
Temperature: 16° C (60° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 157.7 °
Lunation: 20 days
Illumination: 71 %

Frank McCabe


Edge of the Schiller-Zucchius Basin

Edge of the Schiller-Zucchius Basin

With no specific sketching target in mind, I was examining the south terminator region of the moon and noticed it was showing what is considered to be an unfavorable view because it was turned away from the observer. There was a poorly defined part of a scarp-like ring partially visible under craters Rost A, Weigel and Weigel B. This ring is just beyond the Schiller-Zucchius basin center which was not yet illuminated by sunlight. The southeastern portion of this ring illuminated by the rising sun presented a half dark, half illuminated pathway that ended at the terminator. I found this view at the eyepiece quite fascinating and had some difficulty capturing it correctly. The “unfavorable” libration of this part of the moon near the terminator contributed to the shallow angle view. Even the appearance of famous, elongated, paramecium shaped crater Schiller was unusual. These are the kinds of surprises that get me motivated to sketch the moon.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: Black Canson sketching paper, 14”x 9”, White and black Conte’ pencils, a blending stump, plastic eraser. After scanning, contrast and brightness were adjusted slightly using the scanner.



Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x

Date: 6-23-2010, 1:45 – 2:30 UT 

Temperature: 27° C (80° F) 
clear, calm

Seeing: Antoniadi III 

Co-longitude: 44.3°

Lunation: 10.6 days 
Illumination: 88.2 %
Observing Location: +41°37′ +87° 47′

Frank McCabe


Beautiful Bullialdus

Bullialdus Crater

Eratosthenian period crater Bullialdus (63 km.) was just a few hours past full rim illumination and was not yet taking light on its central peaks but the western terraced wall was well illuminated by morning sunlight. The darkness over the floor of this caldera gives a sense of greater depth than the true drop of 3.5 kilometers.At the time of this observation ridges and furrows were clearly seen on the craters outer ramparts. Also included in this sketch are craters Bullialdus A and B at 10 o’clock and Konig at 12 o’clock. South is up in the sketch and East is to the right.

Sketching

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241 x
Date: 7-21-2010, 1:00-2:30 UT
Temperature: 22° C (72° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 26.3 °
Lunation: 9.25 days
Illumination: 77.1%

Frank McCabe


Timocharis

2010 06 21, 0300 UT
Timocharis
PCW Memorial Observatory, OH, USA
Erika Rix
Zhumell 16”, 8mm TV Plossl, 225 x

Phase: 64.8
Lunation: 8.66. d
Illumination: 71.3%
Lib. Lat: 7°30’
Lib. Long: 4°47’
Az: 215°14’, Alt: 27°21’

This complex crater has a crushed central relief and the area was
completely enveloped with shadow. I could make out some of the western
terraced walls within the crater. Heinrich (9.5 km), B (5 km) and C (4
km), were very clear as well as a small portion of the wrinkle ridge to
the southeast. Timocharis was formed ~ 3.2 to 1.1 billion years ago
during the Erathosthenian period. Height is estimated to be 3110 meters.
Faint small rays can be spotted with decent seeing conditions.

Sketched scopeside on black Strathmore Artagain paper, charcoal, black
wax pencil, white Conte’ crayon and pencils.

Erika Rix


The Sun for Riser

2010 July 3, 1853 UT – 1938 UT
Solar h-alpha NOAA 11084
PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
Temp: 28.8°C, Humidity 57.7%-49%
Seeing: Wilson 4, Transparency: 3/6
Clear, slight breeze, Alt: 65.6°-58.1°, Az: 231.8°-247.3°
H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper,
white Conte’ crayon and pencil, black oil pencil, Prang white watercolor
pencil

It appears that I missed seeing a dual pair of CMEs (coronal mass
ejections) on the Sun today. It took at place at 1154 UT. My session
began at 1853 UT. Fantastic footage of it can be seen here by SOHO
coronagraph.
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/03jul10/cme_c2_big.gif?PHPSESSID=kljak6da6ng8ifu6v1gf6p7ch3

AR 1084 still looks like a spiral galaxy (or a chicken eye with the wide
yellow/pink skin wrinkled around the pupil). A fantastic
filament/prominence reached over the limb in the SW. The filament was
thick and fibrous reaching out to the west and on either end, long and
slender.

Riser, my regular solar buddy, aka 14-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, took
a pretty hard fall today and had to watch me observe from a distance in
the comfort of the shade at the top of the hill. He’s resting
comfortably now on a very thick duvet. Poor ol’ boy.

Best regards,
Erika Rix
pcwobservatory.com


Craters: Guericke, Parry, Bonpland and Fra Mauro

On this last evening of Spring, I selected for sketching this region of the moon close to the terminator between Mare Nubium and Mare Cognitum. Four large craters noticeably damaged by low flying Imbrium ejecta formed the subject matter of this sketch. From south to north I sketched crater Guericke (59 km) with its flat lava flooded floor that opens to Mare Nubium. Crater Parry, smaller at 49 km in diameter is older than the former and also flat floored. The other two craters which look ghostly at high sun are larger, even older and share common walls with Parry. These craters are Bonpland (61 km.) to the west and Fra Mauro (96 km.) to the north of Parry. The wall of Parry encroaches on Bonpland and both together on Fra Mauro to betray the cratering sequence. The Apollo 14 landing site would be just beyond the bottom edge of the sketch. Thirty nine and a half years ago the late Alan Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell were walking around at Fra Mauro while the late Stuart Roosa orbited the moon in the command module.

Sketching:
For this sketch I used: Black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9”x 14”, white and black Conte’ Pastel pencils and crayons, blending stumps, Pink pearl plastic eraser.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian, 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 6-21-2010, 1:15-2:45 UT
Temperature: 20°C (68°F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude: 19.5°
Lunation: 8.6 days
Illumination 70.6%
Observing Location: +41°37′ +87° 47′

Rűkl: Chart 42 and 43

Frank McCabe


Timocharis

Timocharis
Timocharis Crater
Erika Rix

2010 06 21, 0300 UT
Timocharis
PCW Memorial Observatory, OH, USA
Erika Rix
Zhumell 16”, 8mm TV Plossl, 225 x

Phase: 64.8
Lunation: 8.66. d
Illumination: 71.3%
Lib. Lat: 7°30’
Lib. Long: 4°47’
Az: 215°14’, Alt: 27°21’

This complex crater has a crushed central relief and the area was completely enveloped with shadow. I could make out some of the western terraced walls within the crater. Heinrich (9.5 km), B (5 km) and C (4 km), were very clear as well as a small portion of the wrinkle ridge to the southeast. Timocharis was formed ~ 3.2 to 1.1 billion years ago during the Erathosthenian period. Height is estimated to be 3110 meters. Faint small rays can be spotted with decent seeing conditions.

Sketched scopeside on black Strathmore Artagain paper, charcoal, black wax pencil, white Conte’ crayon and pencils.


H-Alpha Sun and Filaments – May 10, 2010

H-Alpha Sun - May 10, 2010
H-Alpha Sun and Filaments – May 10, 2010
By Erika Rix

2010 May 10, 1355 UT – 1610 UT
Solar h-alpha featuring filaments – Erika Rix
PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA
DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell

H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

T: 5°C-11°C, H: 45%
S: Wilson 3, T: 3.5/6
Clear/slightly hazy, light breeze
Alt: 40.3-62.8, Az: 101-139.7

Paul had a late night imaging so I brought the dogs outside with me, puppies included, to keep it quiet in the house for him. This, of course, meant lots of extra paws running around the observatory floor instead of just the steady snoring of Riser, my regular observing buddy. The views were shaking so badly that I finally gave up and tore down the rig, resetting it back up in the grass. I should have done that to begin with I suppose since seeing wasn’t the greatest and would have been a lot worse in the observatory, especially with the temps rising so quickly after our freeze last night.

There were quite a few features to concentrate on, but what really caught my eye were two areas of filaments in the NE quadrant. The transparency and seeing were just poor enough that I really struggled with pulling any detail out of the prominences on that section of the limb. I didn’t want to miss out trying to capture them as they reached inward across the disk, forming a beautiful display of soft looking filaments. Then even further inward reaching toward the center, the details were sharper with the next set of filaments.


2010 May 6 Solar Prominences

H-Alpha Solar - May 6, 2010
Solar Prominences – May 6, 2010
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

2010 May 6, 1900 UT – 2100 UT
Solar h-alpha featuring SE and SW prominences – Erika Rix
PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA
DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell

H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

T: 27.2°C-21.2°C, H: 57%-64%
S: Wilson 2-4, T: 5.5/6
Clear and calm
Alt: 58.5-37.8, Az: 229.2-259.9

I set up outside of the observatory today since the Sun was moving over the SW tree line and I didn’t want to rush my observing session. I had planned on putting in the cold crops in the garden but just couldn’t resist observing instead.

The active regions and filaments were tempting, but it had been so long since I’ve done close up prominence studies that I decided to concentrate on two limb areas instead. At the beginning of the session, the SW had a larger prominence that looked like a comma hovering over a crooked finger. I decided to move to the SE limb instead because what appeared to be a very bright hedgerow prominence with a smaller prominence beside it, turned out to a very wide set of prominences connected together, with over half of it so faint it was difficult to tease the detail out with the poorer seeing conditions at the beginning of the session.

Seeing gradually improved and I decided to go for a second sketch and just couldn’t help nabbing that comma prominence. It had already changed its shape to where it was no longer a comma, but a large loop instead. I was only able to make out the faintest portion of the loop with my Sol-Survivor cover completely shut around my head and eyepiece.


Shadows of the Lunar Caucasus Mountains

Caucasus Mountains
Shadows of the Lunar Caucasus Mountains
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

On Tuesday evening I thought I may spend some time observing Mars and perhaps make a sketch if the seeing was good enough to move to high power. Before pointing my scope at Mars I decided to take a quick look at the moon to see if there was anything interesting going on such as light rays of sunlight illuminating and creeping across the floor of a large crater. I soon forgot about Mars and raced indoors to switch sketching media. I know I can sketch twice as fast using white on black and speed is what I needed to capture the quick changing scene along the terminator. What I spotted was the dramatic shadows of the Caucasus Mountain peaks across the floor of Mare Imbrium. I quickly drew on the black Canson paper a faint, white Conte’ pastel meandering line right at the western edge of the Caucasus mountains and roughly outlined the shape of the shadows before any change in length occurred. At this point I felt I could continue sketching in the normal manner. Craters at the bottom of the drawing such as Cassini were not as light struck when I started this sketch as they appear here since I sketched top to bottom. It took about 75 minutes to complete the basic rendering and I spent an additional 15 minutes cleaning smudges and erasing mistakes that were obvious to me.

Mare Serenitatis is the southeastern illuminated region of the sketch. Over to the terminator on the western side of the view are the two “C” shaped craters Autolycus and Aristillus. Among the shadows in the middle of the sketch is crater Theaetetus and directly below the last long shadow is part of crater Cassini and some of the peaks of the lunar Alps.

I had some fun with this one.

See Rükl- Atlas of the Moon Plates 12 and 13

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: Black Canson sketching paper, 9”x 12”, White and black Conte’ pencils, a blending stump, plastic eraser. After scanning, contrast was increased (+1) using the scanner.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 4-21-2010, 2:00 – 3:15 UT
Temperature: 15° C (49° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co-longitude: 355°
Lunation: 6.6 days
Illumination: 42.7 %

Observing Location:
+41°37′ +87° 47′
Oak Forest, Il.

Frank McCabe


2010 Mar 26 Full Solar Disk

Solar Disc
Solar H-Alpha – AR11057
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

*2010 March 26, 2033 UT.
Solar h-alpha, AR11057.

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix.

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell.
H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Canson paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

SW prominence at first glance looked detached. Increasing mag and waiting for steady seeing, I could make out fainter portions of the prominence that reached the limb. There were a few brighter prominence regions scattered about, but nothing of great significance, especially after the magnificent NW prominence last week.

AR 11057 stood out immediately with two dark areas and bright plage. Panning the FOV brought out another bright plage area on the WNW area just 10 deg in from limb. This could possibly be a remnant of 11056. Toward the southern-middle of the disk, brighter little clusters of plage scattered the area, as well a plage to the NW about 40 deg in from the limb. There were a few filaments but the one that really caught my eye was a wide V-shaped one to the SE. I had to tweak the Etalons to bring out the full structure of what first appeared as a single line of filament.


2010 March 18 Prominence

Solar Prominence
Solar h-alpha, Active regions 1054, 1056
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
H-alpha sketch created scope-side with black Canson paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

That huge prom was an absolute beauty and I could have spent the entire day sketching it over and over for an animation. As it was, it nearly was so complex that a person could spend too much time on one sketch and end up chasing the changes and never actually complete the sketch.


Dawn Breaking across Crater Schickard

Crater Schickard
Crater Schickard
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

One of the many large and interesting craters on the visible lunar surface is this 230 km. diameter walled plain crater known as Schickard. This Pre-Nectarian crater is somewhat isolated from craters of equal size. It is the large, shallow floor of Schickard that presents its most interesting features and at the time of this sketch light was just beginning to spread across its floor. Tens of millions of years after this crater formed a much larger impact formed the Orientale basin, blanketing the crater with highland ejecta. This great crater can easily be seen in a modest telescope with good lighting one or two days before full moon.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: Black Canson sketching paper, 14”x 12”, White and black Conte’ pencils, a blending stump, plastic eraser. After scanning, contrast was increased (+1) using the scanner.

Telescope: 13.1 inch f/5.9 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 218x
Date: 2-26-2010, 1:45 – 2:30 UT
Temperature: 21° C (68° F) clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co-longitude: 57.5°
Lunation: 11.98 days
Illumination: 90.4 %

Observing Location:
+41°37′ +87° 47′
Oak Forest, Il.

Frank McCabe


Goldschmidt Rays and the Moon’s North Limb

Goldschmidt
Plato, Goldschmidt and Northern Limb
Sketch and Details by Deirdre Kelleghan

February 28th / March 1st 2010 23:20 UT – 00 :35 UT
200 mm Dobsonian Telescope FL 1,200
8mm TVP eyepiece = 150X
Goldschmidt rays and the Moons North limb

South is up in this sketch because that is the way I viewed it and sketched it. Pastels & Conte on black paper.

Our beautiful Snow moon was 99 .9 % drenched in the suns light when I went observing on the last day in February 2010. Along the NW limb several craters were on view in the libration zone, it was my intention to make a sketch of these elusive features. They presented on the limb as dark deep long shadows edged with sharp bright lines against the blackness of space.

However while these were interesting, my eye was magnetized toward the brightness of Goldschmidt and its ejecta rays, giving great form to the area. Several of these long dark lines were also on view on the edge of the limb close to Goldschmidt and Herschel . It was so visually interesting to observe the contrasts on the limb when the moon was so full, a black and white merry dance of slow movement and rich structure.

Plato never looked so dark and flat ,its black floor absorbing the suns light when most of the surrounding area was throwing it toward my eye. I adored the tiny pure white rim sections singing in the light. My sketch wandered across part of Mare Frigoris , the area around Plato and includes part of Mons Teneriffe .


Deirdre Kelleghan
Vice Char IFAS
Outreach IFAS
National Coordinator Astronomers Without Borders Ireland .
http://www.irishastronomy.org/
http://www.deirdrekelleghan.com/


Sun in H-Alpha – March 4, 2010

Sun - March 4, 2010
Sun – H-Alpha – March 4, 2010
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

2010 March 4
Solar h-alpha, Active regions 1051, 1052, 1053
PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell

H-alpha sketch created scope-side with black Canson paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil.

Temp: -1°C, Humidity 75%
Seeing: Wilson 4, Transparency: 4.6/6
Light cirrus, calm, Alt: 35.1, Az: 140.0


An Early Morning with Sinus Iridum

Sinus Iridum
Sinus Iridum
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

In the waning moonlight the shadows of the Jura mountain peaks could be seen on the floor of Sinus Iridum. On this mid-August night I was experiencing and enjoying a full night observing and sketching. The moon occupied my time during the second half of this session all the way to sunrise. It was one of the rare nights with cool dry air and great seeing conditions.
Sinus Iridum (260km.) is what remains of the Upper Imbrium impact on the floor of the Sea of Showers. The dark basaltic lava floor with its wrinkled ridges could be clearly seen as the sunset shadow was approaching. Several notable and recognizable features could be seen and included Promontorium Heraclides at the southwestern end of the crater rim arc over to Promontorium Laplace on the northeastern side. Old craters Mairan (40 km.), Sharp (40 km.), Bianchini (38 km.), were all clearly seen and sketched as well as the younger impact scars of Harpalus (39 km.) and Bauguer (22 km.), with ancient Mare Frigoris (Lower Imbrium) beyond the remains of the ejecta of Sinus Iridum. Much of dorsum Zirkel (216 km.) and dorsum Heim (134 km.) could be seen paralleling the terminator at the lower end of the sketch.
I was pleased I did not miss this fine evening for observing and sketching at the telescope.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was decreased -2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 9mm (161x) eyepiece
Date: 8-15-2009 10:00-11:20 UT
Temperature: 16°C (60°F)
Clear , calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II
Co longitude 206.3°
Lunation days 24.3
Illumination 32.1%


January 14, 2010 Sun

Sun - Jan 14, 2010
Sun – January 14, 2010, 2038 – 2200 UT
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

2010 Jan 14, 2038UT – 2200UT
Solar h-alpha and white light, AR1040, Cycle 24

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, ETX70-AT w/tilt plate, 21-7mm Zhumell
H-alpha sketch created scopeside with black Canson paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, Derwent charcoal pencil, black oil pencil. White light sketch created scopeside with white copy paper, #2 pencil, 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

Sketches were rotated and flipped to match standard solar orientation. West is to the right and north is to the top.

Temp: 1.8°C-10.7°C, Humidity 61%-30%
Seeing: Wilson 4, Transparency: 3/6
Light cirrus, calm, Alt: 15.4, Az: 223.8


Part of Basin Schiller – Zucchius

Basin Schiller - Zucchius
Part of Basin Schiller – Zucchius
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

After 12 cloudy days and nights I was anxious to get out under a clear sky to make an attempt at sketching a lunar target of opportunity. Before selecting a target I noticed the moon was moving through the Pleiades and created a very interesting binocular target. With the moon at 12.5 days into the lunation, the waxing gibbous phase was showing me the Schiller – Zucchius basin very nicely. I centered on two craters to one side of this 3 ringed basin. First the young Copernican period crater Zucchius (65 km.) with its terraced inner walls and shadowed floor looked deeper than its 3.3 km. measured depth because of the light and shadow. Sharing a common wall with this crater is the ancient and similar sized Segner (68 km.). This pre-Nectarian crater looked old and worn. Its rim was low and had nothing in the way of central peaks just a small nearly centered crater Segner H. Extending from the north side of crater Segner’s outer rim is a ridge which is a short wall segment of the second basin ring. What looks much like a shallow depression and measures about the same size as these two craters is the central ring of the basin and can be seen at the lower left (Northeast) in the sketch.
A photo of this entire basin credited to Gary Seronik can be seen on LPOD for October 17, 2004
http://www.lpod.org/archive/LPOD-2004-10-17.htm
I found myself sketching quickly in the cold air which was rapidly dropping in temperature as I sketched. After about an hour I considered the sketch finished and returned to the indoor warmth to thaw out.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was not altered but contrast was increased +2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece
Date: 12-29-2009 4:45-5:45 UT
Temperature: -8°C (18°F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi IV
Co longitude 60.6°
Lunation 12.7 days
Illumination 90.7%

Frank McCabe


Crater Euclides and Montes Riphaeus

Crater Euclides and Montes Riphaeus

Crater Euclides and Montes Riphaeus
Sketch and details by Frank McCabe

In southern Oceanus Procellarum not far from mare Cognitum you can locate a bright little Copernican era crater that formed after the last of the dark lava had solidified. This little 12 kilometer crater wearing the bright ejecta blanket is Euclides. The bright ejecta makes it easy to pick out at high sun and with a little bit of shadow and high magnification the nearby Riphaeus mountains also show some fine relief. In the upper left of the sketch note the front range of these mountains which date back 4 billion years. These mountains are likely the remains of a very large crater rim that was not completely buried in the lava flooding. Other similar sized and smaller craters in the region also reveal some bright ejecta betraying their young ages. To learn more read the LPOD caption for May 24, 2006.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 10″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was decreased -2 and contrast increased +2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece
Date: 11-28-2009 4:15-5:40 UT
Temperature: 0°C (32°F)
Clear becoming partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II -III
Co longitude 44°
Lunation 11.4 days
Illumination 80.7%

Frank McCabe


Homage to the Emperor

Homage to the Emperor

The lunar crater Julius Caesar and environs
Sketch and Details by Dale Holt

The Weather in the UK has been very wet and windy over the past couple of weeks culminating in the devastating floods in western regions that have made the news over the past week.

On Monday evening just after dark I got a break in the cloud and the Moon shone through with Jupiter in a close embrace. From my observatory I was soon touring the terminator as I so love to do. I was looking for that mountain, ridge, rill, crater or flooded plain that just caught my eye above all else.

Tonight it was lava flooded 80km diameter crater Julius Caesar that did just that, with its low, irregular, and heavily worn wall, washed out completely and the southern end I liken it to a burst dam. It is located to the west of Mare Tranquillitatis, and directly southeast of the crater Manilius on the Mare Vaporum. To the east is the rounded 18km diameter impact crater Sosigenes.

The interior floor of Julius Caesar is relatively level, especially in the southwest half. The northern half of the interior has a lower darker appearance than the south, I hopefully have captured this effect in my sketch. Most likely the floor has been covered or modified by ejecta from the impact that created the Imbrium basin.

There are a number of crater remnants overlapping the rim along the south and northeast edges, the illumination at the time of drawing has allowed me to see and capture one or two of these. A low ridge crosses the floor across the northeast sections of the crater.

Further to the south of Caesar we see the striking graben or fault trough Rima Ariadaeus shown as a dark line in my sketch it runs for over 300km

Sketch was made on Black Daler Rowney Artist paper using a mix of Conte pastels, Water Colour and other artist pencils applied direct on with a blending stump.

Telescope used was a 150mm triplet F9 refractor

Dale Holt

Chippingdale Observatory

Hertfordshire, England


Fiery Mane of the Lion

Fiery Mane of the Lion

The Leonid Meteor Shower, November 16th and 17th, 2009
Sketch and Details by Richard Handy

The Leonids put on a spectacular display in the early morning hours of November 17th as seen from from Jacumba, California. Around 1:30 to 4:30 am PDT, we were treated to a barrage of meteors, from bright little spikes of light to radiant bolides that streaked halfway across the starry skies leaving long smoke trains that lingered in the air and then dissipated. The stream was sporadic however, and we noted several five to ten minute intervals with small counts breaking the 100-200 meteors per hour rate that seemed a good approximation to the average observed. I was certain that the rate was close to the 500/hr in periods between 3:30 am and 4:30 am predicted by some. Jacumba has very few bright street lights currently and the zodiacal light shone so brightly it was almost distracting. I decided to sketch the scene, and after finishing the foreground ridge on the eastern side of my property and the position of Leo on the horizon, I began to record the trajectory and brightness of the meteors that fell within the field of view of my sketch during the interval between 1:45 am and 3:15 am PDT. You’ll note that Leo would have risen about 25 degrees higher off the horizon during the sketch session, so the drawing does not accurately reflect that movement. Despite the restricted field of view, you can see that I was able to record a nice variety of Leonids during the hour and a half period. In the future, I’ve decided to try sketching one hour intervals with larger fov’s, that way I can record hourly count variations.

I hope most of you had clear weather and were able to see this awesome event, it’s one that will remain in my memory as the best I’ve ever witnessed.

Sketch details:
Subject: The 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower
Date: 11-17-09 Time: 1:30 to 3:15 am PDT Location: Jacumba, California
Naked eye sketch
Media: Conte’ Crayon and dry pastels on Strathmore 400 series black Artagain paper
Sketch size: 9″ x 12″


Sinus Iridium Ejecta and Beyond

Sinus Iridium Ejecta and Beyond

Lunar craters Mairan, Sharp, Harpalus and the Jura Mountains
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

The lunar feature known as the Jura Mountains includes the rim of the Sinus Iridium impact and is visible here in late day sunlight. The debris field can be seen extending westward to Mare Frigoris. All of Sinus Iridium is in shadow which gives this region an unfamiliar appearance. The impact that created the large mountainous debris field occurred during the Upper Imbrium period (3.8 billion years ago). Some of the mountains are a lofty 5 kilometers high. Superimposed on these mountains are two forty kilometer complex craters known as Mairan and Sharp; another similar sized crater can be seen on Mare Frigoris and is called Harpalus (39 km.). At high sun this crater shows a bright young crater ray system in addition to a fine glacis. There are 3 pillow-like features to the far left in the sketch at the edge of the Iridium ejecta. The two that are closest together are the famous large lunar domes known as Gruithuisen Gamma and Delta.
It is always worth while when not expecting a rigorous day ahead to get up a little earlier than usual to see what is going on in the sky before sunrise. This is especially true when the sky is clear and very transparent.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was decreased -2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 9mm (161x) eyepiece
Date: 11-12-2009 11:00-12:00 UT
Temperature: -3°C (27°F)
Clear to partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude 212.7°
Lunation days 25.27
Illumination 20.1%

Frank McCabe


Stand Alone Crater Manillus

Stand Alone Crater Manillus

Lunar crater Manillus in the Sea of Vapors
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

There is a stand alone Eratosthenian crater (1-3 billion years old) on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Vapors known as Manilius. Manilius is 39 kilometers in diameter with a steep inner wall 3.1 kilometers above its floor. The crater rim and outer rampart are impressive in the eyepiece as is the illuminated inner talus slope and central mountain still capturing sunlight. As I was making this sketch at 241 power I knew this moonscape was know to have several small domes and when I finished I took a look at several of the larger ones under higher magnification. They are a little difficult to pick out from all the smaller bits of Imbrium ejecta piles. I didn’t concern myself with them during the sketch but Chuck Wood’s LPOD and Bruno Daversin’s image on April 12, 2006 show the ones close to the crater to the north and east. HYPERLINK “http://www.lpod.org/?m=20060412″ http://www.lpod.org/?m=20060412
This photo was taken during the waxing moon and I was viewing and sketching during the waning moon. Also since I was sketching with a Newtonian scope south is up in the sketch.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12”, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic eraser. Brightness was decreased -2 and contrast increased +2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece
Date: 11-8-2009 11:15-12:40 UT
Temperature: 9°C (49°F)
Clear becoming partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II
Co longitude 167°
Lunation 21.5 days
Illumination 61%

Chicago, Illinois USA

Frank McCabe


A Return Visit to Maurolycus

A Return Visit to Maurolycus

Lunar crater Maurolycus and environs
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

Among the craters in the southern highlands this large walled plain crater (115 km.) really stands out. Seeing this crater on the sunrise terminator was all the motivation I needed to attempt a sketch. The atmosphere was somewhat turbulent so I keep the magnification in the medium range.
I drew this crater back in late July of 2008 when it was illuminated by a higher sun at the waning gibbous phase. As I continued to sketch, the central peak of this crater began to catch the rising sun, and I immediately recalled a beautiful sketch of this crater under similar lighting made by Rich Handy back in 2006 or there about.
Just above Maurolycus which would be south in the sketch, the dark crescent seen is a partial remnant of a more ancient crater than the old Nectarian period Maurolycus. The outer wall of this crater and its partner to the south, south east Barocius (83 km.) stand tall and steep more than 4 kilometers above the floor.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9”x12”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased (-3) and contrast increased (+2) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 8 mm eyepiece 181 x
Date: 10-24 to 10-25-2009, 10:40-12:05 UT
Temperature: 13° C (55° F)
Partly Cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III-IV
Colongitude 347.1 °
Lunation 6.75 days
Illumination 40.2 %

Frank McCabe


The Great Peninsula and Adjacent Sea

The Great Peninsula and Adjacent Sea

The Great Peninsula and Adjacent Sea
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

On this cold early morning I chose for sketching the lunar highland region that is pointed directly to Earth, namely the Great Peninsula and the adjacent Mare Nubium. It would be much fun to draw the entire visible part of the Peninsula in just one sketching session at the eyepiece but that is just a dream with the terminator features changing so quickly. I focused on just what I could handle inside my self-imposed two hour limit. The seeing was good and that alone means ignoring some visible detail within the allotted time.
I was well into the sketch when I noticed my first mistake. I was using the excellent black Canson acid-free paper and one edge was embossed with the words “Colorline Canson…” which I discovered about one hour into the sketch as I began drawing over these words… Dah.
The terminator was cutting across the western part of the peninsula which was diagonal and inverted in the eyepiece from upper right to lower left in the Newtonian telescope.
From top center to lower left the large ancient craters with floors in full darkness are: Regiomontanus (125km.) with an illuminated, cratered peak somewhat off center; Purbach (120km.) with its arching central peaks picking up the last rays of sunlight; Smaller Thebit (60km.) closest to Rupes Recta (Straight Wall); Arzachel (100km.) with all but the rim in total darkness (note: that was not the case before I started sketching); and lastly Alpetragius( 40km.) with the tip of its huge central peak catching light.
The two smallish and younger craters on the other side of Rupes Recta are Birt (17km.) and Nicollet (15km.). With such good seeing many smaller craters were clearly visible across the Sea of Clouds. While observing this region after finishing the sketch in twilight, clouds moved in and closed out any further viewing.
Sketching is always a series of compromises, if you want the moon high in the sky this time of year you are limited to the early morning. During the fall early morning is the coldest part of the day and you need to give up some sleep time.
It was an adrenalin rush to see the moon on this morning and enough to keep warm.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9”x 13”, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’ crayons, a blending stump, plastic eraser.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece
Date: 10-11-2009 9:30-11:30 UT
Temperature: -3°C (27°F)
Clear becoming mostly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II and briefly I
Co longitude 182°
Lunation 22.7 days
Illumination 49.4%

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe


Lunar Bull’s Eye

Lunar Bull’s Eye

Crater Cabeus near the Lunar South Pole
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

On Monday September 28, 2009 the LCROSS Science Team at NASA decided to change the impact target for the October 9, 2009 11:30 UT impact based on a better chance of striking a more robust hydrogen concentration and hopefully creating a plume that reaches a higher altitude. At the newly selected site inside a valley on the floor of crater Cabeus a large hill in the vicinity will be casting a shadow that should provide good background contrast for viewing, imaging or sketching the event. The NASA LCROSS report states, “During the last days of the mission the LCROSS team will continue to refine the exact point of impact within Cabeus crater to avoid rough spots, and to maximize solar illumination of the debris plume and Earth observations.

From my location in the Chicago south suburbs the morning sky will be in twilight and the moon will be past the meridian but at a respectable 66° altitude in Taurus. The locations get darker the further west you are in the USA.

On the only recent clear night in some time I went out and sketched the South Polar Region including crater Cabeus. I did this primarily for practice and to see how much of the region I could sketch in a reasonable amount of time; so now I know about when to get started on October 9th. On the date of impact the crater Cabeus will be in about the same viewing position from the limb as in the sketch.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , a blending stump, gum eraser.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece
Date: 9-30-2009 9:15-10:45 pm local time
Temperature: 11°C (51°F)
Clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III,
Co longitude 56.7°
Lunation 12.3 days
Illumination 90.4%

Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe

Webmaster’s note: Anyone who is able to observe and possibly sketch the LCROSS impact dust plumes are invited to submit their drawings to ASOD for publication.


Mood of the Mighty One

Mood of the Mighty One

Lunar crater Copernicus
Sketch and Details by Andrew Phethean

Copernicus

I was a bit daunted by the intricacy of detail in the banks of the crater, so rather than render accuracy, I attempted just to capture the “mood” of the crater – the 3-D-ness, the grandeur, the complexity. Details follow:

Location: Aberdeen, UK
Conditions: transparency: IV/V. Seeing III/V
Time: approx 11.20 pm – 12.00 am (4th April)
Scope: 6″ f/8 Skywatcher Evostar
Eyepiece: 7mm TS Planetary (171x)
Materials: White and black Conte chalk pastels on A5 black 270gsm drawing paper

I only heard of ASOD today, reading Astronomy Now magazine. I was regretful that I hadn’t heard of it before, because I love seeing the work that people produce with their own hands. I’ve had a good browse of the site and am enjoying the work on there.

I have only made a handful of sketches before. My first was a lunar sketch of Gutenburg. I make DSO sketches once in a while to check my observations. I’m 21 and have been into astronomy for 3 years.

I have attached two sketches here. Both of which I was very proud to have published in Astronomy Now magazine.

Andrew Phethean

Webmasters note: Thank you Andrew and we will be delighted to feature your second of hopefully many submissions to come! -Rich Handy and Jeremy Perez


Dancing on the Solar Limb

Dancing on the Solar Limb

Solar prominences on August 31st, 2009
Sketches and Details by Erika Rix

2009 August 31, 1454UT – 1625UT
Solar h-alpha prominences

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA
Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
Sketches created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white
Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil.

Temp: 23.0°C-25.0°C , Humidity 52%-38%
Seeing: Wilson 4 dropping down to 2, Transparency: 4.5/6-3/6
Clear to scattered, light winds E changing to NE
Alt: 43.7 – 55.6, Az: 122.5 – 152.5
Observed inside observatory. Seeing became very poor as the inside
warmed up.

There looked like a possible new active region forming by bright plage ~
30° in from the eastern limb. There were several prominences scattered
around the disk, and the largest areas were on the SE and SW limbs,
changing dramatically over the course of the 1.5 hr observation.


Almost a Tycho Crater Sketch

Almost a Tycho Crater Sketch

Lunar crater Tycho unfinished
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

I was about 45 minutes into this sketch when I began thinking about the last time I started a close up sketch of the crater Tycho. I was stopped shortly into that attempt by fast approaching clouds. This time I was not concerned because satellite images and the Clear Sky Clock for my area revealed little or no chance of that and suddenly as if on command the clouds rolled in from the east and sketching was over.
So I share with you my second attempt at a Tycho crater sketch. What is it they say about the third time?

Sketching:

For this partial sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9″ x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils, gum eraser and blending stumps.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece.
Date: 8-13-2009 9:30-10:15 UT
Temperature: 20°C (68°F)
Clear and then cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III,
Co longitude 107.3°
Lunation 22 days
Illumination 54.5%
Oak Forest, Illinois

Frank McCabe


Crater Langrenus Before Sunset

Crater Langrenus Before Sunset

Lunar crater Langrenus and environs
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

One night past the August full moon I had the opportunity to observe the craters near the moon’s eastern limb. One of these craters, the one I selected for sketching, was the walled-plain crater Langrenus. With the terminator a couple of hundred kilometers away the beautiful ray system was still easily seen crossing Mare Fecunditatis to the west. Crater Langrenus is approximately 132 kilometers in diameter and dates from the Eratosthenian period. Its walls stand several kilometers tall and it has a nice pair of central mountain peaks rising more than a kilometer above the floor. The northern portion of the floor is heavily boulder covered but in the current lighting that was difficult to see clearly. Beyond the crater to the northwest the triplet craters of Naonobu, Bilharz and Atwood were nicely visible and a central swelling could be seen on the floor of each.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils and a hard blending stump.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) and 4 mm (362x) eyepieces
Date: 8-8-2009 6:50-8:15 UT
Temperature: 22°C (72°F)
Partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III,
Co longitude 107.3°
Lunation 16 days
Illumination 98.5%
Libration in Longitude -3.5°

Frank McCabe


Beacon of Light and a Dark Dagger of Night

Moretus

The Lunar Crater Moretus
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

Lunar Crater Moretus

When I think of craters in and around the south polar region of the moon, this is the one that comes to mind first. The lunar excavation I have sketched here is complex crater Moretus (114 kilometers in diameter). Moretus is an Eratostherian age feature with remarkable depth of nearly 4 kilometers from rim to floor. Rising above the center of that floor and casting a long shadow to the base of the east wall is the 2.6 km. central peak reflecting much light to my eye from its mostly shadowed surroundings. The inner terraced walls were gleaming on the eastern side in the setting sunlight and even the glacis of melted eject was eye catching against the surrounding shadowed cratered field of the southern highlands. You cannot look at the moon on a morning like this and not be moved by the beautiful view of the old cratered moon.

Sketching:

For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 12”x 10”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils, blending stumps. After scanning, Brightness was decreased (-2) and contrast increased (+2) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 241x
Date: 7-14-2009, 9:30 – 10:15 UT
Temperature: 15° C (60° F)
clear, calm, low humidity
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 177.7°
Lunation 21.8 days
Illumination 58.4 %

Frank McCabe


A Brilliant 15 Day Old Moon

15 Day Old Moon

15 Day Old Moon
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

2009 July 8, 0240UT – 0535UT
Lunar, Erika Rix
PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA
Orion ED80 w/WO dielectric diagonal, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell, 13% T moon
filter

Lunar phase 352.2°-350.9°, 15.3-15.42 days
Temp: 17.6°C-11.7°C, H: 59%-86%
Alt: 11°02’ to 27°10’ Az: 132°18’ to 170°38’
Libr. Lat: 01°32’ to 01°24’, Libr. Long: 00°00’ to -00°37’
Seeing: Antoniadi II, Transparency: 3/6
Light cirrus, calm

Sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white
Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, black oil
pencil, black charcoal pencil.

The ray formations for last night’s (early this morning) Moon were
spectacular as was the terminator line to the east, showing specks of
rugged crater edges that looked suspended over the terminator edge.
Aristarchus and the surrounding area looked like two deep, bright gouges.


Full Sun In a Grassy Field

Full Sun In a Grassy Field

Solar h-alpha, AR1023 and 1022: 2009 June 23
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

2009 June 23, 1500UT – 1625UT
Solar h-alpha and White light, ARs 1023 & 1022
Erika Rix
PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA

H-alpha 1546 UT, DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
Temp: 27.7°C
Seeing: Wilson 4.5, Transparency: 5/6
Clear with light cirrus, light breeze N
Alt 52.1 Az 103.5
Sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white
Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil, black oil pencil.

White Light Sun

Solar white light, AR1023 and 1022: 2009 June 23, 1621UT
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

White light 1621 UT, ETX70-AT with tilt plate, 21-7mm Zhumell and 2.5x
SA Barlow
Temp: 30.2°C , Humidity 84%
Seeing: Wilson 2.8, Transparency: 5/6
Clear with light cirrus, winds NE 9mph
Alt 58.5 Az 112.1
Sketch created scopeside with white photocopy paper and #2 pencil.

Solar Comparison

Solar H-alpha and white light comparison: 2009 June 23, 1500UT-1625UT
Sketch and Details by Erika Rix

This morning, I moved the solar rigs outside for better seeing
conditions. After all the rains and then full sun today, the coolness
of the grassy fields would be a significant improvement over the hot
wood and carpet from inside the observatory. It appears my decision was
the correct one because I started the solar session off with h-alpha and
was able to not only increase mags to a 7mm, but used a 2.5x Barlow
toward the end of the
h-alpha session for deeper observing. The seeing became much worse
about an hour later when I began my white light filter observation.

Both active regions were obvious and 1023 almost looked like an “X”
shaped plage with a hint of a spot to the western crook of it. There was
another plage on the other side of that spot with a very prominent
filament reaching to the west, although very small with a more obvious
spot at the eastern start of it. Moving west across the disk, AR1022
was almost a “U” shaped plage resembling a pair of oxen horns with the
way each side of it curved outward.

There were many prominences, all fairly small, but they popped in and
out as I moved the Sun in my FOV for optimum clarity of features.
Speaking of the tilting of the Maxscope’s Etalons, I observed with Alan
Traino at a star party this weekend and had the chance to use a pressure
tuner on their 60mm Lunt h-alpha scope. What a great design! And I was
very impressed with the flat FOV, making it so much easier to pull out
details. Thanks Alan for supplying the scopes for us to try out. Wish
I had had more time to play with the pressure tuning scope as well as
the CaK.

The solar disk was speckled with network details and there were several
filaments, although again, very slender or very small.

The view with the white light filter was a little harder to discern
because of the dramatic change in seeing. Although I got a good focus,
I only had slight moments of seeing to make out a little bit of detail
within AR1023. What first looked like two oblong sunspots in that active
region became two pairs of sunspots. The preceding pair was the larger
with the following pair the smaller. There may have even been a third
little spot in the preceding pair but seeing prevented me from really
honing in on those two sets. There were no faculae that I could make
out, although there was a hint of contrast around both sets of spots as
well a faint line reaching from the preceding to the following pairs.


The Lunar/Antares Occultation

Lunar/Antares occultation

The Lunar Occultation of Antares
Sketch and Details by Michael Rosolina

Hello,

I was fortunate to be able to view the occultation of the red supergiant Antares by the nearly full Moon as it rose on the evening of June 6th. The Moon was still sixteen hours from full which caused the lunar limb to have an odd, irregular appearance in places. Antares, “the Heart of the Scorpion” disappeared in an eyeblink behind the invisible dark edge of Luna before it ever reached the sunlit mountains and mares.

Antares means “the rival of Mars” in Greek, but it was easily overwhelmed by Selene that night.

This field sketch was done with white and gray Conte’ crayon, black charcoal pencil, and orange color pencil on black paper.

The Moon and Antares
Occultation
0226 UT 7 June 2009

Michael Rosolina
Friars Hill, WV USA