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About JackCooke

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    Visual astronomy and sketching
  • Location
    Suffolk, UK
  1. Giant celestial strawberries! Thanks Mark - its definitely worth a look and well placed at the moment.
  2. Thanks Stu! I'm sure a bigger scope would show colour in other stars in the cluster. The Genesis is definitely a keeper - what happened to your first two?! Maybe one of them is mine ?
  3. Thanks Ruud. The Genesis is so easy to set up and use. 30years old and still going strong!
  4. Thank you! It's definitely an object where the eyepiece view competes with photographs.
  5. Hi Marios, Thanks for posting your great sketch - inspired me to go and hunt down the comet last night. Beautiful view until a plane flew straight across the field of view and nearly gave me a heart attack! I like the pin prick of light at the heart of your sketch. Jack
  6. 'A diamond sunburst', 'sparkling gold dust', 'a solitary pool of subtle beauty'. In my 4inch refractor Messier 37 is all these things. It was one of the first objects that really hooked me on stargazing. But I found it almost impossible to draw! Too many stars with more fading in and out the longer I looked. I struggled to keep my bearings. The cluster is peppered with red giants but only the central star really showed colour to me - a pale garnet red. It took several attempts over several weeks to complete the sketch. Usually a clear night in a month of bad weather has me trying to see as many objects as possible before the clouds roll in. It took an effort to ignore the rest of the night sky and keep coming back to M37. The faint mist of unresolved stars in the 'legs' jumped out after sustained viewing. 'Gaze at it well and long' says Webb. Well, I did. And it was worth it. (Field of view is approximately 1.5 degrees. Drawn on white paper with pencil and blending stump then inverted in photoshop)
  7. JackCooke

    1647 in Taurus

    Beautiful sketch! There's something special about positive white on black sketches. I've been spending some time with this cluster too - a wonderful contrast to the nearby Hyades.
  8. Thanks Neptune - looking forward to trying some more clusters soon. J
  9. Thanks Alan. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the focus on a single object. Looking forward to sketching some galaxies if I ever get a dob. I'm 100% with you on the luddite / all manual astronomy! Not getting a GOTO as my first scope was the best decision I've made so far. Jack
  10. Thanks Mike. I tried swinging over to Capella, which definitely had a halo but not the same intensity as the Pleiades. Tried sketching M37 on Tuesday but the cloud rolled in and tonight feels like a hurricane. A new challenge as I need averted vision to resolve it well in my 4 inch. Are any of your white on black sketches online? Is it much harder to see detail under a red light when using this technique? Thanks again for the encouragement. Jack
  11. Hi Paul - thanks. Yes, I drew it at the eyepiece with a red head torch. Not ideal - if I try sketching fainter PN or globulars I might need a clipboard light.
  12. Thanks Stu. That's a great image for holding a phone to an eyepiece! Really helpful to compare against my sketch - shows i got a little bunched up with the southernmost bright star (Atlas?) I'm lucky to have pretty decent skies but the nebulosity in the sketch is definitely part dew. There was a strange moment where it really did seem to stand out like a photograph then go again - some benefits to spending so much time on one object! Speaking of dew and the Genesis I've just made a DIY dew shield extension - seems to buy me a bit more time (although Al Nagler would probably roll his eyes)...
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