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Feb09 CN Imaging/Sketching Contest Submissions!

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 12:53 PM

Welcome to the Cloudy Nights Imaging/Sketching Contest!

Over the years, we’ve noticed we have some exceptional talent in our forums, and we’ve decided that we would like to show it off. Each month our readers will choose an overall winner, and that photographers image will be displayed on the front of CN for a month. The winner will also be awarded an official Cloudy Nights t-shirt courtesy of Astronomics.

How to enter:

Please visit our forums and submit an image/sketch in the appropriate forum, each forum will have a "sticky" thread called "Imaging Contest Submissions".

Images may be submitted to the contest threads in the following galleries:

Beginning Imaging
Film Astrophotography
DSLR and Digital Camera Astro Imaging and Processing
CCD Imaging and Processing
Solar System Imaging and Processing

Moderators are listed by the forum name, and additionally their name or handle appears in green. Please contact them if you have any questions.

Each month, 6 images will be chosen from each gallery for the readers of that gallery to vote on. The winner will be placed in a site wide poll for our users to determine which is an overall winner.

See the individual forums and moderators for additional details and questions.

Rules are subject to change without notice.

Contest Rules:

1. Images submitted in a particular forum must reflect the focus of that particular forum.

  • Entries in the DSLR forum must be images captured with a Digital SLR or digital camera
  • Entries in the CCD forum must have been captured with a dedicated astronomical CCD camera
  • Entries in the Film Astrophotograpy forum must have been captured with a film camera
  • Entries in the Solar System forum must be of subjects within our solar system
  • Entries in the Sketching forum must be an image of a sketch
  • Entries in the Beginning Imaging can be of any astronomical subject as long as they are captured with a camera of some sort and do not violate any other rules.
2. In order to provide a level playing field and to encourage participation by novice imagers, entrants in the Beginning Imaging forum who win the semi-finals poll in the CN Imaging Contest a total of three (3) times - or who win in the finals regardless of the number of times they have won the semifinals - will have demonstrated sufficient proficiency at astrophotography to no longer be considered a "beginning imager". Such an imager will be considered to be a "graduate" of the Beginning Imaging Forum, and are encouraged to compete in the other imaging or sketching forums. The exception to this rule will be in the case of an entrant who wins the semi finals poll in Beginning Imaging as an uncontested entrant. An uncontested winner in the semi-finals will not have their win count toward their "graduation" as a beginning imager unless they also win the overall contest.

3. Entrants may submit an image for consideration in only one forum participating in the CN Imaging Contest. Entrants submitting images in more than one forum must choose a single forum to enter in or else all submissions from the entrant will be subject to disqualification.

4. All entries must be captured within the same season as the contest. For example, if the subject was Orion Nebula, than any photo captured during this particular winter (or period that it was visible) would qualify for the contest.

5. Please include the equipment used to take the image. Scope/Mount/Camera/Focal reducers/Barlows...whatever, as well as your name, the time / date and your location.

6. Entries are limited to absolute maximums of 100,000 bytes in file size and 800 pixels X 800 pixels square. Entries that do not meet this criteria will be disqualified.

7. Links to any other versions of contest entries are specifically restricted and will subject the entry to disqualification if included.

8. There will be a separate sticky thread for Contest entries. Please do not post comments in the entries thread its just for these wonderful images you all will be submitting.

9. The equipment must be yours. Doesn't matter what it is. 20" RC, ETX70, 2" Tasco or an 8" TMB.

10. You must be the owner or co-owner and operator. You must setup, align, take the exposures and process them yourself. No pay by the hour rent-a-scope images will be allowed.

11. A given user can only win in the finals once every 3 months.

12. Voting for the individual polls posted in the forums will be no later than the 5th day of the month. Forum voting takes place from the 5-8, finalist pictures / poll is posted no later than the 10th, and voting takes place from the 10-15. Finally winners are posted to the front page on the 16th of each month.

#2 varmint


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Posted 24 February 2009 - 07:22 PM

Constellations over Sedona Rocks in the morning

Observing Info:
Naked Eye
Feb 18, 2009, 3:30-4am MST in Sedona, AZ.
Transparency was above average
Seeing was average
Temp was about 40 deg F.
Light periodic wind and some thin high clouds wafted through from time to time.
Location was in an empty field off of Highway 89 in Western Sedona.
NELM around 5.3-5.5 at the time of observation. The 1/8th crescent moon had just risen in the east in Scorpius, contributing some light pollution. The Milky-Way was not visible.

Sketching details: raw sketch was graphite on engineering paper, focus was on the silhouette of the mountains, even in the dark there were two prominent shadows visible on the main rock formation (Capitol Butte I think is it's name) that I roughed in on the raw sketch. I also focused on star placement of the constellations. Many constellations were visible, and I focused my effort on identifying most of the visible stars. During the generation of the raw sketch I just happened to witness a meteor streak through the field I was sketching, so I captured that as well.

Final sketch used Navy Blue acid free cardstock, a combination of graphite and black charcoal for the mountain silhouette (started with graphite and found it was too shiny, so added a layer of charcoal and used a blending stump to smooth out the silhouette), white charcoal pencil for the stars.

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#3 frank5817



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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:25 PM

M42/ M43 Orion Nebula and Its Companion

Everyone that has taken a telescope or pair of binoculars outdoors to view the heavens on a clear winter night in the northern hemisphere has seen the Orion nebula. It is that fuzzy star in the middle of the hunter’s sword. M42 the “Great nebula” is a stellar nursery and emission nebula that shines as bright as a 4th magnitude star while its smaller companion on the other side of the intervening obscuring dust is M43 shining at 9th magnitude. Soon the nebula will be past the south meridian point before it is fully dark. So now is the time to take your last good looks before it’s too late; spring will be here soon.
On this night I decided it was time to try and make a sketch of this winter gem. I have made a few crude sketches in the past and know this is a tough target to capture as it appears in the eyepiece. I started by sketching the stars and lightly outlining the bright parts of the nebula with a 2H pencil. After much erasing and repositioning of stars I shaded in the bright to faint nebula gradually until it looked to be a reasonable match to the eyepiece view. After two and a half hours I consider the sketch finished. Averted vision helped with the outer faint regions.
It was a slow process but a fun challenge at the same time.


Date and Time: 2-15-2009, 1:10-3:20 UT
Scope: 10” f/5.7 Dobsonian. 21mm Hyperion eyepiece 69x
8”x12” white CCP sketching paper, 2H, B, 2B graphite pencils, blending stump, erasers, scanned and inverted, contrast and brightness were slightly adjusted at the scanner
Temperature: -3 °C (26 °F), calm
Seeing: very good Pickering 8/10
Transparency: good 3/5

Frank McCabe

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#4 markseibold


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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:04 PM

Posted Image

After observing a light shaft in the crater Grimaldi Saturday night February 7th 2009 in early evening at Cannon Beach Oregon through my Celestron Nexstar 5i and rendered a rough sketch in ball point on an envelope while showing it to the public at a restaurant; I imagined standing on the surface of the moon in that light. I referred to my rough sketch and rendered a scene studied from high resolution photos of the topical view taken of the terminator at or near the same lunation date.

The ocean air at the Oregon Coast town of Cannon Beach was dead still. Ambient outside temperature estimated at 46 degrees Fahrenheit at 7PM ~ 8PM. The atmosphere had fairly good transparency.

I then duplicated the eyepiece view above from my earlier rough notes and adding all three craters as seen in the general field of view in the eyepiece. Some memory of the live observation through the eyepiece of the Nexstar 5i with use of a 6mm Orthoscopic eyepiece at 200X was also an influence to produce this sketch.

This was the first time I used black Stonehenge paper, very similar to Strathmore Artagain. A sheet of 20" X 25" with use of various pastel chalks, both new and antique used: Eagle Prismacolor, Swan Stabillo and Sargeant. Also new Rembrandt, and Grumbacher and Schwan Stabilo Carb Othello pastel pencils in various shades of white..


#5 Erix


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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:37 PM

Might as well add one too. This was done entirely at the eyepiece. The collage was put together in Photoshop after photographing my sketch (rather than scanning).

2009 Feb 13, 1600UT – 1700UT
Solar prominences in h-alpha, western limb

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA
Erika Rix

DS 60mm Maxscope, LXD75, 21-7mm Zhumell
Sketch created scopeside with black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, white Prang watercolor pencil.

Temp: 3° C, Humidity 60%
Seeing: Wilson 3, Transparency: poor
Scattered, winds 7mph from NNW
Alt: 34.4, Az: 159.2

Approximately 30° inward from the eastern limb, a crescent-shaped plage was seen with a dark dot during my h-alpha observation. No AR was noted in white light. There were a few proms scattered about to the north and south, but the prominences on the western limb really stood out. At first glance it looked like two detached proms, but adjusting the outer etalon and increasing magnification, that section of limb came alive with prominence structure.

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#6 cildarith



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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:44 PM

Object Name: C/2007 N3 Lulin
Object Type: Comet
Constellation: (Leo)
Right Ascension (2000.0): 09h 59.5m
Declination (2000.0): +12° 03'
Magnitude: ~6½
Dimensions: Coma ~15', Tail ~100'

Date/Time: 28 February 2009 • 10:15 – 10:45 UT
Location: Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego Co., California
Telescope: Parks Astrolight EQ6 • 6" f/6 Newtonian Reflector
Eyepiece/Magnification: 7.5mm Parks Gold Series Plössl +2x Barlow • 240x • 13' FoV
Filter(s): None
Conditions: Partly cloudy, calm, 54°F
Seeing: Pickering 8
Transparency: NELM 4.8; TLM 13.7

Paper: 24# Cartridge Paper
Pencil: #2 Mechanical, 5mm lead; blending stump
Scanning & Processing: Microsoft Picture It!

Comments: Finally, here is my first observation of C/2007 N3 Lulin after much frustration with uncooperative weather. A quick look at low magnification (30x) revealed the prominent ion tail, stretching at least 100' sf, while the dust tail was barely detectable as a short, broad fan spreading about 10' or so nf. Nearby Nu Leonis made a very pleasing scene. As is my habit with bright comets, I then dialed the magnification up to 240x to capture near-nuclear details. The weather gave me about 30 minutes to record the sketch shown here before the view was swallowed up by an imposing cloudbank. I was impressed by the sharpness of the pseudo-nucleus and the prominence of the dark shadow following in its wake. I was unable detect more than the slightest hint of the green color others have reported in this comet.

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#7 Charlie Hein

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 10:04 AM

Submissions are closed - good luck in the contest!


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