We are often encouraged to make resolutions at this time of year. Some resolutions aim to change undesired habits or behaviours by cutting things out of our life, or denying ourselves of guilty pleasures. Other resolutions tend focus on the continuation of good practices, or introducing new ones.
Unfortunately, most resolutions fail miserably because the resolution was too ambitious; too vague; or there were too many.
As someone who is no stranger to 'failure', I wholeheartedly believe in the adage of "it's better to try and fail; than fail to try." After all, life is about taking chances, trying new things, having fun, making mistakes and learning from them.
For these reasons, I have decided to attempt to sketch the lunar surface throughout 2020. Of course my sketches will be far from perfect, and I'm sure I will make several mistakes along the way. But, by the end of the year I'm hoping to see an improvement from my initial lunar sketch.
To help me along the way, I am planning to submit one lunar sketch per month to this forum. I'll continue to sketch open clusters, but I'm hoping that by sketching the Moon I'll get to know more about our closest celestial neighbour. What is more, by submitting one picture each month for the next twelve months it will hopefully be a fun and engaging way to monitor any progress I make in my ability to sketch the night sky.
With the above in mind, I am submitting my first lunar sketch of 2020. I decided to sketch Theophillus, Cyrillus, and Catharina because they were the most prominent lunar features at 17:50 UT during the the evening of 01/01/2020. I finished the sketch at 18:34 UT from my back garden in Dundrum, Dublin. The night sky above Dundrum is estimated to be Bortle 8.
Equipment used for the sketch included the following: Black sketching paper; black, and white charcoals; a clipboard, and a blending stump. In terms of the scope I used my f/8 150mm Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian base, and a 9mm Orion Expanse eyepiece that has a 66 degree AFOV. Meaning, it provided me with 133X and .49 TFOV.
According to Stellarium, the Moon had a magnitude of -11.59. It was at a waxing crescent phase with 37.3% of the lunar surface illuminated. While I estimated the seeing to be good (6Pk),transparency was very poor (2) because my neighbour had the heating on and the vent of the boiler was blowing steam into the atmosphere.
Very many thanks for taking the time to read the above, and to look at the sketch.
As always any comments, critique, feedback, or suggestions are very much welcomed.
Clear skies to all,