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Saturn 2013 04 27

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#1 chrisrnuttall


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Posted 28 April 2013 - 11:16 AM

Hello all.

Here is a drawing of Saturn I made last night.
As a bit of an experiment I decided to try taking all my drawing things outside and setting myself up at the eyepiece to do the entire drawing outside.
At one point I thought that I might just record some colours at the eyepiece and I decided to use cartridge paper instead of my usual velour, but after just a few minutes I realised that I was going to get a far better idea of the fidelity of my marks on paper if I actually coloured the disc of Saturn.

What really surprised me was the amount of Terracotta I had to use on the 'yellow' areas of the disc to get the ballance right, and also how much colour the rings display.
I have always used a white light for sketching because it preserves the colour vision in your eyes, but using a very bright daylight desklamp on an A4 white drawing pad, and spending several minutes at a time looking at it whilst doing the entire drawing at the eyepiece, meant that the colour I could see in the eyepiece was noticeably richer than I am used to.

The seeing was very poor and there was not a lot of detail to record, but I did manage to see a bright 'white' zone running through the equator of the disc, a broad rich dark NEB and a thin flash of a 'white' collar around the polar region.
The drawing has been cut out, had limb shading added, and a bit of smoothing this morning before being mounted on black cartridge paper and scanned. But essentially it was all done last night in the back garden.
I am quite pleased with the result and I think the colours are more faithful than many of my previous drawings, although I am not sure about the pastels on the cartridge paper; blending colours is OK and you can keep adding another hue and removing the pigments if they are too much, but I am used to velour paper now and I found smoothing the pastels to be a bit of a chore.

Anyway, that's enough words I think, what do you all think about the colour rendition and the cartridge paper compared to other Saturn drawings I have done?

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#2 David Gray

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:05 PM

Great effort Chris:

I was out last night and some more of that 'jellyfish/concertina' seeing!

In spite of the conditions (there were brief better moments) the rings looked strikingly bright: Seeliger/opposition effect; making the globe comparatively sombre-hued.

Just wondering, as you obviously have good colour vision; do you ever note the colour of Titan? A couple of apparitions back Alan Heath, Paul Abel and myself noticed it strikingly redder than usual on some dates. We decided on a joint programme to see if there was any orbital-postion effect. Last apparition we got a tantalising suggestion of this but not really enough data/obs'ns to be significant, It would be great if you could add your impressions to ours? We have used filters but I am more disposed to a simple descriptive approach: e.g. Orange/yellowish/pinkish/reddish-orange etc.

Of course anyone else with good colour vision would be great.


#3 Illinois



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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:46 PM

VERY nice!

#4 Jef De Wit

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:47 PM


#5 Andrev



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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:30 PM


Beautiful sketch. Nice coloration.


#6 chrisrnuttall


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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:23 PM

Thanks John, Jeff and Andre.

David, I remember a thread discussing the colour of Titan, I have to say I have never actively looked for it previously but will happily participate this year. I would think that simply observing and drawing the hue at the eyepiece will provide an accurate enough record, especially if the hue of Saturn is recorded at the same time by way of a datum point, eg. if Saturn looks a bit more red since the last observation too, then it could be observer perception, or perhaps some effect of earth origin, but if Saturn is unchanged then it could be a genuine colour change on the satellite.

BTW I did have moments of concertina-jellyfish too last night, I think I need to stay up later and let Saturn get a bit higher up, it's just a bit tiring though!

#7 niteskystargazer



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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:56 PM


Very good sketch of Saturn :).




#8 David Gray

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:15 PM

Thanks Chris,

If you don’t mind I’ll send a pm detailing what ‘might’ be going on.

Obviously had there been any radical reddening of Titan physically the Cassini team would have picked it up. If it is a real effect I had to consider what within the Saturn system may have caused this. One tenuous (clue there!) possibility remains; and the Cassini probe might be too close to spot it; tho’ have been told they work close to their chests on some things?!

This is the wrong place, however, to go into the considerable details – and a thread elsewhere premature I feel – and in light of recent events I would be disinclined to instigate one!!.


#9 kenrenard


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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:11 PM

Beautiful sketch. You sure show some nice detail. Seeing here last night was a bit tricky but I did see some shading which for how low it was at the time was good. I am amazed at the detail you, David, and Paul get in the drawings. I was happy to get the division and some shading. I guess it going to take more practice.

I like all the observing details you have added. It's helpful for this planetary beginner. Great work.

I look forward to seeing more of you sketches.
Clear skies


#10 idp



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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:28 PM

Beautiful drawing! And something I may hope to get close to, with more observing and practice.

Just wondering, as you obviously have good colour vision; do you ever note the colour of Titan?


The Italian astronomical union had a program for the monitoring of Titan's color, by comparing the brightness of Titan in blue and red light. Don't know if others did something similar. A certain number of observations were actually collected through several years, though I don't know how many exactly and never analyzed them. The archive is at my parent's place and I'll be there next month, I could take a look if you think it's worth it.


#11 frank5817



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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:34 AM


Love the sketch of Saturn. The colors and feature details are beautifully done.

Frank :)

#12 cpl43uk



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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:34 AM

One of the best sketches I have seen on this or any other site and a thoughtful summary of the observation itself.

Personally my own observation of Saturn on Saturday showed how difficult it is to get consistent clear seeing given its low vantage point even as it crossed the meridian. I certainly agree that the planet and rings were of a similar colour.

A great post!

#13 markseibold


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:56 PM


Beautiful sketch and detail. You, David and others here really have me inspired now. May I use your sketch as a template? I may go out tonight and try my first serious sketch of Saturn in over three years. It will be an undertaking as I work exclusively on 20" X 30" or 32" X 40" 100% cotton black pastel paper. The planetary disc will be at least 7" ~ 12" in the sketch.

Incidentally, I always see Titan as a brilliant 8th mag rusty orange star in my 10" Dob and point it out to first time observers among the other fleeting specks of starlight from Saturn's other moons that we glimpsed a few nights ago. Another local club member here will set up a 16 inch Dob that has as a mirror figured well to at least 1/10 wave. I may try to sketch through that scope instead of my 25 year old Coulter 10" Dob.

Thanks for posting,

Mark Seibold
Portland Oregon

#14 azure1961p


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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:16 PM

I don't think Im being terribly illuminating here but what I noticed with Titans tawny color is that it materializes and snaps to in the good seeing moments then pales a but and reconstitutes seconds later - depending on conditions. I love that I can look at satellite flyby pix and agree with the color!

Chris: I prefer the smoother texture if the other paper - the velour paper if I recall correctly. This is a beautiful drawing and competent observation despite seeing but I preferred the smoother texture of the velour.

Ok - jus chiming in!


#15 chrisrnuttall


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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:02 AM

Do what you want with my drawing, I hope yours turns out well for you!

Thanks for the opinion, we can always rely on you to be honest, I think I prefer the velour paper too so I will revert to that next time and do another comparison.

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