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104 Sketches Plus M51

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#1 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:40 PM

This one will be a little strange...

I attended the All Arizona Messier Marathon last weekend. My goal was to sketch all 110 objects in one night. I wasn't able to get them all, but I did manage to sketch 104.

The full report can be found here: 2009 All Arizona Messier Marathon

It's definitely a different kind of sketching experience. I printed my templates on 90# Index paper so they'd hold up to a lot of shuffling, dropping, wind and the slim potential for dew. I planned to work small: 1.5" diameter circles, and that allowed me to fit 20 drawings per page. I worked with an HB pencil, blending stump, clipboard and my red Frankenlight.

I like to plot as many stars as I can, so I really had to hold back if I wanted to have any chance at completing the marathon. Over the course of the night, I would have to average about 5 minutes per object--including starhopping and sketching. The open clusters in the Winter Milky Way were the hardest to ration. The Spring Galaxies, especially the Virgo Cluster with their sparse star fields and close proximity to each other were the best part of the run.

Poor planning and morning clouds withheld six of the objects from my grasp, but I can say it's definitely possible to sketch all 110 overnight -- if you can find them all. I'll be giving it another try during the next favorable marathon.

Here are the sketch sheets...

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#2 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:41 PM

M21-M40

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#3 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:42 PM

M41-M60

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#4 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:42 PM

M61-M80

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#5 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:42 PM

M81-M100

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#6 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:43 PM

M101-M110

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#7 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:46 PM

I also recently worked on an observation and sketch of M51. They are just a fantastic sight from a dark sky location. I used HB and 2H pencils with a blending stump on Strathmore 80# Drawing Paper for this one. The sketch is prepared in a 5 inch wide circle.

The full report can be found here:
M51 (NGC 5194 and NGC 5195)

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#8 Erix

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:52 PM

Outstanding, Jeremy! I read in the Arizona star party thread that you managed to sketch 104 of them and was hoping we'd get to see the results. Do you have them posted on your site yet so I could see a larger version for a closer view? :bow:

#9 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:08 PM

Thanks Erika :)

I do have them posted at my site, but they are only a little bigger than these. I'm glad you asked though. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in seeing them larger. I'll post the larger versions to my site a bit later.

#10 TenthEnemy

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:41 PM

That's really awesome. I wish I had the patience to do a Messier marathon. It would probably take me a whole year to sketch all of them... which isn't quite fast enough.

#11 frank5817

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:29 PM

Jeremy,

In addition to all the other things you are-you are also quick. Congratulations on achieving this great milestone. :cool:

The M-51 sketch with NGC 5195 is wonderful. The 8 inch scope pulls it in very well from a good sky. You mentioned that you could not fully trace the luminous bridge connecting the pair. Using a 13 inch scope from a good site I could not do it either. Wonderful post Jeremy.:waytogo:

Frank :)

#12 JayinUT

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 10:18 PM

Jeremy,

What an incredible feat in sketching all but 6 of the Messier in a night. I really enjoy your work and love your site and look forward to seeing the larger images over there. I recently bought a certain book on sketching and have been practicing to improve my own sketching, thanks for your contributions. Perhaps in the future I'll try doing a Messier Marathon and sketch them. For now I'll be content for just doing one. Thanks again for sharing these.

#13 Tommy5

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:03 PM

Wow great work, fast and accurate, thanks for sharing.

#14 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 12:56 AM

TenthEnemy, Frank, Jay & Tommy5, thanks for the encouragement! I've also updated the entry at my site to include larger versions of each of the six sketch log sheets for anyone that wants to see those.

#15 varmint

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 12:57 AM

Jeremy,

:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

Of course, based on what I've seen around your site and the forum, I figured you'd have a great shot at trying to get them all. I'm still too clumsy with sketching. It takes me ~20-30 min just to get the star field halfway decent, let alone try to add in a recognizable blob of a Messier object.

With 5 mins an object, it should "technically" be possible to also image each of the Messiers (I thought it would be practically impossible). They should be bright enough that a single 5 min exposure would show enough recognizable features to ID the objects...but you basically only get one chance at each Messier.

but sketching...I'm simply amazed. Maybe someday I'll get proficient enough. Thank you for sharing, I was hoping you'd get it done. :grin:

#16 Jeff Young

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:40 AM

What a great project. Well done, Jeremy!

Cheers,
-- Jeff.

#17 CarlosEH

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:49 AM

Jeremy,

Thank you for sharing your Messier Marathon adventure with us all. You have managed to record the majority of Messier objects very nicely. It looks like you had a lot of fun but it must have been hard work as well. The M51 observation is outstanding as well. You have recorded the spiral arms and companion nicely. I look forward to your future observations.

Great job on the ASOD web site. It is great to see other observers around the world have their excellent observations posted.

Carlos

#18 cildarith

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:17 AM

Jeremy, I have no idea what possessed you to try this, but that is crazy cool and I'm glad you did it (and not me). :bugeyes:

Your sketch of M51 is just superb. Your patience at the eyepiece was well-rewarded. The bridge between M51 and NGC 5195 does get a bit tenuous in the middle. I recall seeing the complete bridge fairly well with my previous (13") scope; through the 6-inch the bridge always gets a little question mark on the field sketch as I can never quite convince myself that I'm actually seeing the entire span. The structure in the spiral arms and in NGC 5195 is also quite impressive - well done. :bow:

#19 Tom Machtemes

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:42 AM

Jeremy,

You got some nice sketches :ooo: :cool:

:thanx:

Tom

#20 rodelaet

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:37 PM

Congratulations, Jeremy!! :bow: :bow: :bow:

My hat goes of for such an incredible achievement. Did you use one scope only?
How did you handle the mental fatique of a full night of sketching?

It sure makes a 'normal' Messier Marathon to look like a silly occupation. :smirk:

Excellent sketch of M51 also. :jump:

#21 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 04:06 PM

Thanks again everyone for the encouraging comments.

While I was racing from object to object, I felt this sort of heightened adrenalin or anxiety or something that kept me going. The couple times I sat down for a snack was when I felt the tiredness start to crash down on me. Under 'normal' marathon circumstances, there's opportunity for a 1-2 hour nap around midnight. I can't imagine how that would work with sketching them all!

Carlos, thanks for the thoughts on ASOD. I'll gladly forward all thanks to Rich for administering it, and to Frank for prepping entries for carte blanche contributors.

Eric, while observing M51, I had a strong urge to 'connect-the-dots' on that bridge. The NE spiral arm on 5194 and the comma-extension on 5195 point right at each other, and my mind really wants to fill that in. But when I really focused averted vision on that area, I couldn't actually place any real structure there. Some nights are better than others though, so perhaps someday I'll confirm a sighting of it.

Rony, I used my SkyView Pro 6LT (6" f/8 Equatorial Newtonian) for everything but M24 which was done with 15 x 70 Oberwerks. I would like to have had the extra aperture of my 8" Dob, but I'm glad I had the equatorial mount. Right-angle sweeping is a real life...uh ...marathon-saver for navigating clouds and twilight! As far as the fatigue...a big thermos of coffee, staying standing up, and watching the sketch circles fill in is what kept me going :)

#22 desertstars

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:01 PM

I dropped by his observing site shortly before midnight to see how this was going. Had no trouble finding him in the dark. I just followed the scent of scorched paper...

#23 cildarith

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:19 PM

:lol:

#24 JuGor

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 10:28 AM

Unbelievable, Jeremy. Congratulations!

#25 JakeSaloranta

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:29 AM

Great project I have to say. I never wanted to do Messier marathon without the sketching part so this for me is the only way to go of course.

The stars seem to be pretty well-placed in the sketches. Details are pretty much missing but that's understandable :)

I still have my personal project that'll be pretty horrible to accomplish:

18.) Sketch 250 objects in one night (stars can't be off more than 5')

Great job!

/Jake






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