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Found 11 results

  1. A quick sketch from the 1st September (sorry - date is wrong on the image). M15 was still fairly low in the east but the central condensation of stars really stood out, even in a 5.5inch scope. The bright field star intruding on the edge of the image was distracting. If I had a tracking mount I'd have banished it permanently! A lot of the extended GC was on the threshold of vision and the resolved stars faded in and out. M15 will always have a special place for me as it was the first GC i ever saw Thanks for looking. Jack
  2. JackCooke

    Messier 92

    After many weeks of telescopes gathering dust I finally managed a long night sketching under the stars. Having only ever sketched open clusters I wanted to attempt a GC. Hercules was well positioned so I chose to draw m92, often overshadowed by the more famous m13. My red torch was a little too bright and there was some intermittent cloud but the sketch comes pretty close to what I saw. All comments / criticisms / comparisons most welcome! Jack p.s. As I was packing up around midnight I saw what I can only assume were parts of a meteorite breaking up in the sky. A long trail of five to ten separate glowing dots moved eastward through cygnus toward the horison. It was like watching several satellites following each other in an absolutely straight line. Anyone else see this or remember something similar?
  3. Wow - a Bank Holiday and sunshine! The wife was pleased - we'd only just got back from a short break in South Wales, so all the washing was done with the house solar panels kicking out the kWs and now it was all out on the line drying awaiting my super ironing skills! I invited my observing buddy Andy around too, he came with his own Quark Chromo plus his SkyWatcher Equinox 80 and new to him Manfrotto tripod with video head. I like this a lot – far better than his Altair Astro Sabre mount. Ice creams, food and drink, sun and warmth, good company... this solar malarkey is rather good fun! So, third time out for the Quark and new sketching tools.... This time the Pentel 0.7mm Graphgear 1000 mechanical pencil was equipped with the new 'Pilot Color Eno Neox' red leads that had come all the way from Japan (via Amazon!) I gave Andy my second Graphgear pencil, but with the *orange Neox leads so he could try sketching (in reverse) as well. I like the mechanical pencil - it's got a nice grip, retains it's balance and you don't need to stop to keep sharpening the point! I like the way this device has an extended metal tube to hold the lead and the way it retracts for safe storage. *Coloured mechanical pencil leads: When I started this experiment I chose Pentel red leads first as reviews stated they were less susceptible to snapping than the Staedtler 'Mars Micro range'. They were also reasonably priced, so 'worth a chance' to see if they would 'work' on black paper (that the scanner could pick it up and I could see enough to work with when actually outside). The Pentel's were... OK, but I found them rather hard and 'scratchy'. This did give a nice filamentary effect to prominence sketches, but were quite hard work to get some coverage down onto the paper and took a bit too much processing in Photoshop afterwards to get the look I was after. The internet search continued... to the Pilot Color Eno Neox - there is a cheaper 'non Neox' version I understand. These get good reviews in artistic circles. Soft but not too brittle, plenty of pigment, easy to rub out... more expensive! A purchase on Amazon and a wait for delivery.... I disappointingly found that the orange lead colour appeared more white on the cheaper black (dark grey) paper I was already using with the Pentel leads. In office scanner tests there was still enough of a colour to select in Photoshop for tuning later. Next purchase was a better black card stock. Thicker card, more 'tooth' to pick up the pigment in the leads and darker to aid colour contrast. 'Canson' black card stock (Amazon yet again). It has a decent weight (240g/m2), is much 'blacker' than the cheaper paper I had been using (helps the scan afterwards as well as giving more contrast when sketching), plus takes rubbing out without leaving marks on the surface. I still feel that perhaps the grain is too much, so will continue my search for an even smoother stock. This though was an improvement, but decided that the red leads would be even better. So another purchase and wait! Photo: Samsung Galaxy S7 through 32mm TV Plossl Same, with iPhone 6 Well, it still doesn't appear a rich red (like you see in Ha observing) when sketching onto black, but it's easy to see when actually sketching out under the sun. It's also much easier to scan and then tease into what I want the final image to be, without having to push/force things in Photoshop. The orange leads could even be used for night time sketching as it would be easy to desaturate any remaining colour back to white. The leads are easy to work - plenty of colour/coverage is easy to put down with minimum effort. I've not had one snap as yet either. They are easy to rub out without damaging the paper, soft so can be manipulated/smudged for subtle effects - would be good for galaxies/nebula.... but being soft, will run down quickly.... they remind me of my old (and favourite) Caran d’Ache pencils from art college. The other purchase that arrived for this observing session was the photo studio flash umbrella from eBay for £6 that had been mentioned previously. I had intended to fix with a goose neck device, but found that a bulldog clip did the job just as well. This is much lighter than the felt like fabric I've used at night (which gets damp...) It does let a small amount of light through, but being silver backed, doesn't get overly hot. I found that using my sun hat pushes out the loose fabric of the umbrella - giving me room to work/sketch - a 'result'! Now you see me... Now you don't! Since the last time out, I've added black felt (Wilkos stuff that I'd used to flock my 10" dob), to my homemade solar shield and just need to face it now with white card to strengthen it. It does warp slightly under it's own weight and probably the heat of the sun, so laminating some white card should help with the strength and reflect some heat, we'll see... Another good three hours then under the sun. Some nice proms and a sunspot to entertain us. The Quarks performed superbly yet again. Under the right conditions I think both the new 25mm TV Plossl and the second hand 20mm Pentax XW will be of use from what I saw on Monday. Sketches from the day - I think I'm homing in finally on my own style. Not quite there yet (think it's the background that's putting me off). My own representation then of what I saw - never going to be exact like a photograph, but a record of the event... with some fiery oomph thrown in! Sketches not reversed. Above prom seen at around 7pm on the GONG image below. Below sketch of prom seen at roughly 10pm on the GONG image below. Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF. Clear skies, Damian
  4. Observing Information DSO - M48 Date - 02/04/17 Time - 22:45 Lunar Phase - First quarter 38% Seeing - good Equipment - Celestron Nexstar 6SE Eyepieces - Televue Ethos 13mm Additional info - As the title suggests it was First Light for my ethos 13mm and this occasion warranted a sketch to cement the night in memory. I decided on M48 an open cluster in Hydra which was positioned really well for me to observe and almost filled the massive FOV of the ethos with stars. There was a rich variety of stars of different brightness and colours in this pretty big open cluster I spent a good hour sketching. The EP was a joy to use and the detail allowed me to put everything in this sketch enjoy. Clear skies ???? Richard
  5. Hi all after a couple chats with a great artists/teacher mr ken jones a local guy and great advice on sketching I decided to get the sun rise over the Vallis Alps,I used the charcoals and conte pencils as I waited a few hours for the shadows to take the shape they did I was amazed by it yet again the valley being 110km long and around 10km wide I took a few,snaps,to get diferent contrast my chats payed i did not get to finish it as the temperature dropped and the cold got the better of me keep looking up pat
  6.   Observing Information DSO - M13,M52 Date - 15/08/16 Time - 00:30-01:30 Lunar Phase - Waning Gibbious 79% Luminosity Seeing - Excellent Equipment - Celestron Nexstar 6SE, No filters used Eyepieces - Pentax SMC 8-24 Zoom Eyepiece. M13-17.5mm, M52-24mm. Additional info - What a beautiful night of observing, I purposely chose 2 targets furthest away from the moon and found they offered some really good detail especially M13. The longer I observed the more stars and structure it yielded, I honestly could have spent another hour adding to it but felt with the moon being so bright I wasn't going to get much more. M52 was another object enough away from the moon to show some lovely detail and I was impressed with how many stars I could observe and how many levels of brightness and detail in the stars I could discern, it really was a challenge but I loved every minute ? I hope you enjoyed viewing my sketches as much as I enjoyed sketching them Clear skies ???? Richard
  7. So since I don't have any skill in photography, I am checking whether I have any hopes of improving my sketching skills. Second attempt at sketching the sun in H-alpha. Although Sun is really quiet now, prominances did put a nice show today. Seeing spicules is always fun as well! Now seriously waiting for sun to get little active!!! P.S. I hate it when prominances change their shape right when I finish making a sketch. Instrument used : Lunt50mm f/7 single stack H-alpha Scope with skywatcher 10mm plossl. Time: 3:15-3:40 PM IST.
  8. Hello! So this is today's attempt at sketching. Hazy skies, Humidity and summer heat kind of took a toll on me so couldn't make a proper attempt. There were few prominances (a detached one) and many filaments. But there appears to be a small sunspot group near the centre. Couldn't find anything about it. If anyone can confirm whether my eyes have played a trick on me or not will be really helpful. Posting both sketches (tuned and detuned H-alpha) Instrument : LS50 f/7 SS. 35x magnification. 17 March 2017 at 11:15 a.m. IST.
  9. Hi i was wondering how many of you do sketching? I’ve tried to find some sites to help me get an idea on how it can be done but slightly struggling. For example what type of pencils and paper are preferred is it better to draw on black paper or white? I won’t have goto on my Mount when my scope comes so not sure if it will make it harder without one.Obviously I need a red torch as well. Would like to get some good sketches of the moon and clusters first and then galaxies/nebula and spend a good amount of time on sketching an object. If you have any tips It would be much appreciated also if possible would like to see some samples of sketches that you’ve done
  10. As there haven’t been too many clear nights lately, when I saw the cloudless sky yesterday I decided to get a scope out and spend some time observing. With the moon near full it seemed the obvious target. I also wanted to make a start on some sketching which I’d promised myself I would try again this year. I’m glad I did, conditions were great, there was no wind, no dew and the seeing was really good and I was amazed how steady the image was as I upped the magnification to around 300x in the end. I settled into a camping chair for comfort and slowly moved up and down the terminator enjoying the wealth of detail. From the ragged shadows cast by the walls of Pythagorus and Carpenter and then down towards a feature which I think would be Briggs, the rim of which seemed to float miles above the lunar surface with its base still in shadow. The area I settled on to sketch was around Aristarchus, Herodotus and Vallis Shroteri. If I’m honest that’s mainly because that area seemed a little less overwhelming to try and draw. I’d forgotten how relaxing the whole thing was, and I think it’s true you do really see that little bit more if you sketch, as every time I returned to the eyepiece another smaller crater or subtle feature would appear, like the craterlet Herodotus N which is only a couple of miles across. I spent around 45 minutes sketching and around an hour and half just enjoying the views. The end result wasn't up to much but I really enjoyed my time and if I keep at it who knows I might just overcome my lack of artistic talent. Dan
  11. Sunday afternoon's weather was better than expected, so I decided to give the Quark its second run out... Thought it was a good chance to run it from my RavPower LiPoly battery pack that I use to power the Nexus WiFi device and occasionally the iPad running SkySafari (rather than the mains adapter). Useful to know for when mains isn't available when doing outreach and the like. My mate finds that one of his packs turns off periodically - when the Quark has heated up and then stops drawing power... note also new, matching 'red/black' micro USB cable (a single pound from Amazon... all the way from China!) As well as the 32mm Plossl used before, I'd acquired a S/H 40mm Televue (awaiting the 25mm) off eBay, so it was a chance to try out that as well. Rather than using white pencil on black paper as previous, I'd been thinking of other methods - so this time I was going to experiment with a new Pentel 0.7mm Graphgear 1000 mechanical pencil with red leads onto white paper. Pleased to find that the battery doesn't auto switch-off and over the 2 hours of observing didn't even drop a quarter of its power (according to the four little blue lights). The 40mm is useful for when the conditions don't allow for the 32's extra magnification (although the eye relief is way too much - I'm going to get some of them TV eye extenders I think). Actually ordered three today (Monday from The Widescreen Centre), already - another £29 a pop! It's amazing the difference my black (night time observing), cloth increases the view (contrast), but it is a little too heavy and warm... and not really big enough under the sun to do its thing, so I took a chance and purchased one of those photo studio flash umbrellas from eBay for £6, that was mentioned in a thread a few weeks ago. I have a plan to attach it to the sun shield... or something ! Update: that also arrived today (3rd July), I'm thinking of using a 'gooseneck' like I do with the iPad to hold it in roughly the right place. I think that will work better than on the sun shield or just loose on my head! Sketches from the day. Inverted in Photoshop. I'm liking the red pencil leads (there is quite a nice luminescence to the sketch now), although they are slightly hard. I've got some hopefully softer leads on the way and will probably change paper stock as well. Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF. GONG image included for comparison. My sketches above not inverted but you can match up easily the 'second' and 'fifth' sketches to those on the upper left and right of the GONG image. When I was drawing the 'fifth' one around 5.15, I thought it reminded me of a fishing fly... it still does here! The Quark behaved admirably yet again and seems a good match to the TSA, showing superb prominence structure and plenty of surface features (despite the lack of them yesterday!) Clear skies, Damian
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