I spent an hour on this sketch and decided it was time to try a color sketch outside at the eyepiece instead of my usual graphite pencil sketch. I used the shavings from yellow, orange and brown Crayola color pencils blended together and loaded on to a blending stump, then applied after having all the first batch of blended shavings blow away in the wind. Now I know a new use for a blending stump (A little Aha moment in the wind). In addition to frequent telescope vibration, I had to wait for moments of good seeing which only lasted for a second or two but they did appear. For albedo features I used graphite and blue Crayola pencils. When I finished the sketch I put it on a black background using Microsoft Paint.
It is just a lot of fun to sketch this planet but it seems much smaller than even 2 weeks ago.
I could see a much reduced North Polar cap and the large stretch of Amazonis south to Mare Sirenum. Trying to resolve any features was extremely challenging. The Martian disc was 8.3" of arc and centered on the central meridian from 112° - 128°. 90% of the planet’s facing side was illuminated at a visual magnitude of +0.4. Mars is now 1.13 astronomical units from earth and although shrinking is still an exciting target at high enough power (greater than 300x).
Crayola color pencil and graphite sketch.
White sketching paper 8" x 11"; HB graphite pencil, blue Crayola color pencil, blending stumps for blending orange, brown and yellow Crayola pencil shavings.
Date 4/14/2010 – Time 1:40-2:45 UT
Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 4mm eyepiece 362 x, 6mm eyepiece 241x
Temperature: 16°C (60°F)
partly to mostly cloudy, gusty winds
Seeing: 1/5 to 3/5