#201  
Old 22-11-2013, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mental4astro View Post
Hi all,

It's been a long time since I've been able to do a sketch. Work and the weather conspiring as usual. Tonight I took a chance. The Moon was still boiling in the eyepiece, but not as much as on other occasions, so I took the plunge. And I was richly rewarded.

As most times has it, I took some time to scan the lunar surface for eye catching features. Damned if this time it wasn't a shadow with an uncanny resemblance to our homeland, Oz!

The early morning shadow creeping across from crater Maurolycus' eastern rim bore quite a striking likeness to a map of Australia. A very busy place here, with heavy cratering making for slow and time consuming progress. As time wore on, conditions improved, and the occasions of crystal clear seeing revealed sooooo much cratering at I'd guess the sub 1km mark. This resulted in tonight's sketch being smaller than usual, or my eyes would have just fallen out of my head.

The lower part of the sketch shows an unusual outline of two overlapping craters, Faraday and Stofler. Sitting right on the terminator with just the very tips of their rims being illuminated by the Sun.

I hope you enjoy this sketch, and are also surprised by the "Australia" shadow on the Moon.

Mental.

Object: Maurolycus and "Australia" shadow
Scope: C8, 8" SCT
Gear: 8mm Celestron Ultima LX, 250X
Location: Sydney, Australia
Date: 11th Oct, 2013
The shadow in the crater looks like a map of Australia....amazing work and talent!
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  #202  
Old 28-11-2013, 10:43 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Thanks everyone for the kind words. I haven't replied sooner to your praise as I prefer to make posts in this thread when I have a sketch, and respond with a thank you then. But this time I'll make an exception to my "exile" from commenting,

Sketching is a real niche in astro today. But it is probably the only real form of imaging that really depicts the view through a telescope. And for me, its my way of unwinding - ney a computer in sight,

Mental.
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  #203  
Old 28-11-2013, 12:27 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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Awesome sketches Alex. My sister is the artist in the family. I can't draw a straight line with a ruler.
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  #204  
Old 28-11-2013, 02:48 PM
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thats stunning work Alex. well done.
Looking closely, you've even captured the variations in shadows akong the rile, changes in its depth, parts where it flattened a bit and so on. I cant understand how you do it. That is retain so much of detail and transpose it.
perhaps have an camera taking a timelapse of you sketching so others can see how its done.
very cool.

Alistair
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  #205  
Old 30-11-2013, 03:10 PM
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Brilliant!!! Lovely work, the detail is fantastic!!!
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  #206  
Old 09-05-2014, 09:55 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Smile A little fat owl

Hi all,

Sorry for not replying sooner to your kind words. I tend to reply when I have a new sketch or when there is a question. Otherwise I just get all mushy and a big head...

Heck! been a while since I did a lunar sketch! Not having done one for so long, last night I was not about to let a bit of cloud spoil things.Not great conditions with a boiling Moon through the eyepiece.But, I’m grateful for the time at the eyepiece.

As always, unless I have a specific target in mind, I just let my eye wonder along the terminator to see what pricks my interest.And, as there are several repeated alphanumeric apparitions on the Moon, I’ve found a second avian one!Some time ago I spotted an owl formed around the crater Mercator.Last night I found a second Owl, this time around the flooded craters Fra Mauro (the fat body), Parry (the right eye), and Bonpland (the left eye).Cute little fella I think is formed here J.

As it turns out, Fra Mauro is just to the south of the Apollo 14 landing site - south is to the top of the page, so the Apollo 14 site lies just below where the Owl’s feet would be.

Object:“Little Fat Owl”, craters Fra Mauro, Parry and Bonpland
Scope:C8, 8” SCT
Gear:5mm Baader Hyperion, 400X
Date:8th May, 2014
Location:Sydney, Australia
Media:White & grey soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A5 size black paper
Duration:approx. 2hrs.
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Click for full-size image (Little Fat Owl.jpg)
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  #207  
Old 15-05-2014, 06:30 PM
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Another stunner Alex!
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  #208  
Old 04-07-2014, 07:05 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Apollo 11 landing site area

Thank you Patrick. I really value your support.

~x.X.x~

Last night I had a chance to sketch a part of the Moon I’ve been wanting to for a very long time – the landing site area of Apollo 11. While the site itself is invisible to us here on Earth, there are three craters close to the site that are significant to the site. These three craters are the ones named after the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins.

This particular area of the Moon sensational! The shallow angle that the Sun’s light is illuminating the field reveals dozens of ancient lava flows. These flows are reveal themselves with the shadow of their leading edge. There is also a rile to the north. Riles are typically as a result of shrinkage of the lava flows.

Rile Hypatia is a very ancient valley. It was formed while the Moon still had lava flowing freely. Evidence for this is the flooded valley floor. The surface lava field fractured due to cooling and subsurface lava pressure. The freshly opened gash filled with lava from underneath.

The craters Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins are very recent impacts compared to the surrounding lava field. These three craters are challenging to spot being so small. The smallest is Collins with a diameter of 3km, Aldrin at 4 and Armstrong at close to 5km. Due to their size, they are visible only for a short time when the angle of the incident sunlight is shallow enough to make their shadows prominent enough. Collins is the most challenging to see, and requires a combination of good and stable atmospheric conditions and a minimum aperture of 8” to spot it.

This sketch was a joy to lay down. Mare Tranquillitatis’ lava fields are full of an intricate filigree network of lava flows. The lunarscape is also pockmarked with dozens upon dozens of tiny craters, three of which are named after three most important explorers.

Object: Apollo 11 landing site area
Scope: C8, 8” SCT
Gear: 8mm LVW, 250X & 5mm Hyperion, 400X
Date: 3rd July, 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: White and grey soft pastel, charcoal & white ink on A5 size black paper.
Duration: 2hrs.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Apollo 11 landing area - small.JPG)
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  #209  
Old 04-07-2014, 08:11 PM
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Another fantastic sketch Alex, and thanks for the story that goes with it this extra detail really brings the sketch to life.
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  #210  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:46 PM
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Copernicus and ejecta ring

Hi all,

A second sketch in less than a week! An absolute flood compared to the previous 12 months!

I have sketched the crater Copernicus on other occasions. I enjoy sketching this magnificent ray crater as it has so much to offer no matter the phase of the Moon. Since my last Copernican sketch, I’ve come to find out more about this 95km diameter hole on the Moon.

The area around the crater Copernicus is fascinating, with so much lunar history on display – from amongst the oldest to the newest lunar formations. From ‘ghost craters’ nearly totally lost in lava flows from long ago, to relatively recent, terrifying massive impacts whose devastating power is very much still visible.

Copernicus sits isolated surrounded by Seas and an Ocean. These large areas of lava flows occurred a very long time ago. The ghost crater is Stadius is nearly as large as Copernicus. But all we see today is barely the barely visible rim of its crater, the result of an ancient impact with a very hot Moon that readily flooded the impact hole with lava.

A newer impact is the crater Erastothenes. In structure it closely resembles Coperniucs with clear features of large impacts such as central peaks, terraced internal and external walls (the result of landslides of the steep walls). But it is an older impact than Copernicus because the rays of ejecta material have been covered over by those of Copernicus.

The rock that created Copernicus was a massive one. The impact through up and enormous amount much material. Much was vaporised and polversied that blew way out from the impact zone, being deposited as the rays that we see today. There are even ‘shadow zones’. These formed when the cloud of polverised rock raced over a mountain range and eddie currents were created depositing material behind the ledge.

Another great feature of Copernicus is another set of ejecta. Rock was not only pulverised but also ejected out from the impact as huge bolders. These rocks inturn created their own set of craterlets. These craterlets surround Copernicus, even forming strings of impacts. But these are not considered Chain Craters as they are the result of secondary impacts from a larger impact. Chain Craters are a string of primary impacts. In the sketch you will see one of the more prominent strings of secondary impacts. These secondary impacts are not trivial ones either. Some of these craterlets are over 5km in diameter which would have taken a substantially big rock to have been thrown out to make such a large crater. Conditions on the night were not perfect. If conditions were better a whole lot more of these secondary impacts would have been visible.

This night I also took a photo of myself at the eyepiece with all the gear I use while sketching. The white box is a polystyrene box I use as a dew hutch to protect my materials from dew during the evening. I also made a video of the sketch. I’ll be looking at making a time lapse video of this as a 3hour video of the sketch is not gripping viewing… I'll be uploading this video to my blog noted below in my signature.

Object: Copernicus and surrounds
Telescope: C8, 8” SCT
Gear: 8mm LVW, 250X
Date: 7th July 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: White and grey soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A5 size black paper
Duration: approx. 3hrs
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Copernicus and ejecta ring - II.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Copernicus and ejecta ring - I.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Alex sketching Moon.jpg)
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  #211  
Old 08-07-2014, 07:16 PM
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Another great sketch
And an informative story thanks Alex
It will make me look a bit harder at that target.

David
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  #212  
Old 09-07-2014, 09:28 AM
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Awesome Alex
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  #213  
Old 22-07-2014, 01:03 PM
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Fantastic sketches. Wow, they are all good, but yours are unbelievably good, Alex.
I want to try some sketches too as I am into art, although I don't use pastels too much. But I love the moon and love drawing, so why not?
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  #214  
Old 02-09-2014, 10:32 AM
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Thrashed on the Western Shore of Mare Nectaris

Hello everyone,

Local weather has been abysmal over the last three weeks. Rain and heavy overcast conditions killing off any chance of scope time. This last Sunday saw a break in this weather pattern, and I had an opportunity to visit the Moon again.

First inspection of the Moon threw up a wonderful trio combination of craters formed by Theophilus, Cyrillus & Catharina (south is to the top of the work). The image they presented close to the terminator was most striking. Little did I know of what lay ahead of me. What I thought would be an ‘easy’ cruise was to turn into a marathon effort at the eyepiece.

These three large craters are very busy places. They are riddled with younger imapacts, criss-crossed with rilles, damaged and worn with age. The actual depth of detail only slowly became apparent as the sketch developed and the observation time increased.

All three craters are very ancient. All three have flooded floors, with Catharina’s (the oldest) central peak completely covered over, Cyrillus’ central peak just managing to poke through, and Theophilus’ being the least flooded. The ghostly image of the ray system radiating out from Theophilus is still visible across the plains of Mare Nectaris, and Sinus Asperitatus to the north. These plains are heavily pock-marked with thousands of small craters

The longer the sketch when on, the more detail I saw, and the longer the process went on. What I had anticipated as a two hour sketch went on for more than three hours. The level of detail is astounding, and beautiful. While I was cramping up, and my seat becoming less comfortable, I just could not stop nor reduce the amount of detail I was putting down.

Then, a little surprise popped up. I spotted a curious looking little ‘crater’ just off the northern rim of Catharina. The trailing shadow of the rim of this little crater looked way too long for it to be a normal crater. The length of the shadow implied a much taller rim wall. It just could not be a crater. The only thing it could be was a volcano. I always examine my Moon atlas’s after completing a piece to check names and features. Principle of the atlas’s I use is “Virtual Moon Atlas” (VMA). VMA confirmed my suspicion of the unusual nature of this ‘crater’ as being a volcano! Woo-hoo! ‘Catharina 2’ is its official designation. Catharina 1 is to the south east of Catharina, but it is not as prominent as ‘2’, and in the sketch is lost in the noise of the surrounding small craters.

Another surprise presented itself along the terminator, with the lesser known brother to ‘The Straight Wall’ escarpment made its presence known with the brilliantly illuminated eastern facing wall of Rupes Altai. Unlike The Straight Wall, Rupes Altai is serpentine in nature. Rupes Altai is close to 500km long, nearly five times longer than its straight brother, and has an average height three times taller too.

This piece was an exquisite exercise for me. The amount of detail revealed to me was fabulous. Detail that is just not visible without extensive observation time spent on the area. I ended up being dashed on the rocky shore line of Mare Nectaris, beaten up due to my complacency. And now all the happier for it.

I really hope you enjoy this piece as much as I’ve enjoyed producing it!

Alex.

Object: Western Shore of Mare Nectaris: Theophilus, Cyrillus & Catharina
Telescope: C8, 8” SCT
Gear: 8mm LVW, 250X
Date: 31st August, 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Media: Soft pastel, charcoal & white ink on black paper
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Western shore of Mare Nectaris - low res.JPG)
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Click for full-size image (Western shore of Mare Nectaris - low res labled.jpg)
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:59 PM
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wow that's brilliant Alex
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  #216  
Old 01-01-2015, 07:40 PM
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Is there any particular feature to sketch tonight? If not, I'll draw whatever looks interesting.
Ralph
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  #217  
Old 02-01-2015, 12:10 AM
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Hi Ralph,

This thread originally started with the idea of selecting a particular target to sketch, but then changed to sketching whatever feature appealed. So, yes, sketch whatever feature appeals to you,

Alex.
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  #218  
Old 03-01-2015, 12:37 PM
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Here's a sketch of Gassendi. It was buried deep in the terminator at the time and was barely resolvable with the naked eye. The equipment was a 130mm F/5 at 108X. The FOV is approx 1.5'. Unfortunately, the tracking isn't working properly so I am tracking by hand which makes it much harder to draw. I would have liked to get more detail but I lost an hour photographing a distant lightning storm and found magnifications above 100 too hard to use with the hand tracking.
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  #219  
Old 04-01-2015, 03:18 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Ah, the pleasures of equipment failure...

Nice piece though for all your difficulties, Ralph. I enjoy the dark shadows and the drama it introduces to the work.
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  #220  
Old 06-01-2015, 05:56 PM
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Thanks Alex.
Looking back on some of the previous sketches you've posted, I notice you have a lots of shades of grey. Do you take the pastels, charcoal, etc outside with you? If so, how do you deal with dew?

This sketch is Pythagoras. The tracking is still down but it's my fault now as I was recommended at Bintel to call Celestron customer service after christmas and I keep forgetting. Same scope as last time but this time I tolerated 217X. the FOV is approx 1.3'. I lost a bit of time with this crater, this time sketching the moon as seen in my 1x7 binoculars but it didn't turn out, and the moon was setting behind the trees as I was finishing the notes for this sketch( I have a very poor western horizon.)
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