Lunar Terminator – August 25, 2012

Lunar Terminator - August 25, 2012
Lunar Terminator – August 25, 2012


I send my sketch of the Moon. The sketch was made on Aug. 25, 2012, by means of white watercolor and dry pastel. That night the moon was 8 days after the new moon. He was low on the horizon but still was strong in my telescope. This is my first picture of the moon.

Date: 25th August 2012
Location: Pasry in Poland
Telescope: Newton 8 ”
Media: white watercolor and dry pastel, black paper

Epsilon Lyrae

epsilon Lyrae
epsilon Lyrae

Hello astro-sketchers, here my last contribution…

Object Name (Epsilon1/2 Lyrae the Double double)
Object Type (Multiple Star)
Location (Château de Berne – Provence – France)
Date (May 8th)
Media (watercolor and ink, inverted while scanning)

Epsilon Lyrae, the “double-double” star, seen in the 450mm Dobson of my friend Philippe.

During this 4th yearly animation made in the “Château de Berne”, a nice vineyard domain in Provence, I had the opportunity to sketch this difficult multiple star.

The northern star is called ε1 and the southern one is called ε2; they both lie around 160 light years from Earth and orbit each other. In this big 450mm eye, both stars of the binary can be further split into binaries; that is, the system contains two binary stars orbiting each other. The component stars of ε1 have magnitudes of 4.7 and 6.2 separated by 2.6″ and have an orbital period that can only be crudely estimated at 1200 years, which places them at roughly 140 AU apart. The component stars of ε2 have magnitudes 5.1 and 5.5 separated by 2.3″, orbit perhaps half that period. ε1 and ε2 themselves are not closer than 0.16 light years apart, and would take hundreds of thousands of years to complete an orbit.

I made the watercolor taking into account the further inversion needed, that means black for white and orange for blue, for example.

Astro sketch website :

Clear sky to you all !
Michel Deconinck

The Setting of Comet PanSTARRS from France

C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)
C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

Object Name (2011-L4 PanStarrs)
Object Type (Comet)
Location (Val d’Issole – Provence – France)
Date (2013 March 18th)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr white paper, scan but no digital adaptation)

Hi comet hunters, here follows my contribution.

March 18th, 19:24 UT, from a small hill of the Val d’Issole, I had a nice view of our PanStarrs comet.

It was raining during the first part of the day, but then after a strong “Mistral” wind, the sky was completely cleaned, really pure, just in time for the evening view. I was able to see the tail easily with unaided eye. With a 102/1000 refractor, 25x eyepiece, I made a quick sketch, that was just one minute before the nucleus set followed quickly by the tail. Then at home I made the watercolour. A very nice spectacle indeed!

Michel Deconinck

Mars and Mercury

Conjunction of Mars and Mercury
Conjunction of Mars and Mercury

Here join my last watercolour

Object Name (Mars and Mercury)
Object Type (Planet conjunction)
Location (Sainte-Anastasie-sur-Issole, Provence, France)
Date (08-02-2013)
Media (watercolour)

This February 8th between 17h and 18h (UT) I wanted to watch an unusual planets conjunction and set, Mars and Mercury separated by only 15 ‘. This could be seen through the long and wide belt of Venus. I found a peak of 360° free to obstacles – 500 meter altitude. North we see clearly two winter sports resorts and South the Porquerolles Island and its lighthouse – 2 x 10 sec, so… the “M” morse letter, to celebrate our two planets M.. ?
It was cold with a strong wind, I still observed one hour. Some pictures with my little camera and two quick sketches, a complete landscape and an eyepiece vision, in order to be ready to make a watercolour, the day after.
Mercury was bright, clearly visible with a white light. Mars was 8 times less light but very red. No details with my reflector 100/500, plus an eyepiece K12mm. We can just imagine the disc-shaped appearance of the two planets. Mercury was gibbous almost full and very close the tiny and still red planet.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Early Planets

Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon
Conjunction of Mercury, Venus and the Moon

Please find here my (this morning) watercolour

Object Name (Mercury, Venus and the Moon)
Object Type (conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (December 11th 2012 6:00 UT)
Media (Watercolour on 300gr paper plus white colour for planets)

It was quite cold this morning -1°C plus Mistral (north local wind)… but I would like to see again the rising of Mercury from my terrace.

Bottom-up we can see: Mercury near the chimney and Venus close to the Moon.

The watercolour was done on the spot, taking off the pigment for the planets with a brush when the paper was not yet dry. I add some hot coloration to the dark part of the very old Moon. Then I scanned the picture.

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

InOMN Daylight Moon

Crescent Moon on International Observe the Moon Night
Crescent Moon on International Observe the Moon Night


Another watercolour I did during the InOMN event (International Observation of the Moon Night) but… during the daylight.

Object Name (2012 September 22 Moon)
Object Type (Daylight Moon)
Location (Néoules Provence France)
Date (2012 September 22 – 16hoo Local Time)
Media (graphite pencil for the moon, watercolour for the landscape)

We organize a special event for the InOMN (International Observation of the Moon Night).

21 of us attended this pleasant event organized by the local club “Polaris83”. We used 7 miscellaneous telescopes during the event.

I made two separate sketches, one with standard graphite pencil for the moon, the second one is a common watercolour I did of the local wild landscape. I scanned both paper and compile them together.

I used my 1000/102 Bresser refractor with a 40mm eyepiece to get a good contrast facing the bright background sky.

The compilation was done with the freeware software : Paint.Net

Conditions were perfect, the sun was hot here… !

Clear sky to you all
Michel Deconinck

Transit of Venus from Alavi High school

Transit of Venus
Transit of Venus

I’m AhmadReza Hoseini from Alavi Association of Astronomy.
I and my َAstronomy students in Alavi high school in Tehran had a memorable Observation of Venus transit in 6 June 2012.
This sketch from Ali BabaNalbandi is the best in students’ sketches.
in addition, I attached some pictures of our observation for you.
Excuse us for the delay in sending this sketch.
We have got familiar with your site during this month and we hope to have better communications and interactions with you in future.

Sketch Properties:
Observer: Ali BabaNalbandi
Object Name: Venus Transit 2012
Object Type: Sun & Venus
Location: Alavi (High School) Association of Astronomy, Tehran, Iran
Date: 6 June 2012
Media: graphite pencil, charcoal, gouache, watercolor
Observing Tool: SkyWatcher 8″ Dob
Weather: Sunny and clear
seeing: very good

Yhank you
A.R. Hoseini
Astronomy Teacher at Alavi Association of Astronomy
(Alavi High school)

Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon

Jupiter Occultation and Conjunction
Jupiter Occultation and Conjunction

Hi, here attached my last souvenir

Object Name (Jupiter, Moon, Venus and Hyades)
Object Type (occultation)
Location (Néoules Var France)
Date (2012 July 15th)
Media (graphite pencil for the moon, and watercolor for the dolmen sketch)

So early! I observed with a friend of mine from 3h to 5h AM local time.

Close to Néoules, we have a good place with a good sky to observe the rising of Sun, Moon and planets.

The telescope I use to sketch is a Bresser 1000/102.

The two first sketches were made in this place; the watercolour was made just after the occultation, 5 km further. How many occultation this megalithic dolmen has seen?

On the watercolor, we can see the planet Venus and perceive the Hyades open cluster with Aldebaran

That was very early but,… what a wonderful spectacle !
Kind regards

Michel Deconinck

Jupiter Occultation
Jupiter Occultation
Jupiter Occultation
Jupiter Occultation

Sunrise Transit

Venus Transit
Venus Transit

Venus as a star, once more,…

Object Name (Venus transit…)
Location (Néoules – Provence – France)
Date (06-06-2012 & 13-06-2012)
Media (red wine, graphite pencil, watercolour)
Refractor 1000/102

I made this sketch directly while the sun was rising, just with pencil on white paper.

I had to sketch very quickly.

Today, at home I used yellow watercolour and black for the dark part of the sky

For the clouds I used red wine pigment, from here we are in France.

I was on a hill, the time for this sketch was 3:50, 2 or 3 minutes before the theoretical sunrise time, so my telescope was downwardly inclined. Strange and fantastic souvenir.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck
Site Web:

Venus and Two-Day Moon

Moon-Venus Conjunction
Moon-Venus Conjunction - November 27, 2011

Moon Venus conjunction 2011-11-27 – 5 PM Local Time

Object Name (Moon, Venus)
Object Type (conjunction)
Location (Rocbaron Provence France)
Date (2011-11-27 5PM Local Time)
Media (graphite pencil and watercolour)
Material (Newton telescope 114/500 25x for the moon and naked eyes)

I climbed during half an hour with a light telescope on my back to reach the St Sauveur Mountain close to Rocbaron. This is a fantastic position. I can see the Med from the Golden Islands Porqueroles and Port-Cros to the Toulon surroundings and the sunset.

After sketching the landscape with a graphite pencil, I place the Moon and Venus. Then through my telescope I sketched the new born moon.

The home work was to colour the sketch and adds Venus and the moon reduced to the correct size on my digital watercolour.

The full adventure is described on a small youtube animation:

Thanks to you all

Michel Deconinck
Téléphone : 00 33 (0)4 89 36 54 03
GSM/portable : 00 33 (0)6 99 42 42 47
email :
Web :