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M42 Orion Nebula Study,Dark Sky vs Light Pollution

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#1 markseibold

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 07:44 AM

Posted Image
New image photographed in daylight today (*Further comparisons of how images are reproduced for web) >
Posted Image

Well, I have been thinking about this one for a long time. What has always interested me was how much difference a dark sky can make as compared to the slightest light pollution when observing deep sky objects.

I lived for nearly 30 years at approximately 20 ~ 25 miles east of Portland Oregon in Troutdale, the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge where I built my new home for my family in 1988 just after purchasing my 10.1” f/4.5 Coulter Odyssey Newtonian reflector. I was stunned when I observed M42 one night and noticed a definite red tinge on the outer cusps of the nebula through my 10 inch Newtonian reflector. A dark maroon or red ~ orange brick color was obvious along those cusps. I sketched this onto a 11” X 14” black matte board about a year ago while still under those dark skies.

I observed M42 again using the same reflector a couple nights ago where I live now at only 7 miles from downtown Portland Oregon, showing friends and neighbors in the neighborhood, it was a little disappointing as I could only detect the general central area of nebulosity surrounding the trapezium with some slight mottling just above the trapezium, so I then sketched this diminutive image onto 9” X 12” Strathmore Artagain paper. I explained to neighbors how different the nebula appears from another 10 miles out of town, as I showed them the early sketch. Now a few of them want to travel to observe through darker skies.

Using a flash to photograph the sketch work last night, the color gradiation is harsh and the contrast is rough. I'll re-photo in daylight later today to replace with improved images. (*I left both images here today for the sake of photographic comparison of night flash vs daylight art photohgraphy.)

Mark

#2 varmint

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:33 AM

Mark,

Simply stunning sketches. It is amazing to see the difference light pollution makes. I typically get views from my house somewhere between your Light Pollution image and the Dark Sky image. The core of the nebula is the most prominent, but I can (with averted vision) see hints of the broader nebula like you show in the Dark Sky version. What is fascinating to me is that this extension of the nebulosity only shows up as a contrast change in the sky background when I use averted vision at home. But, I haven't seen M42 from a Dark Sky in full detail, the next time I can get away I hope to spend some time with it.

My "ah-ha" moment concerning Light Pollution came last summer with Andromeda, from my back yard all I can see is the brightest part of the central core. In my 80ED it looks like a cotton ball with no definition (2-3 deg FOV), in my C925 (0.75 deg FOV) it is obviously a galaxy but again I can only see the central core.

When I went to a darker site this past summer and saw it I was blown away at how obvious the "rest" of the galaxy was, even though details were vague and not distinct I could pick out the major dark lane and see that the galaxy extended way past the 0.75 deg FOV and was more visible in the 2-3deg FOV.

Thanks for undertaking this project, I think it's a great comparison of just how light pollution can make a dramatic affect on what you see that EP.

#3 rd56

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:54 PM

Fantastic comparison, Mark. Unfortunately, the image of Orion from my back yard is considerably more degraded than your light pollution sketch version. Although I knew the extent of the light pollution in my area I wasn't truly able to appreciate the real impact until I had a chance to see Orion under dark skies for the first time when I attended the Cherry Springs Star Party this past fall.

Still there is a place for sketches of celestial objects marred by light pollution. It's only natural to want to sketch objects when they are presented at their best; dark and transparent skies. I really appreciate it, however, when urban renderings are offered since they are so very useful/practical in my pursuit of targets. Honestly, when I see dark site sketches of DSO's it is impossible for me to spot these targets since they look absolutely nothing like what I see in the eyepiece. So although I appreciate seeing sketches of DSO's in their full glory as much as the next guy (or gal), keep the light-polluted back-yard images coming :grin:.

Come to think of it, I know there is often debate over whether sketches should be completed at the eyepiece during one observing session but it also makes some sense for those of us not priviledged to have access to dark skies to take a "composite" approach. Perhaps it would be of benefit to sketch over several observing sessions with varying conditions and using different eyepieces, filters etc.. At times I think, if this were truly a scientific endeavor, and I was tasked to present a sketch of a particular object (let's imagine that the object were unknown!) I would have to tease-out all of the detail possible in order to render the image as acurately as possible from my location and with my conditions. It could be a fun approach for those times when you can't get away to darker sites (which is most of the time for me).

WoW, I really went off on a tangent with this one.........sorry.

Ron

#4 rolandskythree

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:25 PM

Very nice sketches, Mark, and good observations. One of the main reasons that we recommend astro video for most people is because the degradation due to LP is substantial. As trends continue, which are not being slowed or reversed relative to increased population density and lighted development, it is very likely that over 80% of the population will have lost most of the available sky for observing in less than a decade. Of that 80%, over half have already lost it. The trends have incredible effects on sky observing and, even more seriously, an awareness that the sky can be observed at all by upcoming generations in populated areas. The choices are simple: remote observing or penetrate most of the LP with observing methods that can deal with the low "signal to noise" ratio of objects. This leaves, for the normal resident, two choices: astro photography or astro video as an adjunct to regular EPs.

If light pollution was not bad enough, major areas of China suffer the same degradation from pollution. When we observed in Kampala, capitol of Uganda, murky conditions in the city from pollution were already seriously affecting observing.

So, if one wants to teach sketching and observing in most places in the future, equipment choices will increasingly make or break the opportunity to appreciate the heavens.

Roland

#5 jcrew

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:22 PM

Great looking work Mark!

Now I want to move to darker skies!!!! Thanks a whole lot! :bawling: :bawling: :bawling: LOL

Seriously, awesome looking work! I am in awe. :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

Brad

#6 CarlosEH

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:31 PM

Mark,

Thank you for your excellent comparison of the Orion Nebula (M42) in both light-polluted and dark sky conditions. It is true that under dark skies greater detail may be noted over this and other DSO's. Many years ago using large aperture Dobsonians I could easily detect reds and greens over the Orion Nebula. In light polluted skies it is very difficult to do so. This is a sad fact as many new observers that do not have access to dark skies will be unable to view these objects in their full glory.

I have provided a comparison of the Orion Nebula made on different dates from a dark sky location (left image, 02/14/07) and my light polluted skies (right image, 12/22/08). When an observer is finally able to make observations under dark sky conditions it is as if they have been observing through a fogged glass and are able to see the object as nature produced it. Thank you for the lesson.

Carlos

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2847612-Orion Nebula Comp.jpg


#7 markseibold

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 06:00 PM

Fantastic comparison, Mark. Unfortunately, the image of Orion from my back yard is considerably more degraded than your light pollution sketch version. Although I knew the extent of the light pollution in my area I wasn't truly able to appreciate the real impact until I had a chance to see Orion under dark skies for the first time when I attended the Cherry Springs Star Party this past fall.

Still there is a place for sketches of celestial objects marred by light pollution. It's only natural to want to sketch objects when they are presented at their best; dark and transparent skies. I really appreciate it, however, when urban renderings are offered since they are so very useful/practical in my pursuit of targets. Honestly, when I see dark site sketches of DSO's it is impossible for me to spot these targets since they look absolutely nothing like what I see in the eyepiece. So although I appreciate seeing sketches of DSO's in their full glory as much as the next guy (or gal), keep the light-polluted back-yard images coming :grin:.

Come to think of it, I know there is often debate over whether sketches should be completed at the eyepiece during one observing session but it also makes some sense for those of us not priviledged to have access to dark skies to take a "composite" approach. Perhaps it would be of benefit to sketch over several observing sessions with varying conditions and using different eyepieces, filters etc.. At times I think, if this were truly a scientific endeavor, and I was tasked to present a sketch of a particular object (let's imagine that the object were unknown!) I would have to tease-out all of the detail possible in order to render the image as acurately as possible from my location and with my conditions. It could be a fun approach for those times when you can't get away to darker sites (which is most of the time for me).

WoW, I really went off on a tangent with this one.........sorry.

Ron


Thanks to all of you. Yes the original from considerably dark sky was a passionate and impressionistic artwork. I am simply sorry when I see others talk about only seeing the Orion Nebula from inner city light pollution. I would encourage you to get out of town soon or else! :cool:

I am responding here to Ron's several comments though because he raises so many [tangents] and that is good! I believe that there should be more awareness of this. I added the new photograph from daylight today with the original posted art from last night under photoflash. I will try to get to a dark site again and re-sketch M42 this season with a more real live appearance. I found an old astronomy book in our local largest bookstore in the nation, a couple weeks ago. It has the original sketches by Charles Messier and one of M42. Another page in the book states a quote from an author that he has never seen a sketch that comes close to the actual image of M42 observed live. Of course we know that this is way beyond the photographs, although many are beautiful; they just don’t render what the live image through the telescope eyepiece really appears as [from a true dark sky location.]

To describe it from a dark sky, it is three dimensional. It literally looks like dark and light tunnels and passages overlaid in parts of the structure and the red colored tinges are really there as live eye visible. [Carlos indicated observing these red colors in the central area. I was not aware of that as I was seeing the red only in the outer edges. I guess I'll have to re-examine the central core of M42 again. Thanks to Carlos for pointing this out. [There is much to be learned from relating to others observational astronomy experiences and CN proves to be a champion in this regard.]

This live observing experience is not possible if you are under any inner city light pollution. You are simply blinded and fogged with many spectrums of light pollution. Even with nebula filters and certain light blocking filters, you are not seeing it all as from an unadulterated dark sky. Those who have experienced this know what I am talking about here, I am sure.

But my intention was really show how stark the difference can be from a dark location to the inner city. I am not really embellishing or over stating the dark sky image as I am still quite new to sketching deep sky objects. The true dark observation really [is] that different from the inner city light pollution sketch. That is why I think it is so important for not only veteran astronomers like many here in CN to know this but for the general public and the education systems to learn what they are missing. I would proffer to say, possibly the entire universe! And to think it is because of the misuse of artificially produced light and the abuse of this use. Government? I know that this is not a political platform, so don’t get me started. Maybe I’ll post the images in the other forums here for light pollution discussion. I just feel that it is the amateur astronomer’s obligation to tell the world that there is a universe out there that they are totally unaware of.

I am luckily spoiled as you will see when you look at the World at Night image of the entire planet that has been posted for several years now on Astronomy Sites and such. Oregon actually boasts the darkest skies in the continental 48 states. See the large black gaping void of darkness that encompasses all of eastern Oregon, eastward toward Idaho and Nevada to the south. The Oregon Star Party is out there in the middle of that blackness of space every summer for nearly 20 years now. Where I grew up was only 7 miles out of town in 1955 and it was equally dark as my home of the recent 20 years. Portland is growing.

I have attended I think eight of those star parties in Central Oregon from 1991 through 2002 hosting up to a thousand attendees some years. I have had the privilege to observe many Deep Sky Objects through anything from my 10 inch Dobsonian; and up to home built 30 and 40 inch Dobsonians. The drive is approximately 3 ~ 4 hours from central Portland. Yet I was not sketching then back in 1991 ~ 2002! I wish I had started sooner.

Although my home of many years was only 22 miles east of a 2 million population metro area of Portland, it was relatively quite dark compared to what skies I see others mention here. I could walk out of my home before my eyes were dark adapted and simply look up within a few seconds to see a naked eye Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way in summer can be seen for about half the skies width. That being the brightest portion from southern Cygnus through Sagittarius and Scorpius. M22 and M8 were naked eye every summer low in the south. Then to drive only for 20 minutes further east into the Columbia River Gorge to a 4,000 foot mountain at a state park locally, Andromeda could be seen at over 45 degrees from ones periphery from a simple gaze. That is to say you could avert your vision almost half the skies dome away from where you knew Andromeda was and still see it that far from your periphery from straight ahead sight. Many local astronomers from our club here would just show up at the mountaintop, some with 20 ir 30 inch Dobsonian’s on weekend summer nights and stay all night.

What can I say? Portlanders are simply spoiled when it comes to astronomy but we have to wait for the clouds and rain to clear at times. Those times can go for up to many weeks now in winter months. It is partly the land use planning here. Oregon has never allowed urban sprawl like LA or other west coast cities allow.

I hope others here can make it to a dark sky site soon. The images of deep sky objects with a good medium size reflector can be stunning; or even just to enjoy naked eye observing.

Good luck and don't forget to turn off un-needed lights! :cool:

Mark

#8 frank5817

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:00 PM

Mark,

Truly a beautiful pair of sketches. I tell the folks that attend the open viewings at our Chicago suburban college that what they are seeing at the eyepiece is nothing like what they could see from a dark site on a good night. I too have seen those tinges of red and much green when observing M-42 from a good site using a 10 scope.
I could not make such a beautiful sketch even if I had a month of Sundays nights to do it. I find the Orion nebula very intimidating to draw in black and white from light polluted Chicago.
Great sketches, Mark. :bow: :cool: :bow:

Frank :)

#9 rd56

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 11:20 PM

Roland,

The little that I know about astro video is fascinating and it seems to have great implications for use in light polluted zones. Unfortunately for me the cost is quite prohibitive. I realize that cost factors are very relative but are prices likely to come down some as more folks become involved in this aspect of the hobby?

Ron

#10 Ali Tarakma

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:59 AM

Very nice sketches and comparison.

Its nice to keep sketches of what you see but Im not an artist :)

I wish I could go to a darksite now...


Clear Skies


Ali

#11 markseibold

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:05 AM

Frank and others,

Thanks again for your kind words. Believe me when I say that you can do this in less than a month of Sundays! I think I spent two hours maximum on the [left side] dark sky sketch. :cool:

Ali-

When I went to take oil painting classes again about 20 years ago; that was 20 years after my first classes in college as an 18 year old. Then at twice the age of half the class; the other half was 60 ~ 80 years age; the instructor said, "We are all born artists." At first I thought he was kidding because I have friends that say that they cannot draw. I felt that he was going to teach us how to paint masterpieces. I was disappointed when he gave me very little instruction. I already knew what to do since childhood. I was 38 then and several students half my age asked if I was a student teacher because if they could paint like me, they would be selling them and become millionaires. I laughed, who would buy my weird surreal paintings!? That was 16 1/2 years ago. NASA and others have now made offers!?

Then I heard the quote of Picasso: "When you go to do art, you must think like a child again." I knew exactly what this meant. As adults we are trained for many years to become very judgmental and reject things we see as caused by traditional teaching from general society. It seems embarrassing if we have not practiced and then one day try to sketch again and our sketches look child-like. That is OK. You will probably change this and improve immediately with the next work. Or you might retain an abstract style (See the new Paul McCartney album Fireman and his art on the cover.) You will learn allot about yourself. Just think of it as what the artistic sketching really is. It is a process to learn control of the medium and not a product to necessarily be judged or quoted as a price and value to sell.

Believe me, I was there recently. Personally I still consider myself there. Many people who are considered as good artists are really very self critical. It is part of the process as we strive for perfection to improve. The Astronomy Sketching book mentioned here in the CN site often is a good reference. If you cannot find it in your locale abroad, in Kuwait, I am sure it can be ordered through US book stores with delivery to your country. The people here who are enthusiasts in this artistic sketch-work wrote the book, so they are great teachers. The tutorials throughout the site here are also good free lessons.

I hope you get the chance to experience observing under a dark sky soon. I think of Kuwait as having vast dark desert regions. Get some friends together and take your telescopes. Safely drive just far enough out of town and to a predetermined location that is suitable for observing and free of auto traffic. You can begin practicing the sketching process at home beforehand at any time. There is no rule about materials, as most start with graphite pencils on white paper. Others here like the use of Photoshop digital sketching. I guess I am just old-fashioned and prefer the old world classic mediums. I did not start with color pastel chalks on black paper until about a few years ago. And not seriously till one and then many of mine landed in NASA and other international web sites starting in October 2006. The astronomy sketching can be technical or simple. I try to combine live observation with several other elements of style like impressionism, surreal and photo-realism. I try to make them as art or masterpieces yet to retain the central area accuracy as true to what I actually observe through the eyepiece to keep them in the scientific-technical realm.

Good luck and I look forward to your dark sky observing reports and first sketching experiences!

Mark

10.1" f/4.5 Newtonian Dobsonian
Nexstar 5i
40mm Coronado h-alpha Solar Telescope
A minimal amount of Plossl and Orthoscopic eyepieces
7 X 50 Orion BAK4 prism binoculars

PS: There are still simple protocols that I do not know and hope that someone here will inform me as to how to create a simple title link to My Gallery instead of having to always link this long url below- thanks to anyone who can explain this to me >

My Gallery >
http://www.cloudynig...vc=1&PHPSESSID=

#12 markseibold

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:25 AM

Mark,

My "ah-ha" moment concerning Light Pollution came last summer with Andromeda, from my back yard all I can see is the brightest part of the central core. In my 80ED it looks like a cotton ball with no definition (2-3 deg FOV), in my C925 (0.75 deg FOV) it is obviously a galaxy but again I can only see the central core.

When I went to a darker site this past summer and saw it I was blown away at how obvious the "rest" of the galaxy was, even though details were vague and not distinct I could pick out the major dark lane and see that the galaxy extended way past the 0.75 deg FOV and was more visible in the 2-3deg FOV.

Thanks for undertaking this project, I think it's a great comparison of just how light pollution can make a dramatic affect on what you see that EP.


Jim-

Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Yes, I too spent most of my adolescent teen years observing from my parents front yard with my first Tasco refractor that I bought at age 14 with my berry picking money for $79.95 in 1968. I never thought I would see a deep sky object to be anything like they appear in the astronomy book photos. I just got used to seeing Andromeda as a fuzzy little snowball and became satisfied that I was seeing it al all. I could also see M57, The Ring Nebula in Lyra, M27, The Dumbbell and a few other large DSO's. M42, The Orion Nebula looked even less than I sketched here on the right.

Then one day at age 33, a co-worker friend advised me to look at the purchase of a Coulter Odyssey (the original company in 1987 still in Idyllwild CA)I purchased a 10.1" Dobsonian for $239. (They are over double that price now.) When I first took it out at my previous home location in Troutdale Oregon, a suburb 22 miles east of Portland in 1988 where the sky was relatively dark, I was amazed. I could not believe I was seeing live through the eyepiece, not one but two dust lanes in Andromeda.

I spent the past twenty years at that location and now at a temporary inner city dwelling since March 2008, I can see why so many have not experienced a dark sky.

I hope to bring more awareness of this. I look forward to your reports and future sketching.

Mark

#13 rolandskythree

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:26 AM

I think the prices are pretty stable now while scopes continue to climb. For new sets of equipment, the approach I recommend is buying only 3 EPs and a Barlow....the remaining EPs and expensive stuff (like extras really expensive an quality EPs at the high end) forgo in place of an astro video camera. Monitors are not outrageous unless it is a fancy color one but laptops with capture devices are now doing better. Yes, it does add a few hundred dollars. But people that regularly observe usually have too many scopes and various pieces of equipment...so I suggest reducing the set, sell for a decent price, and go for the camera. I still observe with EPs and binoculars but the astro video takes up the area where I had heretofore chosen other equipment. The cameras tend to last well. I am a penny pincher, so if it is not economically viable in the long run for good observing capability, I don't go there.

Good luck on your direction, whatever you take. Keep an eye out for used ones if interested. I know several people that have done well.

RB

#14 rd56

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:54 PM

Roland,

Thanks for the advice. It certainly gives me a direction to pursue. It may not happen very soon, but eventually................. :grin:.

Ron

#15 rd56

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:05 AM

PS: There are still simple protocols that I do not know and hope that someone here will inform me as to how to create a simple title link to My Gallery instead of having to always link this long url below- thanks to anyone who can explain this to me >



Mark,

This is actually quite simple. Under the box where you write your text in to post or reply there is an area "Instant UBB Code" The first choice is URL . When you click this option you are presented with a text box within which you type your full address (the long version....just like you currently have it listed}. After you click okay, another text box is presented that says, "Now enter the title of the webpage you wish to reference. For instance, if you are linking to the URL for Infopop, you might use the title Infopop Homepage." Just type a short title in this box and click enter and this title will replace your long URL address that you're currently using.

Takes much longer to explain than to do :).

Ron

#16 varmint

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:20 AM

I could not believe I was seeing live through the eyepiece, not one but two dust lanes in Andromeda.

I spent the past twenty years at that location and now at a temporary inner city dwelling since March 2008, I can see why so many have not experienced a dark sky.

I hope to bring more awareness of this. I look forward to your reports and future sketching.

Mark


I will make it to a really dark site one of these days, probably when my three kids are more interested or old enough to live without poor old dad for a few days. My family still needs to visit Oregon (we've got a goal to visit all 50 states by the time my oldest son is 18), maybe I can find a way to get out in that black zone while we're in the neighborhood. :grin:

I have never seen two dust lanes in Andromeda.

And, I just noticed your "daylight" photo of your sketch. Now the light polluted frame looks very much like what I see from my backyard. That is another interesting comparison, the non-daylight vs. daylight of your sketches. But I'm sure they look much different in person too. :grin:

I'll hopefully be able to start sketching again soon.

#17 markseibold

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 05:35 AM

Thanks Ron

I have been asking people for about a year now to explain this hyperlink set-up to me. Not in CN but other venues as this was, I think the first time I asked in CN. I suppose there are provisions in other sites for the same procedure?

Here is the first time ever I have used this option (below) according to your instructions. Did it work?

Thanks again,
Mark
My Gallery

[quote name="rd56"]
And, I just noticed your "daylight" photo of your sketch. Now the light polluted frame looks very much like what I see from my backyard. That is another interesting comparison, the non-daylight vs. daylight of your sketches. But I'm sure they look much different in person too.

Jim

I may have created some visual confusion. Yes, I prefer to photograph the art in daylight for a more natural color and even lighting. A photoflassh at night is a last resort. I used to use my halogen track lights in the living room but I lost that home recently after 20 years, so my photo efforts at night are now relegated to photoflash. It creates a harsh contrast so I must soften the light and I do that through Photoshop adjustment. I do not like to alter the original art in any way as this becomes a false manipulation from the original hand sketched effort.

So I think I darkened that first photo of the light polluted image as I had overexposed it with photoflash at night. In the second set of images from daylight photography of the art, I left the right side light polluted sky as is, and you'll notice every little smudge on the paper, even dark blotches above the nebula where I cleaned away some chalk smudges. And yes again; the original looks quite different than the photo reproduction. It is difficult to duplicate the soft lucid colors and texture of the pastel paper in the computer screen digital photo images. I will work further to see if a filter or softening setting in Photoshop will enhance this without altering the original sketched image.

I do not think it is entirely necessary to come to Oregon to see all the glory of M42 or two dust lanes in Andromeda. We almost crossed paths around Christmas as I had planned to drive to Furnace Creek at Death Valley to visit John Dobson. He stays there every holiday season for a week with his group. However I could not travel due to heavy snow storms here in Oregon.

I hope you can get to darker skies to see M42 this winter. I see you are in Pacifica. I believe that is a south suburb of San Francisco? You could drive toward Yosemite for dark skies and your family would enjoy that location. (Incidentally I have never been there; only up and down the entire Pacific coast of California on many trips.) I understand that central Califoirnia can have summer-like weather this time of year. As an Oregonian, I am ready to go!

I look forward to seeing your next sketching efforts,

Mark

#18 alexvh

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:52 AM

Mark, thankyou for the picture, you have amazing talent!
Is there any way I can see any other sketches of this sort?

#19 markseibold

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 03:02 PM

Alexvh

You are welcomed. Yes, I supposed if you mean deep sky objects, but I have only produced a few of those (see my gallery link below).
My CN Gallery

However my many other sketches of the moon, the sun as observed through an h-alpha telescope since 2000, my first pastel sketch images of solar prominences appeared in NASA's Spaceweather.com and as a result of my first seeing the lead moderators solar sketch-work (that is Erika Rix here in the CN Forums) in Spaceweather.com on October 12th 2006. >
http://www.spaceweat...th=10&year=2006

I don't know that others here at CN knew this, as I forget to mention it but I received so many emails from around the world about that first abstract pastel image that the NASA Physicist Dr. Tony Phillips at Spaceweather.com posted to their front page, I decided to suggest to him to announce a sketching contest for the Mercury Transit in the next weeks (note that he has a hyperlink for the contest under my solar sketch at the middle front page) >
http://www.spaceweat...=2006&view=view

I could not win the contest because I already submitted my sketch before the actual transit took place, but produced it from memory just days before the Nov 8th 2006 event and from a past observation of the previous Mercury Transit in Nov 1998 >
http://www.spaceweat...=2006&view=view
(It is the same one that Astro Pic of the Day posted [above APOD link] to their front page on Nov 17th 06)

Here are a few others and yes some are very abstract although all were inspired and actually done somewhat from direct observation through the eyepiece >

This one was actually requested by a NASA educator for a class lecture after he saw it in Spaceweather’s middle front page >
http://www.spaceweat...=2006&view=view

Many more over the months - some were hyperlinks from the Spaceweather front page >
http://www.spaceweat...=2007&view=view

http://www.spaceweat...07/Seibold1.jpg

Sometimes a little removed and into the abstract again as these following two but I continued to receive many emails from around the world for some of these and highly misunderstood that general viewers of the Spaceweather site thought that I was awell paid NASA artist. I was actually without work and food at times and just spending my spare time at home solar observing and had not discovered the CN site here which eventually inspired me to do lunar pastels when I saw that other astronomy sketch artists were here. >
http://www.spaceweat...=2007&view=view

http://www.spaceweat...=2007&view=view

Comet McNaught as naked eye and through binoculars >
http://www.spaceweat...aught_page6.php

I was once in NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day on Nov 17th 2006 >
http://antwrp.gsfc.n...d/ap061117.html

All of these can be back-accessed through archives in their sites and most of those art-works can be seen here in My Cloudy Nights Gallery with references to the Spaceweather.com links.

Also, and I am not easy about displaying this any longer as it is a near complete bio on my life in art and astronomy. It is in terrible need of house-cleaning but here it is (it contains much of my art going back to my childhood, google and Youtube videos with later news of my sidewalk astronomy, etc. >
www.myspace.com/marksolarprophet

I have probably given you more than you want to see, but hope that this helps, and if not enough, I just spoke a couple weeks ago as the initial call-in on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation about job loss and how the arts are without jobs for talented artists, even in Portland with a huge arts movement >
http://www.npr.org/t...toryId=98339217

Mark

#20 rd56

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:43 PM

Thanks Ron

I have been asking people for about a year now to explain this hyperlink set-up to me. Not in CN but other venues as this was, I think the first time I asked in CN. I suppose there are provisions in other sites for the same procedure?

Here is the first time ever I have used this option (below) according to your instructions. Did it work?

Thanks again,
Mark
My Gallery



Yes Mark, the hyperlink works fine. Of course you can also use this tool for any URL. It doesn't just have to be for URL's that link to CN pages. So your links to Spaceweather and NASA could have also been shortened :).

Ron

#21 HellsKitchen

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:27 AM

I'm speechless! You must have **** good eyes!

#22 markseibold

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:58 AM

Hells Kitchen

Uh-oh. . . Now I've raised hells kitchen. :foreheadslap: I should cook up something saucy about this. :rainbow: :shocked: But seriously. I have 20/400 vision without my corrective lenses. Yet I have very good near-sighted (close-up vision.) I also seem to have an extreme sensitivity to red light reception and possibly other colors. I have discussed it wth eye doctors several times. They seem to concur that I may be the opposite of color blindness. I live in a world of color hallucination. It could be that others are like this too. Perhaps artists such as Van Gogh posessed excessive passion for the appearance of nature and the night sky because he had better color reception.

I saw the sky as a soft blur all through my childhood until age nine; I couldn't understand the opening scene in the Outer Limits TV show when they blurred the screen as from across the room, I couldn't really see much anyway. I lost interst in watching TV at an early age in the mid 1960's because I thought that the night sky was more entertaining. The whole thing, the how and why of it fascinated me where no TV show could compete . . . Until I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey on a big theater screen at age 15 in 1969 a few months after its original release.

I was awestruck when the optical doctors nurse put the new prescribed glasses on me. My cosmic vision was born at age 9 and thus a whole new universe! A new life, perhaps?

I am interested as to the Aussies version of M42, as they refer to it as the 'sauce pan'. I had forgotten this since I was in Fiji for several months in 2003 ~ 2004 and heard that for the first time from many visiting Australian's there on the Fiji Islands. It just occured to me that you see Orion up-side-down and the belt stars appear as with a single star at 90 degrees to form a handle to one side looking like a frying pan. The nebula is like a sauce boiling and spitting from the pan.

Yes, at times from a dark sky the greatest nebula in the sky really appears in a medium reflector (a 10.1" here) as that different from light polluted skies.

G'day mate! :cool:

Mark

#23 rodelaet

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 03:51 PM

Mark,

Your M42's comparison is wonderful!

Now these deep-sky objects shine with a lesser light than the Moon.
I ask myself how that you manage to preserve your night vision while providing the substantial illumination on your sketch paper?

#24 Tommy5

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:47 PM

Outstanding sketches of the great nebula, my view is much worse then your lp view, hence dso seem to hold little interest to me.

#25 markseibold

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 03:22 AM

Thanks Rony and Tommy

Rony - My photo tutorials might have misinformed. I do not really observe DSO's with that sketching lamp on. I only use the lamp for bright objects such as the moon and planets. The early sketch of M42 from a dark sky was done later in the house and not from direct observation except for notes; various photos for reference to lines of the translucent nebulous regions and graphite scribbles that I made from the back patio with a little distant window light mostly muted and blocked with window blinds. I wished that I had kept those notes and scribbles now.

Where I am now since March of 2008 is not a dark sky and I am forced to use the streetlights from across the street while out on the driveway. I have to cup my hands over my brow to block the lights. Not what I would choose. Where before, my home of over 20 years was under dark skies nearly 25 miles out of Portland Oregon. This current degraded image due to light pollution is what I wanted to show the stark difference of from my previous home.

Tommy- You should have the chance to view some DSO's from a dark sky eventually, as I have tried to convey to others; this will open up a whole new universe for you. Hence why we build these large reflectors and why Dobson began showing the world how to inexpensively build these large instruments over 40 years ago.

Mark


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