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September monthly target - The Double Cluster

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#1 Erix

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 07:08 AM

The Double Cluster in Perseus (NGC 869 and NGC 884

Make sure to look for color in these clusters. NGC 869 is quite a bit younger than NGC 884 and will show different coloration in the brightest stars. For more information, read pages 229-300 of "The Night Sky Observer's Guide" volume 1.

You are encouraged to supply any or all of the following for observing/sketching the Double Cluster:

- tips on how to observe that object, filters or other equipment used

- media tried and tested for your renderings

- mini tutorial with an explanation and or/photos on how you did created the observation sketch

- link to any reports involved with the target, after all, these are observation sketches and links to reports will help all of us learn the object better as well as learn what to look for and how to optimize your viewing/sketching session

- or finally, just the sketch itself so we can all see each other's works in progress


Past monthly targets/tutorials and tips threads

#2 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 03:29 AM

I had the lengthy pleasure of sketching the Double Cluster in Perseus in December of 2005. I used a 6" (15 cm) f/8 Newtonian with a 32 mm Plössl eyepiece. The sketch was done within a 3" (7.6 cm) circle using graphite on 28# bright white bond.

The original observation report can be found here.

And I managed to get a tutorial posted here.

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#3 Myles

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 09:21 AM

Jeremy, OK, I guess I don't have to do any viewing tonight - I can just turn off the lights and gaze at this sketch - stunning!

I love your section in the "book" and your digital tutorials have really helped me as I learn the in/outs of Adobe Photo Elements and general digital picture handling. Thank you for all your contributions here at CN.

Looking forward to more sketches.
- Myles

#4 frank5817

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 09:52 AM

Jeremy,

This is a wonderful sketch. It is amazing how accurate and colorful the stars look. Ny first jaw dropping look at the double cluster was through a 6" Newtonian. This drawing is my second jaw dropping look.

Frank :)

#5 kraterkid

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 01:02 PM

Fantastic Jeremy, absolutely stunning and a great tutorial to back it up! :D

#6 FJA

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 01:47 PM

Jeremy: that really is fantastic :bow:

#7 rodelaet

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 03:44 PM

Jeremy,

You're my guiding light through the night. Reading your articles and tutorials has lifted up my sketching skills. Thank you for that and for sharing your wonderful sketch(es)!

#8 Jaycin

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 09:39 AM

Jeremy,

Your sketch and tutorial are AWESOME! :bow: :bow: :bow: Now I will have to make another attempt at the mighty Double Cluster! :)

#9 SGT500

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 12:14 PM

Great Tutorial!:bow::thanx:
Im gunna have to try your technique in the near future.
Thanks for posting!

#10 Erix

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:15 PM

Wonderful job, Jeremy! Thanks for doing that for us.

I attempted this area a few weeks ago, but was unable to complete my sketch in time before the morning sunlight was peaking over the hills, washing out the starfield.

I am going to say that I believe I was only about 2/3's done. Maybe even just half done. There were sooo many stars and so little time.

With an unfinished sketch, I've been meaning to go back out and finish it. Actually I wanted to do that before posting it here. But my in'laws are visiting and I've been too tired to get up in the middle of the night for viewing.

So here's the unfinished sketch.

I used an Orion ED80 on an LXD75 with a 40mm PanOptic. I manually slewed to the target and then let the mount track for me. The sketch was done on Rite in the Rain paper as the humidity was 96%. Everything was dripping wet, but my paper held it's integrity.

I used a number 2, .5mm and .3mm pencils (the latter two were mechanical pencils) and my headlamp was hanging from the eyepiece holder at first, and then I held it in my hand to decrease the little bit of over-brightness so that I could manage the really faint stars. Like I said, it's an unfinished sketch and although I could see many many more stars, there just wasn't time to add them all before my session was forced to end because of the Sun.

I started with a few anchor stars with the number 2 pencil for the two clusters. Then I added anchor stars around the edge of the FOV. I tried to get all my brightest stars in first and then progressed with the .5mm and finally the .3mm.

During the time of the sketch, three satellites went through my FOV, which I marked off the sketch. Normally I include the path of meteors or satellites directly on the sketch, but because I'm including the sketch here for purposes of learning, I decided not to. I did include the times and route of the paths, though. It's always interesting to refer back to later.

This sketch lasted from 0922-1014UT (or 0522-0614 standard time for Ohio).

I used the negative button in Paintshop to scan and invert the sketch and then cleaned up the edges of a few stars in Photoshop. I also added about +8 in contrast with Photoshop.

All my stars (or at least most of them) were plotted by triangulating against other stars.

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#11 rodelaet

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 01:17 AM

My attempt to sketch the cluster can be found

here.

I'll try to post the separate layers later today.

#12 novbabies

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:36 AM

Three wonderful representations, and each slightly different and each of merit. That's what makes sketching so great!

#13 rodelaet

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:24 PM

Here is a picture with the separate layers of the sketch. I have 'enhaced' the layers to make them clearly visible. So they may appear strange to you, and they were not used in the sketch like this. Top left is my template with the fov and the background glow. I used to add background glow as a last step in the sketching progress. Now I use it a the template, because I can see immediately what effect a star or nebula produces against this glow. This way I get greater control of the overal impression. Top right are the stars plotted, first the anchor stars, later come the other stars. The brighter stars are drawn with a halo. Color is not used in this layer. Bottom left is the layer with the color impression. If I note any color, I'll produce it as a halo on this layer. Using a separate layer for color prevents 'damage' to the star shapes when adjusting color. Bottom right is the 'cluster glow' layer. Same reason, manipulating the glow does not alter the star shapes. When the sketch is finished, I can combine each layer with the background. Each layer comes with his own opacity value. By controling this value, the effect of the layer on the final sketch gets more pronounced or more subtle. Funny thing is that I observe with the layers of the digital sketch in mind. I rate star brightnesses in pixel diameters and I pay attention to halo's, glows and nebulae as if I am putting them on separate layers. I hope this little explanation makes sense to you.

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#14 WadeVC

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:39 PM

Good job Rony. :waytogo:

I think insights such as this help those who are unfamiliar with the digital aspects of drawing, painting or sketching (whatever thier choice of words to describe such), understand and see that yes, this is actually possible.

#15 rodelaet

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 03:47 PM

Erika,

I enjoyed reading your report and looking at your sketch. I'm sorry to read that you could not finish it. But heaven can wait, as they say. You know what : I say to myself that an object looks better with the second sketch. So I promised myself to resketch the double on a later occasion. I believe that you used about the same power as I did for the sketch. I wonder how dark your skies were during that night. Did you too notice dark lanes within these clusters?

#16 Erix

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 01:09 PM

Thank you, Rony.

I was in such a hurry to beat the daylight that I was concerned about getting in the proper mags and positions. I didn't pay attention to other details beyond that.

I was going to continue the sketch from where I left on next time I observe that target. But I have yet to take the time to compare my sketch with a photo to see if I have accurate placements. If I don't, then I'm going to start afresh and wake up earlier in the morning to give myself a lot more time. I'd like at least a few hours with this area, if not more.

You've done a fantastic job with your observation. Our darkest skies are to the N and NE, but unfortunately that's where our tallest trees are on the edge of the woods around us. As it was, I had an open area between a few oaks and a hickory to grab what I could before the sun came up.

Maybe I can work on it at a star party that I'm going to in a few weeks. They've got a nice opened field with little obstruction. The only problem is, at star parties, I'm always lurking around visiting and having views through other people's scopes that I have a hard time finding the time to sit all by myself and sketch.

Getting back to the dark lanes, if they were visible, they weren't prominent enough to catch my eye that night. And the glow from the stars didn't create an obvious backdrop for them. Next time I'll spend more time on it.

#17 Dee

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 05:05 AM

First Try at The Double Cluster in Perseus NGC 869 NGC 884 200mm/35mm/34X 10/09/07 Conte, Gel Pen. 20:10 UT – 21:00 UT Seeing 2

My plan was to make several sketches of this difficult open cluster; besides this one I managed a pencil on white on the 16th September. I think the view in binoculars is exquisite so I will have a go at it some lovely cold evening, but it will be in October.
I will add them here later on. I just have not had the time lately to do all the sketching projects I would like to, so this is my contribution to this quest.

I used my big fat 35mm eyepiece to give me a nice wide but yet full on view.
The thing to notice in these clusters is that one has a bow shape bunch of stars as its main feature like those charity bows. The other has a question mark shape as its main feature.
There are several bright stars close together that have parallel matching stars below to the left in the bow pattern. There seems to be fewer stars around the question mark shape even though both clusters have thousands of stars and are several light years apart.
Its fun to think that you can see, all those miles apart in your telescope before your eyes.

To start this sketch I looked long into the middle of both clusters to get a good look at the shapes and patterns of the stars. I looked at the background stars to see the general scattering of them. I took a mental note of everything and came indoors to begin.

I used black Cranford paper as it seems to be blacker than the paper I usually sketch on.
Then I grated white conte at a height above the black paper in such a way that it landed in more or less the shape of the background stars in the double cluster. I used a circular metal section of a coffee percolator for a fine grater.

When I was happy enough with this background, less is more, then I fixed it with a light spray from a distance. I used masking tape to attach the paper to a board and went back outside to get my eyes adjusted again. I used a white gel pen to place in the stars, some of which were very striking pin pricks of light. I did my best to place everything in context to each other.
I took a mental note of any color in the stars; this will have to be a written note in future as it’s hard to remember everything when you get indoors again.
Inside, I just over laid color gel pen above the white, for the stars, well the few that I remembered their color. What a difficult very big set of clusters, one to try again and again and for sure one to try in a dark place instead of suburbia.

Dee
www.deirdrekelleghan.com

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#18 novbabies

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 05:11 AM

Dee, WOW, nice sketch :bow: !!

#19 Aldebaran

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 02:49 PM

Hi,

I just happened to surf on this excellent site again, and I noticed this thread! If you are interested, you can see my modest sketch of Double cluster here

#20 WadeVC

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 02:56 PM

Hi,

I just happened to surf on this excellent site again, and I noticed this thread! If you are interested, you can see my modest sketch of Double cluster here


Nice lookin' sketch there Aldebaran! :waytogo:

#21 CarlosEH

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:30 AM

Thank you all for your excellent observations (and tutorials) on the infamous Double Cluster (NGC 869/884) in Perseus. They all capture this pair beautifully.

Carlos

#22 frank5817

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 12:56 PM

Wow, These really are quite nice. This sequence of tutorials has been very informative.

Frank :)

#23 rodelaet

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 03:54 PM

Dee & Aldebaran : great sketches!! :waytogo:






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