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M31 Andromeda Galaxy Impression Over Many Years

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#1 markseibold


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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:03 PM

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I started this rough sketch of M31 on black Strathmore 500 Series paper while I was providing a lecture on my pastel sketch art at Goldendale Observatory Washington in late November 2007. I still consider it as a rough unfinished impression from over twenty years of observing through a 10.1” Newtonian reflector.

It remained in my portfolio unfinished as a few mere scratches of cream colored pastel chalk dragged or scumbbled across the paper. The galaxy was sketched at about 17 inches in diameter. I never finished it or refined it until today as I needed to add some deep sky objects to my many lunar and solar sketches to my lecture I will provide tomorrow to a college class about the effects of sketching while observing. I added the grey 15 inch diameter circle today of what is roughly the 32mm Plossl eyepiece field of view for reference with M32 and M110 just making it into the edge of the field at either side. My favorite dark blue-grey hard Swan Stabilo carbon pastel chalk was used for the light extension seen just beyond the seconf dust lane. That chalk is an antique I cannot replace as I only have a piece left now, a chunk of about a one inch measure rememaining. It was difficult not to leave the overall impression as an ethereal wash of diffuse light but instead to render the subtleties of the dust lanes, general observed shape from a dark sky and respective companion galaxies to evoke a more impassioned impression to inspire new students to the telescope to observe and possibly sketch as I plan to talk about the experience tomorrow in my lecture for those who have never observed a galaxy yet through a medium reflector telescope.

It is more an impression from memory of observing the Andromeda Galaxy over many years. Note that I have placed only a few stars in the field for position reference today as I checked this against photographs. Also, I placed M32 and M110 (NGC 205) originally from memory only when starting the sketch on a whim two years ago. So I may have the size and position ratios of the companion galaxies off a little. The view is through a 32mm Plossl producing about 35X in my 10.1” f/4.5 Newtonian reflector.

I still remember the first time I saw the Andromeda galaxy through this telescope from my dark sky home location 20 miles east of Portland Oregon just after receiving the telescope from Coulter Optical in late October 1987. I was stunned to see two dust lanes on one edge of the galaxy disc for the first time in my life, previously viewing through only a 60mm Tasco refractor.


My CN Sketch Gallery, with some awarded and published astrophotography

#2 CarlosEH


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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:03 AM


A beautiful and accurate observation of the infamous Andromeda Galaxy (31) with it's companion galaxies (M32/M110). You have recorded the dust lanes very nicely as visible in your instrument. The dust lanes stand out using large aperture under dark skies. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#3 Jeff Young

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:11 AM

Lovely sketch, Mark.

Cherish those memories -- this planet seems to be getting more and more lit up by the hour.

-- Jeff.

#4 frank5817



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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:41 PM


This is quite an impressive sketch. It is thrilling to examine this galaxy and your sketch of it. :bow: :rainbow:

Frank :)

#5 markseibold


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Posted 16 April 2009 - 02:33 PM

Thanks Carlos, Jeff and Frank,

I wanted to do this piece as a compromise- similar to actual yet inspirational for new observers. Yet as I searched the web for others sketches of it, I was pleased to find a beautiful rendering of M31, that being Jeremy Perez's image and that he stated that he displayed one and then later refined it.

I have found that it is dificult to render a DSO in the web screen (yet alone to accomplish a good photograph of the art work) with any integrity to the actual observational experience.


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