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May11 CN Imaging/Sketching Contest Submissions!

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:46 AM

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 Michael11


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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:54 AM

This is my submission of a sketch of M13 - the Great Hercules Cluster. The drawing was made in Negev desert, while I was observing with my 8" Newtonian.
Sky transparancy was excellent (~6.8m), and M13 showed rich detail - including star streaks and dark filaments. Among them the famous "propeller" could be easily spotted (slightly right from the cluster's center in this sketch).

Object: M13 - glubular cluster
Telescope: 8" Orion Skyview pro Newtonian
Eyepiece: 5mm Vixen LVW, at 200X
Time: 6.5.2011 , 24:00
Location: Negev desert, Israel
Inverted graphite pencil sketch on a white paper.

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#3 nunciusaustralis


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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:23 PM

This is a sketch of IC 2944 . On a urban area.

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#4 IVM



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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:31 PM

M101 as I saw it from Cherry Springs (Pennsylvania) on May 5, 2011, through my 16" Dobsonian at 225x. Re-drawn digitally from the original in ball pen. Using a pressure- and tilt-sensitive digital pen tablet and software tools allows me to reproduce nebulosity more faithfully. Using a ball pen at the eyepiece to record the essential positional and contrast information in the schematic original helps preserve my dark adaptation.

Attached Files


#5 JayKSC



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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:24 PM

I'll have a go for fun. :)

Posted Image

Scope: Celestron 150mm achromat refractor
Field sketched with 10.5mm Meade Research Grade Orthoscopic (114.3x). Globular cluster's (M3) details sketched with combination of 10.5mm RGO + 2x Barlow (228x) and Meade 18mm Super Wide (Japan) ocular + 5x Tele Vue Powermate (333.33x). No filters used.

Sketched in good suburban conditions, NELM 5.5 to 6.0 zenith. Sketched with good quality (30lb) cotton paper, various pencils. Image inverted using Paintshop Pro and adjusted for contrast. Slight color alteration for the cluster to match how it appeared to me (slightly blue).

- Jay
South Florida

#6 Jeff Young

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:22 PM

The dim "star" at the cross-hairs of the two lines is the quasar Markarian 205. The foreground galaxy (which just happens to be between us and the quasar) is NGC4319.

Sketched through a 16" f/10 Mak-Cass from County Louth, Ireland on April 7, 2011. Black pencil on white paper; scanned, inverted and crosshairs added in Photoshop.

Attached Files


#7 starquake


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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:38 PM

Here's my entry for this month's contest:

M82 - Cigar galaxy

Date/time: 2011.05.26 23:00 UT
Equipment: 12" f/5 Newtonian
FoV: 11'
Magnification: 300x
Seeing: 9/10
Transparency: 4/5
SQM: 21.22m/arcsec2, 10°C
Location: Nádasdladány, Hungary
Media used: copy paper, graphite pencils B, 5B and 8B
Finished by the eyepiece, scanned & inverted.

Observation log: A surprisingly excellent seeing calls for a high-magnification study. As Saturn is just below my horizon, I decide to pick a rather complicated structure: the irregular Cigar galaxy of the UMa constellation. Thanks to the 300x power, the FoV is coal black, the galaxy is so bright that it actually ruins my dark adaptation, faint stars sparkling at the edge of averted vision visibility. Too bad, that the galaxy itself is located on a rather light polluted part of my sky, but it still shows plenty of structures. During the observation, I had my second magneto-acoustic meteor experience in my life: this is the phenomenon when you actually hear a swishing or crackling sound at the same time the meteor flares in the atmosphere. The common part in both cases were that I was standing VERY close to a wire mesh fence, and a <0 mag meteor in the zenith, with a definite ionized tail.

Posted Image

#8 lunar



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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:17 PM

Here's my entry:

M99 (NGC 4254)

Date/time: May 24, 2011
Equipment Used: 10" Orion Intelliscope Reflector
TFOV: 0.29 degrees
Magnification/eyepiece: 200X/6mm TMB Planetary II eyepiece
Transparency: 2/5
Seeing: 1/5, better than usual. Limiting visual magnitude was around 5.5-6, maybe even fainter

Overall, this was a highly-detailed object viewed. I was surprised by what I could see in the eyepiece with this galaxy. It also had a low surface birghtness, which made teasing-out more detail a hard thing to do.

Attached Files


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