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Saturn Apr 20 Exquisite View!

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#1 David Gray

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

I do not realistically expect many more views such as this with Saturn sinking ever lower from here in coming apparitions - but who knows!

More than a suggestion I was getting the Encke features (IAU & 'classical'). I could not, however, get the NPC hexagon.

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#2 PeterDob

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 10:12 AM

Absolutely fantastic, David!!! These are no longer drawings but could easily be mistaken for high-quality photographs. I admire you very much. And... well, for the next couple of years you could always plan your holidays over here of course! :yay:

Cheers,

Peter

#3 Andrev

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:55 PM

Absolutely terrific sketch. Impressive, just like looking at a photo.

Andre

#4 azure1961p

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:02 PM

I think the nicest area in the whole piece is the slight brightening that meets the A ring edge where it sits in front of the globe. That subtle value gives the ring a feel of its thin physicality. My best views of the b ring and its gradient from inner to outter have it smoothed . Kind of like watercolor placed on wetted paper where its a fine dispersion. I think that's aperture related as your b ring and those of images via c14 and the like bring about certain circumferential banding. It LOOKS nice in the 8" all smoothed but it'd be neat if I caught a more defined edge at some point. The detail in temperate latitudes is compelling.

Pete

#5 kenrenard

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

David,
My daughter and I are marveling at this sketch. Absolutely amazing detail. I have read a bit more about Dall-Kirkhams after seeing your sketches. It must be a fine piece of equipment. Thanks for sharing.


Ken

#6 idp

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

Wonderful. Just a small question about the diagonal "bar" you drew in NEB: I've often seen such features in drawings of Saturn, especially very detailed ones where the telescope and the eye seemed to be pushed to the limit (sorry I do not have examples at hand right now).

Do you think what you saw is an actual feature of the planet? Could you see it follow the rotation of Saturn?

Thanks for sharing yet another stunning observation!

Ivano

#7 David Gray

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:06 PM

Most grateful for all the complimentary remarks on here.

Ivano: The diagonal shading/”bar” could well be a causation of the NEB comps. being thicker here and giving an illusion of a dusky ‘joining’; or the boundary twixt two lighter parts of the NEBZ. I saw it with enough conviction to draw it but can’t say that rotational movement was detected or sought – seeing was slowly deteriorating (as indicated) during this drawing up to session-end at 00:40; and I fear I spent an inordinate, futile, amount of time chasing that NPC hexagon (smooth oval to me) i.e. beyond my detection!. Also making sure of the ring A markings. I now see I may have overlooked a a relatively dark spot on the NTB!!

I have seen drawings as you describe: some seem to see these features as sharp ‘ligaments’ but to me always diffuse. Perhaps it’s a vision thing or merely drawing style – safer to stump these in I feel. Perhaps the real features are the lighter areas adjoining/defining them.

My planetary drawings are mainly stump-painted anyhow and reinforced ('tickled in') where required with pencil. Quicker than stumping out inadvertant pencil marks latterly and gets the drawing virtually finished on site - quality-time is premium in my autumn years!

David.

#8 idp

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 03:32 PM

I have seen drawings as you describe: some seem to see these features as sharp ‘ligaments’


Yes, almost canal-like!

Ivano

#9 niteskystargazer

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 05:19 PM

David,

Very good sketches of Saturn April 20th :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#10 frank5817

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:48 PM

David,

Impressive sketching from so far to the north. Impressive detail.

Frank :)

#11 Aquarellia

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:09 AM

Whawww this is the best Saturn sketch I had ever seen ! What a work, your sketch expertise is clearly seen in the result.

#12 David Gray

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:41 AM

Many thanks one and all!

Best Saturn drawings I've ever seen is when John B. Murray used the Pic Du Midi 40" Cass. in the 1970s - I reckon he could out-draw me on his worst day/night! His Pic Ring D studies and superb drawings are in one of the BAA Journals at that time: 1971/'73?

Quote from his report in "The Astronomer" 1971 December (tasty extract!):

"[1971] Oct 8, 02:15-02:45 x750 [40" Cass. Pic] seeing good, with very good moments, Transparency perfect.

A magnificent view, quite overwhelming, The contrast with sea-level observations is quite extraordinary; it is hard to describe just how clear and sharp everything appears......"


David/Dave.

#13 chrisrnuttall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:39 PM

Stunning drawing, I very much appreciate the tonal difference between the A and B rings (not to mention the crisp intensity variations within each ring)

I was out at the same tome as you David, and I experienced for the first time, I think, 'Jellyfish' seeing!
I could just make out a hint of cassini if I tried, and the C ring crossing the disc, but that was it!

The strangest thing was that all the time the rings seemed to slowly gyrate around the disc, wafting back and fore.
I am used to poor seeing either causing blurring or boiling, or various combinations of each, but this really did look like a languid jellyfish, slowly wobbling about in the eyepiece.

Not sure whether it is depressing or heartening to think of you a hundred miles north with a magnificent view!

#14 David Gray

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 11:46 PM

Thanks Chris,

I think your jellyfish seeing must have migrated up to me (thanks!) as mine broke down rapidly as the drawing neared completion. In my case I was calling it 'concertina seeing' as Saturn started oscillating along its length giving a standing-wave effect!

David/Dave.

#15 markseibold

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:02 AM

David

Very impressive artwork. This is one of the finest Saturn sketches that I have ever seen. I have only glimpsed Saturn similar to this through 15" ~ 20" Newtonian optics at Oregon Star Parties in the late 1990's. I have never progressed to quite this level of sketching yet though. Seeing your Saturn sketch now has me encouraged again.

I had to note your mention of "autumn years" and then your site info that you purchased good optics at age 16 when I just graduated from the elementary 1st grade as a very nearsighted 6 year old. Eventually to buy a new 60mm Tasco at age 13 or 14 in 1967 or 1968. The Coulter Optical 10.1" f/4.5 Dobsonian in 1987 is still the best optical instrument that I own.

Although I sketched since age three, I was not serious about it as until a college art major, then not for astronomical purposes until a few years ago after seeing others detailed solar and lunar sketches here.

Now your Saturn sketch has me inspired to return to some serious sketching while it is in opposition- although I am limited to that old 10.1" [257mm] with its never collimated roughly 1/8th wave mirror.

Can you indicate the format size of this sketch? I apologize if I am not familiar with standard regulation template size for technical work. Also is this on a particular drawing paper? I am only familiar with pastel chalks on pastel papers and 100% black cotton pastel paper. I am also gleaning from your exclusive use of the blending stump and agree with your techniques. I should now try to perfect my use of that blending instrument, as I have tended to rush the use of the rough chalk sticks straight to the surface too often. An occasional pastel pencil for detail when required.

Thanks for any further info and thank you for posting this most admirable art work.

-Mark Seibold
Artist-Astronomer
Portland/Sandy Oregon

#16 Asbytec

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:59 AM

Ooppps, there's that "artwork" word again. :)

David, I must say your sketch of Saturn is absolutely the most detailed visual observation I am aware of. My gosh, man, I am excited for you. Wish I could have a view like that, it's almost Jupiter-like. Well done.

What is that diagonal cloud feature?

#17 David Gray

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:26 AM

Mark,

Many thanks.

I am attaching a bitmap of my Excel Saturn data sheet with all the parameters you would need. These are the same as used with my outlines for the official BAA Saturn Report Form; tho’ with this they keep to 50mm for the polar diameter.

Here: http://www.britastro...urn/visrep.html

Below is a reply to idp (Saturn April 4 thread) that should cover what you ask re. paper etc.

My technique: a good HB pencil and stumps (medium & thin). I adopted a method of stump painting some years back and ‘tickle’ in darker features with the HB. To me, why draw with the pencil first then have to blend in the marks afterward. Stump first and much of the blending is done and at the eyepiece; saving time and more retaining the integrity of the drawing with it pretty much finished on site. I am attaching more details, but the reference to Staedtler Mars Lumograph EB pencils is out of date as I find they (& EE) are discontinued now. Replaced with, I think, 8B & 9B graphite. A great shame as the EB takes a fine point and is ideal for Cassini div. C ring, and shadows etc as it has considerably less sheen than graphite – glad I bought a good stock years ago!

Erasers: I do not anymore use kneaded (putty) erasers as with using the stumping technique any putty-residue on the paper will greedily grab the graphite from the stump and leave a virtually irremovable dark patch. I find a good triangular pencil-end rubber perfectly fine and convenient.

Paper: I used to use Ivorex or Bristol Board. But now use Xerox Colotech+ (100 gsm) inkjet printer paper £10 ($15) for 500 sheets some years back; and some years back got a deal on three packs for £20 ($30) and have just recently started on the second. So much more economical than the board; very smooth, white (no yellowing yet!) and damp-resistant outdoors at night. Also gives good prints!

For planets with very delicate diffuse features I prepare the drawing area by rubbing all over in small tight circles with a small wad of tissue or cotton wool. This dulls the tooth making very smooth blends possible. With Saturn I apply this more thoroughly to the rings than globe area. I use small tight circles when stumping also, unless I want to lightly reinforce a faint belt, ring div or such.

David.

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#18 David Gray

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:35 AM

What is that diagonal cloud feature?


Thanks - most kind.

You can see what I said in reply to Ivano re. this feature on my second post here.

David.

#19 Asbytec

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:12 PM

Ah, yea, I guess it helps to read replies sometimes. LOL Ok, thanks...will do.

#20 Illinois

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:07 AM

Really? Too perfect! Well, thats best drawing of Saturn I ever see! Ring is very hard to draw accurate! Great job!

#21 markseibold

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:08 PM

David

Thanks again for all the info. There is allot of details for me to assimilate as I have not done a serious Saturn sketch in about three years now. I have been accustomed to only use 100% cotton black 14 pound pastel paper [board] in 22" X 30" or 32" X 40" allowing a very large subject image. So perhaps you'll have me experimenting with a new paper soon.

After seeing others sketches and yours again this afternoon, I am really encouraged to try again, possibly tonight as Portland is miraculously seeing a summer weather trend now.

Mark Seibold
Portland Oregon

#22 ericj

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:23 AM

Hi David,

Another wonderful set of sketches that show a remarkable amount of detail. :jump:

I was observing Jupiter and Saturn recently and although the seeing could have bee better it was nice to see them again.

Best,

Eric Jamison

#23 azure1961p

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:24 PM

It is terrific. I never get tired of revisiting this drawing .

Pete






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