A sad time has befallen our hobby with the passing of Neil Armstrong. I never imagined as a little boy that I would be writing a tribute to him. And these words are not easy either.
Last Saturday night I managed a session with a good mate, both of us sketching the Moon. We never could have imagined what was happening on the other side of the world at the same time. What had been a very productive and happy time turned into a sorrowful one in a few short hours.
From my last sketch, I was determined to focus on the area around either one of the poles. Whatever took my fancy would become my subject. The spectacular crater Moretus caught my eye, and two hours later the sketch below appeared.
What most impressed me was the shadow flooded crater floor with its brilliantly white, massive and tall central peak surrounded by the silent blackness. Careful inspection showed a terraced internal crater wall, highly textured and fractured, as well as very crated too.
The whole scene was very dramatic with the foreshortened lunarscape, long, long shadows, and an impressively long leading edge of singularly illuminated peaks far beyond the terminator proper. By the time the main body of the sketch was done, I just couldn’t finish it without adding the position of the south pole and an extension of the south east limb with the irregular ‘horizon’ of the Moon.
This sketch will forever be a “remember where you were when…?” occasion with the passing of Neil Armstrong.
Neil, every time I look through a telescope, I become an astronaut too…
The world has lost a true hero. Humble, graceful, peaceful.
Object: Crater Moretus to South Pole
Gear: C8, 8” SCT
Gear: 9mm TMB Type II Planetary, 222X
Date: 25th August, 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: Soft pastel, charcoal, white ink and china graph on A5 size black paper.