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Jan 2008 Sketching Target: M41

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#1 LivingNDixie

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 02:03 PM

The open cluster M41 will be the first target of 2008 for the sketching forum. M41 is easy to find as it lays about 4-5 degrees south of the Sirus. The cluster contains about 100 stars. I have seen the cluster easily from light polluted backyards in Las Vegas NV and Birmingham AL. You can learn more about M41 link.

Can't wait to see some sketches and remember to include:

- 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


#2 WadeVC  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 02:09 AM

Whew...I got this finished with only a few days left! I was able to observe M41 (NGC 2287) on Jan. 18th (early 19th), the ONLY day so far this month that has allowed for any sort of observing.

I was actually quite surprised at this OC that contained quite a few star-chains that only brought more interest, complexity and beauty to this jewel of the night-sky residing within Canis Major. I was fortunate in that my one night of observing was extremely clear and steady, allowing for some great observing of many of the fainter stars within this region.

This sketch, like all others, started out with a plain ol' mechanical pencil, a #2 pencil & paper (my sketch book). The original sketch was then scanned into and digitized in PhotoShop CS3.

According to my observing notes, I spent a total of 1-hour & 10-minutes at the EP sketching and observing this OC. The longer I gazed at this OC, more star-chains and fainter stars seemed to slowly emrge from the inky darkness. I do rememebr having to stretch a bit after observing and sketching this one.

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#3 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 11:47 AM

I've barely been able to get out for any observing this winter. But I do have an M41 sketch from three years ago. It really is a huge open cluster and resolves very nicely in binoculars. The sketch below was made with an 6" f/8 Newtonian at 37.5X for a field of view of 88 arc minutes (the drawing is mislabeled and should say 1.4 degrees).

I was taken by the number of orange stars that blazed in the cluster and marked those on the sketch. Actually I made this sketch during a period when I was experimenting with ways of noting star color without spoiling the drawing. I cut out a square of transparency film (the kind used for overhead projectors). I then taped that along one edge so that it overlapped the sketch. Then I used Sharpie markers to draw colored dots over the stars that displayed color. I did that with a few sketches before deciding it was too much of a pain to deal with. Now I just lightly pencil in a symbol next to the colored stars (O=orange, Y=yellow, etc.).

After scanning and inverting the pencil sketch, I use Photoshop to add color to the stars I noted. I've changed my color application a bit too since I produced this sketch, which I think looks too 'flat'--the stars don't come as close to imitating that sparkling glow like they do in the eyepiece. These days, I try to soften the edges of the stars a bit and keep the centers nice and bright. That causes the color to show around the softened edges while the center stays white.

Beautiful sketch, Wade. The differentiation in star weight really adds that sense of absorbing depth you can feel at the eyepiece.

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#4 Dan Chalmers

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:40 PM

So, a first go at posting a sketch...
This is M41, redrawn using sketches taken over three nights this January using my 76mm f/9.2 reflector and an Antares W70 19mm eyepiece. The sketching was done with a mix of 2H, 2B and 4B pencils and a blending stump. My scanner didn't really pick up the unresolved glow I sketched in, so I've put that back (slightly clumsily) with the gimp and the trackpad on my laptop!
I only really saw the redness in the one star on one night - the one when the moon was interfering most with the rest of the view!

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#5 ngc2289

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:03 PM

A very nice sketch indeed!!!!!!!!!! :bow: :) :bow:

#6 unleaded55

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:40 AM

So, a first go at posting a sketch...
This is M41, redrawn using sketches taken over three nights this January using my 76mm f/9.2 reflector and an Antares W70 19mm eyepiece. The sketching was done with a mix of 2H, 2B and 4B pencils and a blending stump. My scanner didn't really pick up the unresolved glow I sketched in, so I've put that back (slightly clumsily) with the gimp and the trackpad on my laptop!
I only really saw the redness in the one star on one night - the one when the moon was interfering most with the rest of the view!


Very nice sketch. Your scanner might be able to pick up the "haze" or shading by going with more contrast and resolution if you can. You'll have to adjust the results in your favorite photo editor though.
-Stu
:)

#7 Dan Chalmers

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:37 PM

Thanks for the compliments.
I think cheap and cheerful multifunction is part of the problem, but I'm planning to experiment some more with the scanner some time. Otherwise I'll need to stay on at work now and then :crazy:

#8 LivingNDixie

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 03:45 PM

Great ones guys!

#9 CarlosEH

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:34 PM

Dan, Jeremy, and Wade

Thank you all for your excellent observations of M41 in Canis Major. This is one of my favorite open clusters in the Winter sky. I hope to observe this cluster soon.

Carlos






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