Astronomy Sketch of the Day

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Drawings and sketches of an astronomical nature
Updated: 5 hours 23 min ago

NGC 3081

6 hours 5 min ago
NGC 3081

NGC 3081

Hi All,

A while back my eye was caught by an image I saw in Mark Bratton’s Herschel book of what turned out to be a galaxy (NGC 3081) in Hydra, at first glance I took it to be a planetary nebula, something along the lines of the Saturn nebula but without the ansae.

Last night having got band from playing my harmonica at the band rehearsal and with a lovely clear sky I decided to take a look, lying pretty close to the well loved Ghost of Jupiter planetary, it was well placed for me to observe on Tuesday evening.

I found this to be a rather unusual galaxy, having a distinct bright central nucleus and a definite outer ring, slightly elongated E-W but basically a ring, some discernible haze outside of the right but no evidence of any structure connecting the ring to the nucleus or of any arms projecting out from the ring, therefore back to my original thoughts that it looked like a planetary nebula with a bright core, stellar illuminated with a fainter outer shell of expanding debris.

Mars in Opposition

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 03:00
Mars on April 13, 2014

Mars on April 13, 2014

Planet Mars on sunday 13th of april 2014, sketch is made five days after mars was in opposition. We should expect that during opposition – april 8th – the smallest distance between our blue and the red planet is achieved. However, this time the two planets elliptical orbit reaches it’s closets distance on april the 14th.

The sketch is made on sunday the 13th of april 2014. The telescope : TEC 160ED, F8 – 11 mm Plossl eyepiece met 2x Barlow lens. TFov 0.3 °. Afterwards adapted in Pro-create en Psd

Lunar Hide and Seek – Occultatio​n and Lunar Eclipse

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 03:00
The Lunar Eclipse and occultation of April 15, 2014

The Lunar Eclipse and occultation of April 15, 2014


Tonight after setting up with friends and being thwarted by clouds, I raced home to see if I could still observe part of the lunar eclipse from a different location. Upon arriving home I found it was clear and quickly set up my 15×70 binoculars. I was delighted to see h Virginis just peeking its bright head out from behind the limb of the Moon and quickly started a sketch of my observation. The umbra had almost made it over the last portion of the limb and the remaining edge was brightly lit. The Moon took on a coppery glow and the stars shone nearby that normally cant be observed during full Moon.

15×70 Binocular on tripod

Black Stathmore paper, colored pencils & pastels

Thia (Cindy) Krach

Maui, Hawaii

Lunar North Polar Region

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 03:00
Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014

Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014

Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014

Lunar North Pole Region-04-09-2014

Lunar North Polar Region

For several nights this week the lunar North Pole has been tilted more towards earth due to favorable lunar libration in latitude. It has been a good opportunity to view craters such as Whipple, Peary, Byrd and others. I had a clear night with average seeing so I took advantage of the opportunity to sketch the illuminated region near the pole. At my location the Moon was at more than 60 degrees above the horizon which also helped with the time needed to complete a sketch.

Sketching and Equipment:

For this sketch, I used black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9” x 12”, white and

black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.

Telescope: 13.1 inch f/6 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece (333x) riding on an equatorial platform

Date: 04-09-2014, 01:00-02:35 UT

Temperature: 3° C (38° F)

Clear, calm

Seeing: Average – Antoniadi III

Transparency 4/5

Colongitude 16.2 °

Lunation 9 days

Illumination 63.9 %

Frank McCabe

NGC 6842

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 03:00
Planetary Nebula NGC 6842

Planetary Nebula NGC 6842

NGC 6842 PN Vulv

16 ” 180-200x Mit OIII/UHC fst 6m3

Kreuzleshöhe 1100m, Germany

Full Moon of Korean Thanksgivi​ng Day

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 03:00
Full Moon on Korean Thanksgiving-September 19, 2013

Full Moon on Korean Thanksgiving-September 19, 2013

Last Sep 19th is Korean Thanksgiving Day.

It is the most important holiday of Korea, the date is always Aug 15th in the lunar calendar.

I saw the bright full moon at holiday night.

And jujube tree fruits twinkle under moonshine.

So I drew a picture using my smart phone.

Media : Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (S Note App)

Location : S. Korea

Date : Sep 19th, 2013

M51 through a 4 Inch Refractor

Sat, 04/12/2014 - 03:00

M51,The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy)




March 2014

White paper/pencil + Photoshop

Telescope: Astro-Physics Traveler EDF 105mm F/5.8

Eyepieces: Televue Ethos 10mm, Pentax XO 5mm

Transparency: 3/5, 21.2 SQM

Seeing: 2/5

Mars White Cloud

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 03:00
White clouds on Mars-April 6, 2014

White clouds on Mars-April 6, 2014

* Object Name: Mars
* Object Type: planet
* Location: La Fontasse (Tarn – France) N43.63 E2.35
* Date: April 6th 2014 21h40 UT
* Media: pencil HB + 2B, white drawing paper, scanned + colorized with PhotoPaint

As shown on the detailed view, I experimented the negative drawing with black pencil.
Just by inverting the image, I obtain quite the final result.
I just played with colour and contrast to make it “real”.
Next time I will try to make a negative drawing with blue pencil, to get directly the salmon colour of Mars…

NOTE : The pink colour is real, because of the lunar filter which adds a bluish-grayed hint
This filter provides more contrast and reduces the light intensity.

Conditions: humidity 60%, 12°C, no wind.
– Dobson Orion XT12 (305 x 1500mm => F/D 5)
– Eyepiece Televue Delos 4.5mm (mag x 330)
– Moon filter 1.25″

Excellent transparency and very good seing
Half Moon shining in Gemini

Because of the moonlight, the star party was dedicated to planetary observation.
So I decided to make my first sketch of Mars, as I only once could really see it with details last year.

For the first time I could distinctly see two dark zones : one butterfly shaped (right) and one banana shaped (left)
The sky was good enough to expect to see the north polar ice cap.
I actually saw a scattered brighter spot on the upper part of the disk.
As you never know the orientation of an object in your eyepiece, I decided this was the north pole ice cap of Mars.

Back home, while looking for the name of the dark zones (Acidalia Planitia & Meridiani Planum), I discovered that the north pole was on the right side of the disk.
So, what was this white spot ???
I found the explanation from a recent photo of Mars, on, showing a white cloud storm, in the same area.

This is how I discovered my new speciality: meteorologist of Mars ! :-)

Thanks for your interest.
Jean-Marc Saliou
APAM astro club – France


Thu, 04/10/2014 - 03:00
Double Star Rigel

Double Star Rigel

Rome 15/02/2014

double Star

Refractor 102/1000 Sw


Roma 15.02.2014

Stella doppia

Rifrattore 102/1000 Sw


An urban Ghost of Jupiter (NGC 3242)

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 03:00
The Ghost of Jupiter (NGC 3242) Planetary Nebula

The Ghost of Jupiter (NGC 3242) Planetary Nebula

•Object Name: Ghost of Jupiter (NGC 3242).
•Object Type: Planetary Nebula.

•Location: San Miguel, Buenos Aires Argentina.

•Conditions: NELM 4.5. Good transparency, bad seeing.

•Date: 23/03/2014 11:00pm.

•Media: HB, 2B, blend stump and PS for color. Averted vision.

•Telescope: Meade LB 12″ on equatorial tracking platform.
•Eyepiece: SW TMB II 6mm and sometimes TV UHC filter.

Hi ASOD! This time I bring you all the Ghost of Jupiter from my backyard. It was a good night except for the poor seeing conditions. Some of the stars are down to mag 13-14 and the nebula, with averted vision, was excellent showing internal details at x254. Days later, at a star party, I could appreciate the full glory of nebula, the central star was like a pin and incredible details were easily seen at x254-x400 (no sketch, sorry!). Hope you like it!

Best regards, Leo.


Tue, 04/08/2014 - 03:00
Lunar Crater Copernicus - March 10, 2014

Lunar Crater Copernicus – March 10, 2014

This is my first ASOD and my first sketch of a moon crater.

Object Name: Copernicus Crater

Object Type: Lunar Crater

Location: Lisbon, Portugal (38º 44′ N 9º 30′ W)

Date: 10-03-2014

Media: graphite pencil

Equipment: ED doublet refractor, 80/720mm, (3.15″) F9; EP 6mm OR, 120x.

It was an exceptional night without wavering at this magnification, so I took a shot at it.

Clear skies

Bernardo Andrade

NGC 2516

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 03:00
NGC 2516 Open Cluster

NGC 2516 Open Cluster

Hello. I send a new drawing.

Object Name: NGC 2516

Object Type: Open Cluster

Location: Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Date: 03/22/2014

Media: I used an A4 sheet and pencils 2B, B, H and HB. The image was then inverted and colored with Adobe Photoshop.

Crew: F900114 Helios Reflector Telescope

Ocular: 25mm Huygens


Hola. Evío un nuevo dibujo.

Nombre del objeto: NGC 2516

Tipo de objeto: Cúmulo Abierto

Ubicación: Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Fecha: 22/03/2014

Medios: Utilicé una hoja A4 y lápices 2B, B, H y HB. La imagen fue posteriormente invertida y coloreada con Adobe Photoshop.

Equipo: Telescopio reflector Helios F900114

Ocular: Huygens 25mm


SN 2014J in M82

Sun, 04/06/2014 - 03:00
Galaxy M82 with Supernova SN2014J

Galaxy M82 with Supernova SN2014J


Two and a half hours of clear sky at 04.February 2014 were sufficient to hold the SN in M82 and take a long walk on the winter night sky.

After a tough cloud cover and then the mist had dissolved about 21:00 clock, I could start the observation with the TMB 115/805 Apo.

The supernova was a really great thing! Very bright and striking beamed the SN in the “cigar”. After a brief enjoyment, I started with the sketch!
Unfortunately, the review was only mediocre, so blurred finer structures of the galaxy almost. Nice to see was the interruption in M 82 and south two light specks.

CS Uwe

Object: Galaxy M82

Object Name: SN 2014J

Telescope: 115/805 TMB

Eyepiece: 6mm Baader Genuine Ortho

Magnification: about 110x

Location: near Tauberbischofsheim Germany

Lunar Terminator Near to the Western Limb

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 03:00
LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013

LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013

LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013

LunarTerminator West Limb-February 25, 2013

Lunar Terminator Near to the Western Limb

On Sunday evening I was getting a wonderful view of the lunar terminator near the western limb just a half day before full Moon. The favorable longitudinal libration of -04° 40’ was creating an opportunity to see craters along the terminator that are often poorly placed for viewing.
With storms on the way from the southwest this was a good evening to attempt a sketch. The calm before the arrival of storms often leaves the seeing fair to good as was the case on this night. Craters such as Vasco da Gama (99 km.), Bohr (73 km.), Dalton (63 km.), Balboa (71 km.) and part of Einstein (175 km.) were all seen. Craters Cardanus (51 km.) and Krafft (53 km.) and the crater chain (catena) between them were in bright sunlight. The views all along the terminator were magnificent.

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper (9” x 12”), white and black Conte’
pastel pencils. In addition a small artist’s brush and powdered Conte’ white crayon was used for blending. Contrast was slightly increased (+2) using a scanner to better match the original.
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/ 5.9 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece 327 X
Date: 02-25-2013, 04:00-06:30 UT
Temperature: 0.0° C (32° F)
Partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 86.9 °
Lunation 14.87 days
Illumination 99.5 %

Frank McCabe

Thor’s Helmet

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 03:00
NGC 2359, Thor's Helmet

NGC 2359, Thor’s Helmet

• Object Name: NGC 2359 The Helmet Thor`s

• Object Type: Bright

• Location: Pueblonuevo de Bullaque España

• Date: January 25 2014

• Media: Graphite Pencil HB 2, torchon 1 and white paper

• inverted colors with GIMP 2.8

Observation notes:

80x TFOV 1º New 10” dob telescope.

Object Elevation +35 º. Nelm 6,3. 6º C. Moisture 82 º/º.

Pedro Villamiel.

Greetings to all visitors of this page. Pedro Villamiel Alcorcón, Madrid February 1 2014

Venus at Sunrise

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:00
Venus at sunrise- March 3, 2014

Venus at sunrise- March 3, 2014


I decided to get up very early and sketch the brightest planet – Venus. Seeing was great, most time 8/10.


Tomáš Perdoch
Hlučín, Czech republic
14. 03. 2014, 05.15 – 05.20 CET
Dobsonian 200/1200mm
Magnifications: 150x, 200x
Filter: OIII Astronomik

Enjoy !!!

A Nice Galaxy in Lepus

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 03:00
Galaxy NGC 1954

Galaxy NGC 1954

Good afternoon all,

I had to push myself last night to grab an observation through a clear sky window. Family taxi duties, followed by a music practice session at a friend’s house saw me return home under a cold clear sky with a frost already forming. I had intended to be in bed early as I had to be up at 5am for work, but! I couldn’t pass by a chance to grab a sketch before the moon rose could I?

I had nothing planned, so I looked through the Arp catalogue for something new in the vicinity of Orion, there were a few Arp’s that I hadn’t got but they lacked any wow factor so I looked to Herschel’s NGC observations, noting that NGC 1954 looked both attractive and a little different, this lay in Lepus beneath the giants feet. I star hoped to this mag 11.8, 4.2’ x 2.0’ spiral, it appeared rather faint on the monitor, I adjusted the monitor controls to maximise the contrast and the remote camera controls, I then went out into the observatory and lowered the southern observing flap, as this was cutting the 500mm aperture down by around 50%. This improved things but it was by no means bright all considerable detail was displayed. I drew in the main field stars and when I came to work on NGC 1954 itself I turned all the lighting off to elevate the contrast still further in an endeavour to pick out all the structure that I could. A smaller companion galaxy NGC 1957 which appears as an extended amorphous fuzz to the upper left in my sketch is a more distant mag 14 spiral.

Once my sketch was completed I was quite pleased after my initial disappointment at the targets lack of ‘star’ quality. Taking my SQM reading of the observation area, low in the south towards London showed as just 19, compared with 20 overhead, however the Moon was now above the horizon to the east.

In all a worthwhile observation, which had taken an hour and resulted in a reasonable sketch of an interesting and new galaxy for me.

Clear Skies to you, Dale

Do you want to know more about my interest in astronomy? If so take a look at my Website:

Keep up to date with observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading the Blog

Sinus Iridum

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 03:00
Sinus Iridum (The Bay of Rainbows)

Sinus Iridum (The Bay of Rainbows)

Object name: Sinus Iridum
Location:Cañuelas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Media: 6B, 2H pencil; White paper.


Mon, 03/31/2014 - 03:00


Nombre del objeto : M45 – NGC 1432

Tipo : cumulo abierto

Ubicación : san diego/Venezuela

Fecha : 23-03-14

Medio : herramienta digital photoshop CS5

Instrumento: Binocular tasco 10×70

Objeto messier 45 “las pléyades” 30’ de arco con mi binocular en un campo de visión de 5° con transparencia aceptable.

Es mi primer dibujo con técnica digital.

Gracias ¡

Object name: M45 – NGC 1432

Type: Open cluster

Location: san diego / Venezuela

Date: 03/14/23

Medium: digital tool photoshop CS5

Instrument: Tasco 10×70 Binocular

Messier object 45 “Pleiades” 30 ‘of arc in my binocular field of view of 5 ° with acceptable transparency.

It’s my first drawing with digital art.


The Occultation of Saturn by the Moon

Sun, 03/30/2014 - 03:00
Lunar Occultation of Saturn

Lunar Occultation of Saturn


I send you an old sketch of a occultation of Saturn by the moon!

This is the most interesting occultation of Saturn I have seen.

The rings were wide open and the sky was clean.

I used a stop- clock for the timing of this event. Info on the sketch!

For my sketch, I used color crayons on black paper.

Location: Trondheim, Norway.

Best wishes and clear sky from Per-Jonny Bremseth.

Thanks for nice comments!

New S*T*A*R Officers

These are the new Club Officers, voted in at the June 2013 Business Meeting.