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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Sketching

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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook
      #6101569 - 09/26/13 12:16 AM Attachment (106 downloads)

Hello!

Been awhile since my last submission (not even sure if I remember how). Observed and sketched SU Andromedae this evening as part of a long-delayed carbon star project through the Astronomical League.

Hope it shows up.



-stray-

Edited by stray1 (09/26/13 12:17 AM)


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frank5817
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/13/06

Loc: Illinois
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: stray1]
      #6101990 - 09/26/13 10:10 AM

Mark,

These carbon stars are always stunning to see at the eyepiece. This one is bright and looks great.

Frank


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: frank5817]
      #6102178 - 09/26/13 11:36 AM

Mark, good to see you back. Your dark skies really pay off, look at all the stars in your FOV. What a beautiful rendition of a carbon star nestled in the midst of them.

Let's see some more sketching, and you're just in time hopefully to get some Jovian observing in during the coming months. I hope so.


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niteskystargazer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/05/09

Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: stray1]
      #6102363 - 09/26/13 01:27 PM

Mark,

Nice sketched of SU Andromedae .

CS,KLU,

,

Tom


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: niteskystargazer]
      #6103454 - 09/27/13 02:35 AM

Frank and Tom, thanks for the comments and, yes, these carbon stars are simply beautiful. My next target is WZ Cassiopeiae.

Norme, yup...I'm back. Good to see you.

Just for the record, approximately 1/3 of the stars in my SU And sketch are AVs (9+ Mag) and really pushing the limits of my eyes and equipment). This entire area of the sky appears empty to the naked eye in Bortle 7. I think this project is going to prove to be quite a challenge as Tristan (2012) has some of the variables listed at 13+. I'll have to hit them at their brightest or I'll miss them completely.

As for Jove: I've already glassed the Big J a couple of times using a Meade Jupiter 60mm that I purchased from Bill Vorce at Telescope Warehouse earlier this year. Additionally, I picked up a couple (25mm, 10mm) Antares Plossl EPs for the same. MAJOR improvement over the "$3"EPs that came with the rig. Not only do the NEB and SEB resolve much "thicker", I am also seeing shading in the NPR. I think I can also detect festoon bases along the S edge of the NEB; not sure though as J is still low in the sky and I am having to observe while standing...not exactly stable...lol.

I think that I'll probably stick with the 60mm during the early part of the season (to train the eye) before switching over to the 90mm. Hopefully, some of the details that I missed last season (e.g., GRS) will become apparent this year.

Time will tell.



-stray-

Ref
Tristan, A. (2012). Carbon Stars. Kansas City, MO: Astronomical League.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

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Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: stray1]
      #6103575 - 09/27/13 07:06 AM



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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6112396 - 10/02/13 02:12 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

WZ Cas has two good things to offer: a beautiful, brilliant golden orange carbon star and an equally lovely azure companion. In addition, it is a very easy find.

About the sketch: When it comes to this particular rendering I admit to "cheating" to obtain the image. For example, the four stars that form a parallelogram in the upper left edge of the sketch were actually pushing toward the outside limit of my FOV. Similarly, the yellowish star (that I believe to be HIP 181) was not in view while WZ was centered in the EP. I simply defied the laws of physics for arts sake and "compressed" them by a few million light years because I believe they add to the overall composition. Finally, the smaller stars indicated by single pixels are AV. There were quite a few more, but I did not have the time (or desire) to include all of them. Lazy.

In terms of my Carbon Star Observing Club Log I will not include these features. WZ, the companion, and that chain of five stars should suffice.

Next Up: SAO 109033. Easy to locate coming off of Algenib in Pegasus. I've already "scouted" it out using 10x50s and AV.

Thanks for looking.



-stray-

Edited by stray1 (10/02/13 02:17 AM)


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: stray1]
      #6112409 - 10/02/13 02:30 AM

Stray, that's another nice FOV. Love the blue and yellow stars in contrast. I think you captured the beauty well.

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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6112435 - 10/02/13 03:16 AM

Norme,

Thank you for the kind words I should have also mentioned that I've "enhanced" WZ and companion for clarity sake. They do not appear so large at the EP.

I am not really sure if this pair constitutes a true binary or is simply an optical. Haas (2006) makes no mention of it; however, Mullaney (2005) describes this as "Dim but striking; red and blue!" (p. 102). If a true binary this is really a treat! Does anyone know?



-stray-

Ref

Haas, S. (2006). Double stars for small telescopes. Cambridge, MA: Sky Publishing Corporation.
Mullaney, J. (2005). Double and multiple stars and how to observe them. London: Springer-Verlag.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: stray1]
      #6112566 - 10/02/13 07:35 AM

I don't know, but Mullaney seems to get the description right as did you. Even enhanced, it shows up "sriking" on my monitor. Is the bright star at the bottom yellow or am I seeing things? Plus, a few other blue stars left and above? What a colorful FOV, much like the first night I observed through my old 18" dob...the colors.

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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6114431 - 10/03/13 12:48 AM

Yes, blue stars to the left and above. I "thought" they looked blue at the EP but was unsure. Ran it past Stellarium for confirmation. Plus, there are a couple of blues in that chain of five; however, did not notice this while observing...they looked white to me.

Stellarium rates the yellow star lower right as pale orange in color, but it looked golden to me. It's color was the main reason that I cheated on my FOV to include it.

I guess I'd best start wrapping my head around star spectral classifications if I want to get this right...lol.



-stray-


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: stray's 2013-2014 sketchbook new [Re: stray1]
      #6114471 - 10/03/13 01:55 AM

And stick to the color scheme, there are no lavender stars, so they argue.

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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
SAO 109003 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6126264 - 10/09/13 01:51 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Finally, some clear skies and a chance to continue with the carbon star project. Was kind of cold and damp and my binos fogged over a time or two but otherwise it was a rewarding observation session.

SAO 109003 was first on the list. All I have to say is, if this particular star was not on the list of required observation I would have never gone looking for it. It is a banal little star in a banal star field. No detectable color. No bells-n-whistles. Nothing.

Next Up: VX And; right up there near M31.



-stray-


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
VX Andromedae new [Re: stray1]
      #6126283 - 10/09/13 02:17 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Following hot on the heels of 109003 comes a blaze of crimson glory. VX And rests to the N/NW of M31 and was well worth the mild discomfort of slewing my rig near vertical and hunching over the EP in my trusty, low slung beach chair.

Orange-red in color with hints of mahogany and brown, VX is sort of dark to the eye but with a subtle hint of daffodil at its core. After the triple-Z (ZZZ) session that was 109003, VX is truly a stellar treat.

Unfortunately, my sketch does not do this outstanding carbon beauty justice, hence I highly recommend you taking a gander for yourself. You certainly will not regret it.

Next Up: AQ Andromedae; also near M31, sort of bracketed between Mirach and Alpheratz.

Thanks for looking!



-stray-

ps--four down; ninety six to go...

Edited by stray1 (10/09/13 02:21 AM)


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niteskystargazer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/05/09

Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W
Re: VX Andromedae new [Re: stray1]
      #6127332 - 10/09/13 04:11 PM

Mark,

Nice sketches of SAO 109003 and VX Andromedae .

CS,KLU,

,

Tom


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
AQ Andromedae new [Re: stray1]
      #6142117 - 10/17/13 12:18 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Hello!

Well, this evening's session did not exactly go according to plan. I had intended n tagging three carbons; however, the first--AQ Andromedae--proved quite elusive. One of the biggest problems was the near full Moon which just happened to be close to my target area near M31. The sky was really washed out making locating thru my 50mm finder difficult. Additionally, there are two (HIP 1996 and HIP 1769) red stars in the general vicinity which added to the confusion. After about an hour and a half of observing, thinking things did not quite look right, trekking into the house to reference Stellarium, trekking back to rig, getting back on target, etc, etc, etc, I was ready to call it quits.

Then, a tiny light bulb popped on over my spinning head, barely visible in the overbearing moonlight. MAKE A SKETCH, STUPID and take it inside with you when you check Stellarium. It worked. Using said sketch I realized that the object in my EP was HIP 1996 and that AQ And was a simple FOV swing to the N.

In the washed-out sky it appeared as a tiny point of color; not red, not orange but somewhere in between. It was one of the most beautiful carbon stars I have bagged to date and worth every minute of frustration it took to find it!

In the sketch below, the color I chose to represent it is "Scarlet" (per Wikipedia: Shades of Red page). After all of the work, I needed something that was actually close to what I observed, rather than arbitrarily choosing a shade of red/orange from my paint pallet. While not perfect, it is pretty darned close.

Technically, this is one of my more accurate observations. What you see below is what you should see if you decide to take a gander for yourself. I highly recommend that you do!

Next: NSV 15195 (Andromedea) and maybe more weather and time permitting.

Thanks for looking!

-stray-

Five tagged; 95 to go. Whew


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: AQ Andromedae new [Re: stray1]
      #6142174 - 10/17/13 01:08 AM

I can see your interest in red stars, that one is "frankly, scarlet..." (ok, ok...)

And you had 9/10 seeing. You dog...

Use your new ortho?


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niteskystargazer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/05/09

Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W
Re: AQ Andromedae new [Re: stray1]
      #6143164 - 10/17/13 03:16 PM

Stray,

Good capture of AQ Andromedae .

CS,KLU,

,

Tom


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: AQ Andromedae new [Re: niteskystargazer]
      #6168336 - 10/31/13 12:06 PM

Wow! Carbon stars?!? Very cool subjects for observations, and I love your presentation with the observing sheet.

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: AQ Andromedae new [Re: Chopin]
      #6175133 - 11/04/13 10:16 AM

Mark, your thread has inspired me to go after these objects. Everyone who mentions this objects describes them as being red...meaning, red-red, not lots of orange with a bit of white, but very, very red. What a contrast in those star fields.

It looks like a great project for weeknights!

I echo Jason's comment that I love your sketchbook-presentation of them.


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: AQ Andromedae new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6175420 - 11/04/13 01:08 PM

Jason, Norme, & Tom, thanks for your comments. Lately it seems like I'm getting cloudy versus clear skies at a 5-10 to 1 ratio and my current forecast indicates another 5 days of clouds after this morning's clear. Not much getting done

Mike, here is a link to the Astronomical League Carbon Star Observing Project: http://www.astroleague.org/content/carbon-star-observing-program It includes a list of the target stars.

Thanks for commenting!



-stray-


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
NSV 15196 new [Re: stray1]
      #6178578 - 11/06/13 02:32 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Tonight presented me with what as been a rarity as of late...fairly clear skies with good seeing and transparency! It was fleeting as I knew they would close just as quickly as they had opened (and they have). Anyway, I went into "commando" mode and broke out the rig for some ad hoc observing (more like taking pot shots between clumps of clouds).

NSV 15196 (Andromeda) has been on my "to do" list for over two weeks so that was my first target. I had to work quickly as heavy cloud cover was moving in from the west. 15196 was directly overhead forcing me to slew vertical. I didn't think that I had time to prepare for a "formal" observation arrangement (i.e, grabbing a patio chair), so I simply dropped to my knees on the asphalt, clipboard, pencil, and red light in hand, and hunkered over the EP.

15196 is another of those "blah" carbon stars. No apparent color; boring. If it wasn't on the Astronomical League's list of required stars I'd never go looking for it. It was just a dim point of light in the EP.

Six down; 94 to go.

Next: W Cassiopeiae.



-stray-


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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

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Re: NSV 15196 new [Re: stray1]
      #6178581 - 11/06/13 02:38 AM

Try WZ Cass while you re there - can't miss the red in that!

Pete


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
W Cassiopeiae new [Re: stray1]
      #6178584 - 11/06/13 02:43 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

I made this sketch within minutes of the previous. Clouds were beginning to interfere with transparency, but I managed to "eek" this one out in good time. Nice little carbon star. Pale orange, but very pretty. That's what I'm talking about

Sketch Notes: the dimmest "stars" in the sketch below are AV. There were a few more to be had but time and transparency were working against me.

Next: Z Piscium.

Seven down; 93 to go (I hope my psyche and body holds out).

Thanks for looking!



-stray-

Edited by stray1 (11/06/13 03:12 AM)


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: W Cassiopeiae new [Re: stray1]
      #6178986 - 11/06/13 10:58 AM

Huh!?! 15196 really isn't all that interesting. Still a great sketch, though.

W Cas, OTOH, is a beautiful little gem. Nicely captured, Stray.


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: W Cassiopeiae new [Re: Chopin]
      #6183995 - 11/09/13 01:50 AM

Pete, yes WZ Cas is a wonderful carbon! That one was my second sketch. It is actually the first listed on AL's list; how they got "switched"...don't remember

Chop, when are you doing to deploy the BIG tube? I'm anxious to see how these carbons appear in a light bucket.

Thanks for commenting,



-stray-


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niteskystargazer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/05/09

Loc: 41-43'-28" N 87-42'-39" W
Re: W Cassiopeiae new [Re: stray1]
      #6184777 - 11/09/13 02:20 PM

Stray

Nice sketches of NSV 15196 and W Cassiopeiae & HIP 4284 .

CS,KLU,

,

Tom


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Z Piscium new [Re: niteskystargazer]
      #6191973 - 11/13/13 01:20 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Hello,

I've modified my template just a little to aid in viewing on a computer screen.

The target this evening was Z Piscium. It actually represents 1/4th of what I was planning on doing. V Arietis, SAO 129989, and W Orionis were also in the list; however, while working on "Z" some clouds and haze moved in which pretty much shut me down. It has since cleared up a bit but it is too late and too cold for any further sketches. Besides that, Sirius is just about where I want it and I'm going to take another shot at collaring the Pup.

Sketch notes: As well as the slightly modified template I have also been paying closer attention to star magnitude. In the past I used a simple method at noting Magnitude at the eyepiece using a basic number system with 1 being the dimmest and 3 the brightest. My new system is also numerical; however, I figure magnitude on the information provided by Stellarium and size my "paint brush" based on this. I think it adds more variety to the sketch.

Next: V Arietis (I just managed to scout it before the clouds and haze started messing with me ).

8 bagged and tagged; 92 to go!

Thanks for viewing,



-stray-


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Z Piscium new [Re: stray1]
      #6205908 - 11/20/13 03:08 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

The following is some crazy thing that is up there in the sky and although I cannot seem to find it in my scope I decided to "sketch" it anyway. I was going to post this in the AstroArt forum, but since I already have a sketchbook going why start a new thread elsewhere.

Based on an image I found on Google. Rendered in Paint.net and Gimp.



-stray-


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: Z Piscium new [Re: stray1]
      #6206083 - 11/20/13 05:07 PM

Superb rendering, Mark! You have a real skill with computer pain programs.

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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Z Piscium new [Re: Chopin]
      #6206543 - 11/20/13 09:40 PM

Thanks, Chop,

My wife and kids bought me a Bamboo for Christmas and I've just now gotten around to using it. I find it much "cleaner" to use as compared to oil paints or chalk. Plus, there are no messy brushes to smack against the legs of an easel the way Bob Ross did

Bamboo doesn't work so well with Paint.net, but with Gimp it does just fine.



-stray-

Edited by stray1 (11/21/13 12:57 AM)


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Z Piscium new [Re: stray1]
      #6206959 - 11/21/13 05:25 AM

Mark, when I first saw that I almost ordered a 90mm astroview.

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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: Z Piscium new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6207077 - 11/21/13 08:24 AM



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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Z Piscium new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6208725 - 11/22/13 02:22 AM

Quote:

Mark, when I first saw that I almost ordered a 90mm astroview.




Norme, why? You don't need an Astroview to see the Bubble. Just go to Google Images.



-stray-


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Venus new [Re: stray1]
      #6234282 - 12/04/13 09:38 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Hello!

Well, it has been a minute or two since my last submission, primarily due to uncooperative skies, but this evening just after sunset I had the opportunity to take a peek at Venus through my 90mm (I work nights so the planet has long since set by the time I get home).

Seeing was not all that good. The image was unstable and rolling, but beggars cannot be choosers. More clouds were on the way. It was good to finally be able to see the planet as its current crescent as opposed to the dot of light that appears in my 10x50s. From what I understand there is a "Y" shaped feature on the planet and I think that I might have detected this as a "smear" of darker color near the equator. Definitely unsure of this.

At any rate, I'm doing what I can when I can on this end.

Thanks for looking!



-stray-


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: Venus new [Re: stray1]
      #6234327 - 12/04/13 10:03 PM

I saw your submission to the thread and expected to catch a new carbon. Then I saw this beautiful image! Gotta love Venus in deep crescent phase. Nicely captured, Mark!

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frank5817
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Re: Venus new [Re: Chopin]
      #6238041 - 12/06/13 07:58 PM

Mark,

You have added several more fine sketches since I was last here. Excellent!

Frank


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stray1
sage


Reged: 09/03/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Juptier new [Re: frank5817]
      #6247513 - 12/11/13 05:18 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Frank & Jason, thank your for your comments on my Venus presentation!

Last evening, I finally had the sky and time to hit the glass. It was cold, icy, and breezy but I was not going to pass it up; especially, after checking Stellarium and seeing that the GRS was in transit.

Seeing and trans were not optimal, but they were not all that bad either. My biggest problem was that Jove was still low to the horizon and I had to observe while standing on shaky legs. A sporadic but stiff breeze didn't help.

While observing, Jove swam in and out of focus, but I did have a moment or two of clarity. The rendering reflects what I saw over 20 minutes or so of viewing, but I should note that all of these details were not apparent at the same time. I basically cobbled everything together while making a pencil sketch at my desk from memory, thus the rendering may not be completely accurate.

My primary goal was to resolve the GRS and I might have done so; however, I am unsure of this. I believe that I detected it, but maybe not. What I think was the GRS appeared as a grayish smudge preceding a rather turbulent area in the SEB. Sometimes it was "there" in the EP; other times, not.

About the rendering: As mentioned, this is based upon memory of details detected at various times. Additionally, I have purposely exaggerated color and structure for clarity in viewing. The template is based on one that Erika Rix posted here a few weeks ago.

Thanks for looking,



-stray-


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6247925 - 12/11/13 09:40 PM

Hey, I missed your Venus rendition. Okay, that's quite good, Mark.

Also, hey, Mark, your Jupiter sketching is getting better as it should with experience. In this sketch you show detail with much more contrast than last season. Maybe it's getting easier or is more obvious to you visually?

Yes, the GRS should be near the preceding limb early in your observation (which is what side? I cannot tell conclusively from the dark southern belt fragment, it can go either way depending on mirror reversal.) I like the way you captured the festoons and especially they way you show the northern hood as greatly extended all the way to the NtempZ and more prominent that the south. That'd be correct, in my view.

We all cobble together those steady moments made over time. Well done, I'm happy for your nice experience with Jove.


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Chopin
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Reged: 02/03/05

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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6247975 - 12/11/13 10:16 PM

That's a good observation for 118x, Mark. I like the coloration. Even though I know it's exaggerated it looks natural to me. I haven't seen Jove in a few days so I can't relate specifically to the features, but that big festoon seems right on to my eyes.

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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Chopin]
      #6248264 - 12/12/13 02:03 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Jason & Norme, thanks for the comments. My apparent increase in sketching skills is a result of using a Bamboo tablet and stylus as opposed to a mouse to generate these renderings. My observation skills are still mediocre at best.

Anyway, on with tonight's adventure.

It had been clear for most of the day, crystal clear in fact. There were a few clouds later in the afternoon, just before sunset, then it cleared up again and stayed that way for most of the night. I consulted Stellarium early and determined that GRS would begin transit at right around 1140 EST my time and would be fully visible around 1215 or so once it cleared that “dead” area near the F limb. At 1115 I dressed in layers, assembled my sketching materials and went outside around 1130.

I set up my rig and found that it would be a perfect “sitting down” session as Jove was just clearing the tree in my backyard. No dramatic slewing, my chair was the perfect height. From 1140-1145 I observed using a 25mm EP, sketched the positions of the moons, and generally allowed my eyes to adjust. From 1145-1149 I observed through a 7.7mm Ortho with yellow filter keeping an eye on the SEB just forward of the F limb. I thought I could make out the beginning of something going on in this area, then...Jove faded noticeably. Initially, I though that I had accidentally breathed on the EP causing it to fog, then I looked up and...you guessed it...clouds.

At first they were sporadic, light and wispy, at times actually acting a filter against Jove's mighty glare. Then they thickened, blotting Jove out entirely at midnight, just when I figured the GRS would become apparent. By 1210 they dominated, so I packed up and called it a night.

Oh, the irony. A TV sitcom writer could have a field day with my observing sessions this season.

Scene 6: Stray looks into his telescope and sees nothing. He leans back and rubs his eyes, then he looks up. Clouds now obscure what only a minute ago had been a perfectly clear sky.

(Cue laugh track).

The evening wasn't a total bust though. I noticed a linear detail that I believe is the NTB. I've seen this before, last season, so I'm pretty sure that is what it is. Additionally, for just a second or two I noticed a definite shading in the southern region. This might be an aberration caused by the yellow filter that I was using, or possibly the STB, SSTB, (S)SSTB, and the S3TB blended together along with the always subtle SPR. Not sure. I might have imagined it. The NPR, NNTB, etc. were unusually vague this evening, probably because I wasn't paying much attention to this area. My primary focus was on the SEB at the F limb, everything else just kind of “popped” at one time or another.

Finally, I've exagerated the color for ease in viewing on a monitor. Also, with the exception of the festoon, the viewer should not confuse any apparent “structures” in the belts and bands as something that I actually saw. These, by and large, are artifacts left over from the blending process in Gimp.

Thanks for looking!

-stray-

PS—I'm not “really” complaining about the clouds. I've had not one...but TWO...nights in a row with Jove. I'm a happy man.

Edited by stray1 (12/12/13 02:14 AM)


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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6248276 - 12/12/13 02:28 AM

Quote:

Yes, the GRS should be near the preceding limb early in your observation (which is what side? I cannot tell conclusively from the dark southern belt fragment, it can go either way depending on mirror reversal.)




Norme, if I am not mistaken I think the view that I get through my refractor is the same that you get through your MCT--that is a mirror image; right side up but reversed.

Could be wrong (usually am according to the wife).



-stray-


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6248300 - 12/12/13 03:02 AM

Hmmm. My north and south are reversed and west depends on which part of the sky. Hope that clears it up.

<cue laugh track and hold>

Your additional sketch is stunning.


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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6248314 - 12/12/13 03:30 AM

Quote:

Hmmm. My north and south are reversed and west depends on which part of the sky. Hope that clears it up.

<cue laugh track and hold>

Your additional sketch is stunning.




If you are looking at an object on the ground--say a utility pole--is the object upside-down in your EP? With my refractor, this would not be the case. The image would be right-side up, but reversed.

-stray-


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6248432 - 12/12/13 07:48 AM

I dunno, can't remember terrestrial viewing orientation. I think it would be right side up but reversed left to right, like yours. That does not seem right, though, maybe it is. Still, celestial objects change depending on which part of the sky and the orientation of the diagonal. Sometimes preceding side is up, sometimes it's down, other times it's more oblique. That's why its often nice to label your sketches which way is north or south and either west or east and the direction the planet is rotating along with the UT and system longitudes.

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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6276582 - 12/28/13 02:56 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Hello!

Just a quick follow up on something that I mentioned in one of Asbytech's Jupiter threads. During the past three or four weeks of cloud induced downtime, I took the opportunity to break down the Astroview and give the baffles a good coating of flat black paint. Additionally, I noted that there was quite a bit of light "leakage" between the baffle's O.D. and the tube's I.D. so I globbed quite a bit of paint into these areas (had to duck tape my paint brush to a pencil to reach the center baffle). When I finished it was as dark as Satan's heart down there. I also noticed that there were some uncoated, raw areas on the objective housing so I dabbed a bit of black on these areas. Finally, I gave the inside of the dew shield a coat or two. I also noticed that the inside of the focuser tube, although factory coated with black, seems to reflect a great deal of incoming light. Although I did nothing to the tube at this time, I am considering flocking it with a thin layer of black felt.

Anyway, tonight I had excellent skies; however, I also had a steady cross wind that denied me any serious observing. Still, the stars have been rare around these parts lately so I decided to go ahead and set up the rig to determine if my "blacking" project had any positive effect.

All I can say is WOW!

Jove was my primary target and it came in clearer than I have ever seen it. The NTB, which usually appears as a half-scratch (see my last sketch above) was detectable all of the way across the face of the planet. Both polar regions were plainly visible...not hinted at...VISIBLE. Unfortunately, the wind was so bad that I only had very fleeting stability, but I swear I could see separation in these areas.

I then slewed over and took a peek at Betelgeuse to make a star check. Previous to this blacking project, diffraction rings were hard for me to come by. I could get them, but only with much difficulty and I still had to deal with weird light aberration even at good focus. Tonight the rings were clean and crisp, much to my delight.

Below is an aberration comparison image that I found online. The example second from the right illustrates what I used to see in the EP before. The image second from the left is close to what I am seeing now. If is like looking through a completely different scope.

Again...WOW!



-stray-


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PeterDob
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6276606 - 12/28/13 04:17 AM

Lovely Jupiter sketch, Stray! Your drawings are the absolute proof that you don't need mind-boggling aperture in order to see quite a lot of detail on this planet. I also love the way you elaborated it, with these soft pastel tones. Very realistic!

BTW, compliments about the telescope. Sounds like you've finally taken off and I wish you a lot of wonderful nights for 2014!

Peter


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6276610 - 12/28/13 04:22 AM

Mark, okay, I am stunned, too. Well done.

Couple of points to note. First, there is no doubt in my mind your blackening project is an improvement. That previously difficult bands are now more easily seen speaks to two things. First, you may well have dampened enough veiling glare (bouncing around your tube) to make a difference. Second, even though seeing was not perfect, some improvement might still be a result of better transparency or other atmospheric conditions. It's so hard to be sure on one night, it'll take time in average conditions to really note improvement that rules out uncommonly good transparency.

I am a little struck by your better star image. It looks like a slight collimation problem was repaired and reduced some flare. That's a big jump in performance, in and of itself. You tinkered with the focuser draw tube, did you tighten it or in any way alter it's alignment? I suspect so and for the better, I might add. Did it have some slop before? I ask because I can't see any other way blackening the tube would fix that flaring.

But, what an improvement, huh? When you can see stuff on Jupiter than you have not seen before, there is nothing wrong and everything right with that. Your scope is performing more as it should.

Really, I suspect your improved observation was related to all three things: blackening, descent weather conditions, and somehow getting a little better alignment. Maybe you can tinker with the focuser draw tube (or replace the focuser entirely) and tweak out the remainder of that flaring. If that was the cause...

Well done, Mark, I can hear the enthusiasm in your voice. Now, you're Jonesing more so, like the rest of us, to see Jupiter, again, I'd bet. That's the down side.


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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6276628 - 12/28/13 04:54 AM

First off, Peter, thank you for your comments on my sketch! Hopefully the blackening project will allow for more detail in the future.

Norme, I have been considering purchasing a Crayford style focuser for the Astroview for some time now. Moonlite (http://www.focuser.com/) carries one for the Orion Skyview 90mm that, according to tech support at Orion, should work with my rig. However, these Crayfords cost around $300 so I'm wondering if it might be better to put that cash aside and save up for a better scope?

As for my current focuser: yes, it has some slop in fit. This is "reduced" by simply tightening a thumb screw...very low tech. I'm wondering if maybe "shimming" the gap between the tube and the focuser body might help? It is a fairly tight fit as is, so I do not know what I would use.


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6276637 - 12/28/13 05:11 AM

Shimming might help and save you come cash (for a 8" Dob, maybe? .) Try some thin tape, like scotch tape. Maybe one strip near the opening on the bottom to hold up that part of the draw tube. Another on the top toward the upper end of the tube to keep that part from shifting up as the back end falls. If it shifts from side to side, maybe a small piece at the upper end will dampen that slop. You can always remove it.

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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6276642 - 12/28/13 05:25 AM

No, not a DOB. More like a 180mm Cas. Saving $300 would put me 1/4 of the way there.

I will try shimming with tape and see what that produces.

Thanks!



-s-


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6276660 - 12/28/13 06:22 AM

Was thinking, maybe a coating of grease? Or if you're good with tools and not shy about drilling holes, maybe drill and tap another screw near the top to push the top end of the draw tube down (or in the right direction.) You mentioned being tight already, there may be little room for shimming. Just gotta look it over and see what can be done.

Does the tightness come from the draw tube or the rack and pinion being squeezed when you tightened it? If you can get the draw tube to run true and fairly free, you're in business.

Yea, wish I had gone bigger with a 180MCT, but happy with the 150.


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Chopin
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6277684 - 12/28/13 05:49 PM

Mark, it's great to see you posting. I'm with Norme, I think the star pattern is a result of collimation improvement somewhere. Whatever caused it, roll with it and enjoy those views.

BTW, if you want a truly killer scope for the money, consider building a Newtonian reflector from the ground up. You could do a 6" with a contrast maximizing secondary/spider design and avoid the cooling issues of a 7" MCT. Don't get me wrong. I dream of a huge Mak (8-10") mounted in an observatory in the backyard. But since you live in Ohio, which is even colder than CT this time of year, you might want to consider cool down times. Norme might have some practical solutions to add.

Ah, never mind, don't listen to me. I'm just a Newt-nut. I've finished two ground-up projects and I'm already designing another.


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Chopin]
      #6278253 - 12/28/13 11:36 PM

Quote:

Norme might have some practical solutions to add.



Buy one. LOL


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stray1
sage


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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6278500 - 12/29/13 04:03 AM

Norme and Chop,

Since the clouds have moved back in, this gives yet more time to take a closer look at the focuser. First off, it is already factory shimmed between the body and the tube; however, there is still a bit a play in the fit...not a great deal, but just enough to allow for some "rattle" between the moving parts. I'll probably go with Norme's "scotch tape" solution to tighten this up.

Another thing that I've discovered is that there are two additional baffles INSIDE the focus tube and these are leaking light as well. I'll hit them with some paint without actually disturbing the factory blacking in the focus tube body.

Also, the focuser end of the main scope tube appears to have been neglected during the factory blacking process. It looks like this end simply received a light coating of over-spray while they were applying the black (paint?) down the front (objective) end of the tube. I'll take care of this with a can of flat black spray paint...weather permitting...my wife would strike me over the pate with a rolling pin if I started spraying in the house.

Also, again, the interior surfaces of the focuser body look like they've only received a light "spritz" of black. Inside there are 7 small, circular "tabs" (that I believe are casting ejection points) that sit perpendicular to centerline of the light path. If these tabs are acting as mirrors to any stray light photons, they may be causing some of the aberration that I'm trying to eliminate by shooting light back up into the main tube. A coat of black paint appears to be in order in this area.

Question: the outer surface of the focuser tube is a matte silver finish. Should I also paint this?



-stray-


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6278506 - 12/29/13 04:16 AM

Quote:

Question: the outer surface of the focuser tube is a matte silver finish. Should I also paint this?



You can, but you're rapidly reaching a point of diminishing returns doing so. You might blacken the outer edge of it, though. It's shiny and with a bright enough light source can reflect of your lens and be seen at the focal plane. It's minor, but since you at it anyway...


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stray1
sage


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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6278547 - 12/29/13 05:19 AM

Norme, I dig.

I am not going to paint the outside of the focuser tube, I am, however, slathering every other appropriate surface with a coat of Melissa & Doug's Black Poster Paint. That way while I sitting in my driveway peering through the EP I can least note an aberration and know what is NOT causing it.

Thank you kindly for all of your advice. It helps!



-stray-


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Asbytec
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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6278552 - 12/29/13 05:36 AM

Hey, when you look up the tube and it's pitch black, that's a great feeling. Well done, Mark.

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Chopin
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6278780 - 12/29/13 09:55 AM

Mark, you mentioned the idea of potentially flocking the tube. If you are interested in what flocking can do, even versus a good solid coat of flat black paint, here you go:

Painted:




Flocked:




I believe in flocking everything that can be easily flocked. it makes a huge difference on bright objects. Especially planets, lunar, and tight imbalanced doubles. I will say, though that doing what you are doing is probably enough to get you 90% of the way there. Like Norme suggests, there is a point of diminishing returns. For me, with the 10", I was going for that last 99.9%, which is why I not only flocked my inner focuser tube, but also added my own custom baffle to match the field stop to my lowest power eyepiece. Do I obssess much? Yup.


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stray1
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Re: Juptier new [Re: Chopin]
      #6280430 - 12/30/13 03:43 AM

Hey Chop,

Thanks for the "day & night" comparison photos. As of right now, when looking down the tube, what I see is comparable to your "night" photo. Keep in mind that I have three baffles in the Astroview (a refractor) and the biggest culprit in this area was light leaking between them and the I.D. of the tube. This leakage is 99.9% history.

The interior surfaces of the focuser body are now coated as well and not throwing back any major reflections under a flashlight. This, in and of itself, "should" knock me a notch or two toward an improvement.

I still have a few dabs of paint to apply to certain areas of the interior of the objective housing, but otherwise I'm done.

You are correct about obsessive. That would be me, but it is now time to call the project "in the bag" and wait for a clear night to test the results.

Thanks to all for the advice and encouragement!



-stray-


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dweller25
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/30/07

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Re: Juptier new [Re: stray1]
      #6280475 - 12/30/13 05:04 AM

Hello Stray,

Just spotted this thread - you have a very nice, diverse collection of drawings. I particularly like the wide star fields you have done.


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: Juptier new [Re: dweller25]
      #6280905 - 12/30/13 11:29 AM

Wow,
There is so much to see in this thread. You have really done some lovely work.


Ken


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stray1
sage


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Jupiter:Mission Accomplished (I think) new [Re: kenrenard]
      #6284892 - 01/01/14 05:52 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Dave & Ken, thanks much for your comments...greatly appreciated!

Being as it was a holiday and I had a house full of guests, the skies decided to clear up for a few hours. I was unable to do anything but a scant few minutes of observing after everyone left.

My goal was to simply check out the results of my blackening project (as described above) and I was not disappointed. Focusing is so much easier now; points of light come in crisper and much more clean. There is still a bit of aberration, but not a whole lot of it. I think that the quality of my Astroview will preclude any more improvement. However, I am quite happy with the results.

Jove was kind of bland this morning but I attribute that to the conditions. N & S polar regions were both very faint. The NEB was thin and only the hint of a festoon was apparent. The SEB was much thicker and appeared turbulent. I found this turbulence to be unusual because I generally only detect it during GRS transits even though in the past I haven't really been able to see the GRS as anything more than a slight, darker widening along the southern edge of the SEB. According to Stellarium, the GRS was not in transit, so I dismissed the turbulence as being something else. But...I kept noticing a sharp cut in the SEB. This cut looked almost like the Red Spot Hollow (RSH) that I have seen in photos and sketches on these forums. Since the GRS, according to Stellarium, was not in transit at the time I simply attributed this "cut" in the SEB as a structure of some type and went on scanning other parts of Jove to see if I could ferret out any details elsewhere. But, my eye kept being drawn to that "cut".

"What the heck is that thing?" I wondered. "It looks very much like the leading edge of the GRS, but that is not possible because, according to Stellarium, the GRS is not in transit".

I stared at it. Something was there, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Then, in one of those moments of lucid seeing, a red oval appeared, clearly separated from the SEB by a "hollow". My heart skipped a beat. "Uh uh, no way," I told myself. "I did not just see that. According to Stellarium there ain't nothing there to see. That was just my imagination (running away)".

Anyway, my wife returned after shuttling some of guests home and it was time to pack it in and help her clean up after the party. Afterward, I made a quick pencil sketch of the morning's observation and was ready to call it a night. Before doing so, I decided to make a quick check of this chart http://www.skyandtelescope.com/skytel/beyondthepage/Great-Red-Spot-Transit-Ta... on the Sky & Telescope website. What I found nearly blew my mind. Whereas, according to Stellarium the GRS was not in transit at the time I made my observation; according to Sky & Telescope it was...at the EXACT time that my observation was made (i.e., January 1, 2014; 0825 UT).

No kidding? Perviously, this wonderful Jovian feature appeared to me as a vague blob, a slight thickening along the southern edge of the SEB. Tonight it showed itself. It waved at me.

I think I'm in love.



-stray-

PS--you mean a little black paint did THIS? WOW!

PPS--ignore any detail in the bands. Blending artifacts in Gimp. I DID not detect any white spots, etc,...just the Great One

Edited by stray1 (01/01/14 05:58 AM)


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Chopin
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Re: Jupiter:Mission Accomplished (I think) new [Re: stray1]
      #6284972 - 01/01/14 08:02 AM

Mark, this is fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! I think it's your best Jupiter sketch to date...and how! You picked up so many things, the base of the festoon at the border of the NEB, the pale rift in the SEB, the horizontal variation of the SEB with that dark southern band. It's all there. Interestingly you caught an ochre hue to the SPR, CA perhaps, or maybe you had some good transparency. I do think I've seen more warmth to it lately so it's an interesting catch. Overall an awesome observation!

After another look at your sketch I see you actually did catch some of the tendril in that larger festoon, albeit faint which is undoubtedly accurate. The EZ has been a bit washed out as of late.

Another thing, I love the representation, you have a nice unique style. Very pleasant to look at. Good colors, too.

You must have knocked your collimation into whack. The blackening definitely improves faint feature recognition. I can't help but think you might have missed some details in the past because of misaligned optics. Of course your observing skills are also getting better with each observation, as is true for all of us. Who knows?!? Whatever the reason you are getting a great view.

I finally feel like you are getting what a well tuned 90mm refractor can offer. Again, nice work, Mark.

Edited by Chopin (01/01/14 08:05 AM)


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Asbytec
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Re: Jupiter:Mission Accomplished (I think) new [Re: Chopin]
      #6285158 - 01/01/14 10:04 AM

Mark, I am floored by the improved view. If that was mostly due to your project, I dunno what to say other than I'm glad you're in love.

I think that is your best to date, too. Now, it's a matter of training yourself to see more. Well done.


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stray1
sage


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Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6319818 - 01/18/14 02:54 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Hello! Where have ye been? Or should I say, where have I been? Buried under persistent cloud cover, that's where.

Had a brief interval of clear skies on the evening of the 15th. Unfortunately, my eyes never adjusted and the features on Jove were mostly blurry. The NEB appeared thin and offered no detail. A couple of festoon bases were detectable. The NTB there at times, but mostly not. There was the usual vague shading in either polar area the S appearing as a faded gold or yellow.

Just before the clouds moved in and obscured everything I noted a pale, russet dot in the SEB. I assumed that this was the GRS beginning its transit, but after checking with Stellarium following this session apparently I caught a glimpse of Europa in transit. The pale russet spot must be its shadow.

I'm a little confused as to why the P limb ended up on the right side of the sketch. Usually it appears to the left. The only thing that I can think of is that I was observing earlier than normal before Jove crossed vertex. My rig was facing almost due east at the time of this observation. Jove was just rising above the trees behind my observatory (my driveway). Ordinarily I am facing S/SW in the wee hours of the morning when Jove is beginning to set. This might explain the difference in orientation. Either that or I am so out of practice that I have forgotten what I am doing. Probably.

Sketch notes: I have embellished all detail and color for viewing purposes.

Thanks for looking!



-stray-


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Asbytec
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: stray1]
      #6319898 - 01/18/14 05:34 AM

Mark, orientation can be confusing and I am not sure how a refractor with a diagonal threats the object. I'd have to google it, but east and west will change direction (from up to down across the FOV and you slew across the meridian) so it's possible the preceding limb will be on the "other side."

I understand embellishing color, but what I look for is the hues and the detail. You captured a lot more of both. The yellow SPR is a little curious, but I'll trust your observation. You captured the blue in the festoon bases and a brownish-red hue in the main belts, and more of a grey NPR. That's about right I'd think for a 90mm aperture.

Either your observing is getting better or your sketching is. Or both, and probably both. There has been a noticeable jump in the detail you render since your blackening mod. And this one is even a leap beyond that.

Well done, Mark. It's quite a nice sketch, and by implication, a great observation, too.


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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6320508 - 01/18/14 01:19 PM

Hi Norme,

Thanks for he encouragement.

I think I made an error in the choice of "yellow" for the SPR, plus it should have been much, much fainter.

This image by Kumamori is more accurate. A brownish, gold hue: http://alpo-j.asahikawa-med.ac.jp/kk14/j140116z.htm



-stray-


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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: stray1]
      #6320585 - 01/18/14 01:54 PM

Mark, this is definitely a great sketch. I love the fact that you include the moon positions in a separate FOV. Brilliant.

As for the orientation, don't fret as it might just be a scenario of orientation "disorientation". I just ran your date/time settings through "Jupiter 2" (I think you should have the date as the 16th, BTW, converting it to UT). I ran it with east/west inversion to account for your diagonal and believe that you have accidentally marked the trailing limb as preceding. "P" should be on the left hand side if you were using a diagonal. I can also verify this by how your moons are situated when observing to the east.

The features you have here are otherwise spot on. TErrific observation.


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stray1
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Chopin]
      #6321598 - 01/19/14 03:09 AM

Jason,

Makes sense. The reason for the date error is that it WAS the 15th my time(EST); however, I am -5 UT. So, it was actually the 16th UT at the time I made the observation.

As for the P/F mix up: following my observation, I checked Stellarium to see what that "spot" was. I thought it was the GRS beginning transit, but Stellarium showed that GRS was not visible. Europa was near the P limb. What I guess this means is that I did not see Europa at all, nor did I detect the GRS. That dot in the SEB in my sketch must have been either a) my imagination, or b) something else entirely.



-stray-


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Chopin
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: stray1]
      #6321809 - 01/19/14 09:09 AM

Mark. You are doing everything right. Your observation seems dead on to me. I think you are unfortunately relying on stellarium, which in my experience lacks accuracy for the Jovian disk. Maybe the moons are accuate, I don't know???

This is the program that I use to verify moon, shadow and GRS transits:

Jupiter 2.0

You can also use this Sky & Telescope Javascript program online:

Jupiter's Moons Javascript


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Chopin
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Chopin]
      #6321838 - 01/19/14 09:36 AM

Here's an animation I made from Jupiter 2 with the times I believe you were observing, Jan 15th 9:50-10:25 pm. I inverted the E-W view to match a diagonal in refractor.



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azure1961p
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Chopin]
      #6321941 - 01/19/14 10:50 AM

Some fine details there - the wavering in the belts is well caught and some interesting color variations. I like your presentation too.

Pete


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Chopin
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6322021 - 01/19/14 11:43 AM

Okay, sorry, but here are some more comparisons. The first answers my own question regarding Stellarium vs Jupiter lunar alignment, which seems close enough. Unless newer versions of Stellarium are different, though, it doesn't verify shadow placement. This is 2014 01 16 22:20 UT:







The next shows how that little spot you recorded...definitely the Europa shadow:



Edited by Chopin (01/19/14 11:46 AM)


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stray1
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Chopin]
      #6322383 - 01/19/14 02:55 PM

Chop,

Thank you for the effort you put into this! I agree, it was definitely Europa that I observed on the 15th...er, the 16th.

One thing that I have determined from this experience is that if I am going to have the gall to call myself an "astronomer" (amateur or otherwise) I had darned well KNOW, in my head, which was is N or S; P or F BEFORE I sit down at the EP.

In my defense, for this observation in particular, I will say that it was not a well-planned session. I noted a very rare opening in an otherwise overcast sky and went for it. As I mentioned in my OP I only had 25-30 minutes of clarity before the clouds rolled in. Ironically, by the time my vision adjusted and vague details began to "pop" mother nature decided that my session was over. She has been tormenting me that way for most of the 2013-2014 season...LOL.

Again, many thanks,



-stray-


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Chopin
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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: stray1]
      #6322623 - 01/19/14 04:58 PM

Hey, this whole thing takes time. I was always confused about my orientation in the early days. It took me a full year to realize that west is preceding. Forget the fact that I was using a dob, so flip N/S and E/W, plus the changing rotation of an alt/az mount. Pretty soon you'll know Jupiter like the back of your hand. It was a great observation for a short period of time. Keep taking advantage of those sucker holes. Looks like the frigid air is coming back, so it should be fun.

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Re: Jove 15 Jan 2014 new [Re: Chopin]
      #6323038 - 01/19/14 09:19 PM

Stray,
That's a good observation and sketch. Nice catch on Europa's shadow.

Jason did a good job adjusting your orientation. It gets easier with practice. With Jupiter you have the additional advantage of being able to easily identify north because the NEB looks so different from the SEB. Then just remember that west (preceding) is counter clockwise from north when looking through a refractor with a diagonal.


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stray1
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Mars! new [Re: Special Ed]
      #6327569 - 01/22/14 02:32 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

Ed, Jason, Pete, and Norme...thank you for the comments/compliments!

This past Sunday evening offered up some clear sky while I was at work and unable to do anything. By the time I arrived home early Monday morning, it was overcast. No biggie, that is just the way it has been working out here lately Anyway, I retreated to what what my wife calls my "mancave" (not really, just a paneled room in my basement where I keep my desk, computer, and a bunch of junk) and dorked around online listening to music on Live365. At bedtime--0430 AM (0930 UT)--I shambled upstairs to retire for the night, pausing only to poke my head out the kitchen door to discover...a bright orange dot hovering just above the tree line! Apparently (and obviously) the sky had cleared up a bit while I was dorking around.

Scrambling, yes scrambling, to the garage I set my rig up to take a peek at Mars. Transparency and seeing were not all that hateful. My biggest problem was with frigid, sporadic winds (I've learned that when my wife's wind chimes are tinkling, is not a good time to observe). But, what the heck. I was just taking a peek to see what I could see. Double heck, forgot my gloves...fingers got real cold real quick.

Observation notes: Mars initially appeared as a tiny, tiny disc about the size of a BB held at arm's length. It took several minutes before I could determine that part of the disk lay in shadow. The NPR appeared as a blob of white, never really in sharp focus, but there none-the-less. I think I also detected a similar, though smaller, detail in the SPR area though this could have easily been an optical aberration. Near what I determined to be the EQ region there appeared to a "smudge" of darker color, but this was an on and off thing. Perhaps I detected it, perhaps not (my wind-driven, "shaky" view prohibits me from saying this was a definite detection). If I did actually see something in this region, using Stellarium and a map of Mars from Sky & Telescope as references, this ambiguous smudge might have been the Terra Meridiani or the Syrtis Major region(s). Or it could have been nothing at all except for my sometimes overactive imagination. Or, maybe, wishful thinking.

Sketch notes: I have sharpened everything in the sketch basically because I was unable to "paint" blobs of swimming color in a way that was pleasing to the eye, thus the sketch is my impression of what I was seeing and does not actually represent what a causal observer might see when looking into the EP. This was a very brief observation, followed by a much longer period of time at the computer trying to sort things out. Also note that Mars is presented here as much larger than it actually appeared in the EP. That was done for the sake of clarity when viewing on a computer monitor.

As always, thanks for looking. Your comments and critiques are most welcome.



-stray-


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Chopin
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Re: Mars! new [Re: stray1]
      #6328213 - 01/22/14 12:10 PM

Here's a comment: Mark, you are crazy for doing this in the current air conditions! The temps, the winds...it's crazy out there. And I bow to your dedication.

As for the observation, very well done I say! You nailed the NPC, the terminator and that dark spot. What exactly that spot refers to is difficult to say. There are a few smaller regions of dark on the globe at the time of your observation. But you should be able to see something there, even if for fleeting moments. I don't think it's Syrtis Major, although I could be persuaded otherwise, given that I am also new to Mars. My best guess is that it's a visual combination of two regions that are acting like tightly grouped pixels and appearing as one spot. Perhaps some conglomeration of Elysium, Trivium Charontis and the northern extent of Mare Cimmerium. Just a guess, though. If the seeing wasn't quite good enough it probably would have been to challenging to split these regions up with such a small apparent diameter.

I do think you have a great illustration of how it appears it the eyepiece, despite your disclaimer regarding artistic liberty. Honestly, I think we are all guilty of such treatments, otherwise it would be difficult to show our ideas in the digital domain.

Keep 'em coming when you can. You're inspiring me to try for an observation tomorrow morning (cold be cursed!!!).


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stray1
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Re: Mars! new [Re: Chopin]
      #6329000 - 01/22/14 05:51 PM

Hi Jason,

Maybe a little crazy, but not that crazy. Last night for example I had crystal clear sky, so clear that I could just make out the Orion Nebula with unaided vision, but it was bitter cold at 6 deg F. Painfully cold. Ain't goin' out there. Plus, I neglected to shovel about 2-3" of snow off the driveway earlier in the day...

I've gone back and reviewed my observation hoping to determine what that "smudge" was/is (if I detected it at all, that is). I set Stellarium to the proper time and date and used its view of Mars as my primary reference. I am of the opinion that even if Stellarium is not 100% accurate with Jove (how could it be with such a dynamic object?), it is probably quite accurate with static features such as those on Mars. I also used a different map found in The Illustrated Atlas of the Universe (IAU, 2012). I tried to find a photo in the Mars section of ALPO but unfortunately no one had posted anything for the 20th.

I agree that if this smudge was a legitimate detection it was not of one feature but an aggregate of several features spread out over a fairly large area. Referencing IAU, the best that I can determine is that these possible features are: Lunae Planum/Xanthe Terra to the N; Bosporos Planum/Aonia Terra to the S; Ophir Planum to the E; and Syria or Daedalia Planum(s) to the W.

All things considered, even with my less than optimal viewing conditions, these features cover such a wide area that it is possible that I detected them--if only as a pixel or two.

Based upon observation reports on this forum (from you, Norme, others) and the trials and tribulations of viewing what are sometimes ambiguous "things up in the sky", I am beginning to trust my eye and my discretion. Although I usually err toward the side of "doubt it", you folks have taught me that if I "think" that I am detecting/seeing something, I probably am. With that in mind (and if there are no objections), I'd like to place this smudge detection in the YES file.



-stray-

PS--Jason, I inspire you to observe no more than you inspire me! Let's hope that this frigid stuff cuts us some slack and offers up some primo opportunity.

Ref

Garlick, M. A., & Tirion, W. (2012). The illustrated atlas of the universe. New York: Metro Books.

Edited by stray1 (01/22/14 06:31 PM)


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Asbytec
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Re: Mars! new [Re: stray1]
      #6329389 - 01/22/14 09:14 PM

Mark, your sketch seems to describe (what I would expect) exactly what Mars might look like in a smaller aperture at very low magnification. I hope that's a compliment of the highest order. Not so much because it was intended to be one, but more an observation that you captured very well what you probably should see. No doubt the polar cap is visible, and you very likely caught some darker feature(s). Mars is 90% illuminated but it "appears" more so to me and you captured that appearance nicely.

Your rendition has that certain glow, that certain windy condition feel to it. It's pretty much what I would expect to observe and how one might expect to observe it...if that makes sense. So, in sum, it's a great sketch and a great observation of a small red planet at relatively low power in windy and chilly conditions. In other words, spot on. You did well, good on you.

Edited by Asbytec (01/22/14 09:16 PM)


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stray1
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M42 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6342291 - 01/29/14 02:51 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

Norme, thank you for the validation of my Mars observation. Big sigh of relief on seeing that "smudge"

Jason, I take it all back...I am that crazy (and stupid too!). This morning it is in the minus category temperature-wise (-6 to be exact) and where do you figure I was? Yup, out on the driveway, trying to balance on a thin sheet of ice, and freezing my fingers and toes off. My wife concurs with your assessment concerning my sanity; any experienced observer will validate my stupidity. Every piece of equipment that I store in the garage was darned near locked up tight. Heck, I could barely get the focus knob on my binos to turn and I won't even mention the glass on my EPs fogging up due the heat from my watering eyes.

At any rate, the sky was simply too clear and brilliant for me to pass up a rare opportunity so I bundled up and ventured out into the polar vortex. I have read so much about the super nova in M82 that my objective was to do a simple preliminary scouting out with the 10x50s and take a quick peek with one of my 60mm scopes. This turned out to be a bust all the way around. Realizing the futility of such an effort (considering the conditions), I opted for an easier target. Orion was blazing over my left shoulder, so I slewed over in that direction. I debated over what to focus on: Mintaka or M42? Since I had already sketched Mintaka last season, and since I had never really tried M42, I decided on the latter. Time was running short as I could feel the heat being sucked from my finger tips through the rather thin knit gloves that I was wearing every time I touched something...

Observation notes: through a 60mm scope using a 25mm EP M42 appeared as a vague, greenish blob surrounding the trapezium area. My eyes were watering up due to the cold so good focus was hard to achieve, still I was able to just make out a few of the individual stars within the nebula. This was not the best view I have had of M42, but still it was acceptable considering the foolishness of my venture.

Sketch notes: experienced observers will note that the sketch is hardly accurate in terms of star placement. I've stretched things out in certain areas and compressed them in others in order to include the most pertinent of stars in the cluster. The nebula itself was apparent but it was nowhere as clear and defined as I have sketched it (its greenish tinge is exaggerated for viewing purposes). I have arbitrarily represented its form and shape. Additionally, there were quite a number of stars up there that I did not include in the sketch (many of them were AV). In less hostile conditions, I would have taken the time to include them, but the cold was taking its toll on me.

Thanks for looking. I might make a more detailed sketch with the 90mm once it warms up to a temperature that is more survivable (like 12 F, or something like that).



-stray-

Edit: same sketch v2: added glow around the neb

Edited by stray1 (01/31/14 04:51 AM)


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stray1
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Re: M42 new [Re: stray1]
      #6373159 - 02/12/14 09:10 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

Hello,

Seeing as how my heroes on this forum, i.e., Asbytec & Chopin, have tried their hands at lunar sketching (to me "where angels fear to tread") I've been thinking of doing the same.

Since I work in digital medium, my biggest concern is getting the lunar surface to look like the lunar surface--not the actual features: the craters, mountains, rilles and so forth--but the actual surface of the moon between those features.

This evening I "think" that I was able to come up with a workable template to represent these areas. What I am thinking is that I can use this as a basic "backdrop" to do my sketches on; adjusting brightness, contrast, etc. as per observing conditions and then blending my features into the template as I sketch them.

Whaddya think?



-stray-


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Chopin
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Re: M42 new [Re: stray1]
      #6373304 - 02/12/14 10:19 PM

Mark, sorry I missed the M42 sketch. That's a great observation. Don't fret about skipping stars. Getting the feeling of the observation is often more important for me. And the temps, yeah, it hit 20°F today! Downright balmy!

As for the lunar backdrop, I like it. I just did something similar with solar granulation for my future sunspot sketches. I've recently used a solar granulation photo as a backdrop layer in a sketch. I liked the result, but was unhappy that it wasn't created by me. So yeah, your idea is a great one. It's all about representing what we see as best as we can.

Looking forward to some craters and rilles.


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stray1
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Re: M42 new [Re: Chopin]
      #6377174 - 02/15/14 02:25 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

Hey Chop,

Thank you for your comments on my M42 sketch!

Here is an experimental sketch using the new lunar surface template. I started out using a photo from Google images, then kinda went off on a freehand tangent. This is entirely digital, "painted" in Gimp using a Bamboo pad and stylus, then loaded to Paint.net to adjust brightness and contrast, plus some "noise" texture effects to simulate Luna's grainy surface. It did not come out all that hateful...



-stray-


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Asbytec
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Re: M42 new [Re: stray1]
      #6377180 - 02/15/14 02:32 AM

Mark, if you can translate that level of work from an eyepiece view, I think you will be onto something nice. Lunar craters do change slowly over time, more slowly and less dramatically than Jupiter. So, you have some time, almost as if sketching from a picture. There will be a lot to see and to take in, so you may find yourself discriminating over small areas.

Have at it, Mark, I like what I see. I am sure others will, as well. I am trying to dirty up my own sketches as they seem too clean and smooth. Maybe a template such as your might work.


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stray1
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Re: M42 new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6377182 - 02/15/14 02:42 AM

Hi Norme,

Yes, you are correct about EP viewing vs photo. It is the former that makes me hesitant--trying to get all of the detail correct while constantly adjusting for drift.

If you'd like, feel free to copy the template for use in your sketches. I'm working on a second "oblique" template for edge-on views, but getting the horizon correct is a study in frustration.



-stray-


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Chopin
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Re: M42 new [Re: stray1]
      #6377667 - 02/15/14 12:31 PM

I love the result, Mark! I agree with Norme, that if you can translate this work to an eyepiece observation you are in the money.

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