#241  
Old 20-07-2013, 02:55 PM
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bigjoe (Joe)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannat View Post
i have read a few threads of city-siders having trouble finding M104 -so i did a quick sketch of how to find it -first naked eye view then a bino fov
Thanks Dan.Ive kept this for when I couldnt be bothered with go tos.A great help.Cheers
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  #242  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:10 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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January! January was the last time I did a DSO sketch!

Finally the drought broke on Sunday morning with two. Both of extra galactic treasures.

First was the nebula and open cluster complex NGC 346 in the SMC. I’ve been wanting to sketch this system since my first look at it. For being so far away, it is very bright, so the member stars of the cluster must be very big to be so bright.

At first glance, the nebula has an appearance of a kidney. The top lobe being immediately brighter as it houses the cluster. There is a dark lane that separates the cluster from the crest of the lobe. This lane is a band of dust that is more detailed in photographs.

The surroundings of 346 are spectacular too. The overall background is bright and somewhat ‘nebulous’ due to the mottling from the multitude of unseen stars within the SMC. Adding to the spectacular collection of DSOs in this area is another bright open cluster and nebula complex, NGC 371, just to the north of 346. The cluster is larger in size than 346, and the nebulosity more tenuous, so I suspect that 371 is older and therefore the cluster’s members have spread apart from each other and the gas and dust of the nebula dispersed – something like the Pleiades.

Just to the east of 346 was a softly glowing ball, which could be another open cluster, IC 1611.

Object: NGC 346, NGC 371 and IC 1611
Scope: 17.5” f/4.5 push-pull dob
Gear: 13mm modified Baader Hyperion, 154X, +OIII filter
Location: Katoomba Airfield, Oz
Date: 3rd November, 2013
Media: White soft pastel and charcoal on A4 size black paper.

The second sketch of NGC 1365 was a delight to do. From my location, it goes straight overhead. As the sketch progressed, the leading edge of the northern arm (lower arm in sketch) seemed brighter than the leading edge of the southern arm. As more time transpired, I was surprised to notice so many more foreground stars in the area than first inspection reveals.

Object: NGC 1365
Scope: 17.5” f/4.5 push-pull dob
Gear: 13mm modified Baader Hyperion, 154X
Location: Katoomba Airfield, Oz
Date: 3rd November 2013
Media: White soft pastel and charcoal on A4 black paper.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (NGC 346 (SMC).jpg)
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Click for full-size image (NGC 1365.jpg)
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  #243  
Old 04-11-2013, 09:27 PM
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Really nice work there Alex, your patience really shows in the detail of your sketches. To think you are working pretty much off the ground on a small ladder and you have to keep moving the dob to keep the object in view. Just really shows how much patience and dedication you have. It is inspiring me to give it a try next time we're at the airfield.
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  #244  
Old 04-11-2013, 11:03 PM
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michaellxv (Michael)
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Very nice work Alex, good to see you haven't lost your touch.
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  #245  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:57 PM
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Fantastic sketches as always Alex. NGC 346 is amazingly bright for some 200,000 ly. SMC's equivalent of NGC 2070 I gather.

Love the NGC 1365 too!
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  #246  
Old 05-01-2014, 10:27 PM
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BEHOLD: the mighty small aperture!

Hi all,

On the spur of the moment my kids and I jumped in the car and headed out bush to a mate’s place in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. We were lucky with the sky conditions with this start of the New Year. The kids had been wanting to see the Milky Way, shooting stars, satellites and galaxies. It was wonderful to be able to tick off all of these with them. We were also fortunate to have a great flyover of the ISS too! The kids also got to hear the chirping clicks of the tiny local insectivorous bats, the hooting of an owl. And I aged 10 years when a blasted 10” long stick insect crash landed on my sketch pad!

Only once the kids were asleep did I do any observing for my own. This time around I took my latest acquisition, and smallest scope, a 4” f/5 refractor. Packed only one eyepiece too, my new ES 30mm 82°. This combo gives me a TFOV of a full 5°!

The target I settled on was one I’ve done several times before in larger scopes, Eta Carina. One thing I’ve learnt with observing is it is all very well to examine a large extended DSO with a big scope, but so much is lost with the resulting small TFOV. Go down in aperture size, and be under dark sky conditions, and you will be rewarded with the full extent of the DSO.

So, here it is - the Goliath that is Eta Carina as seen with small aperture under cracker jack conditions.

Object: Eta Carina, NGC 3372
Scope: 4” f/5 achro refractor
Gear: ES 30mm 82°, 17X (5° TFOV) & OIII filter
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Oz
Date: 3rd January, 2014
Media: White soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A4 size black paper.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Eta Carina 4in f5.jpg)
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  #247  
Old 06-01-2014, 09:36 PM
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Absolutely fantastic sketch, you are a master. A true work of art.
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  #248  
Old 07-01-2014, 01:56 AM
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wow Alex your a freak lol that's awsome it looks like a photo I love it
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  #249  
Old 06-04-2014, 02:24 PM
mak15 (Stew)
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Unbelievable Alex. I was viewing Eta Carina only last night and your 'sketch/artwork' is sooo similar.
Fantastic
Stew
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  #250  
Old 29-04-2014, 12:41 PM
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From IISAC '14, wide field sketches

Thank you Stew, Jen and Sab.

This last weekend saw IISAC '14 happen. I arrived late on the Friday, and when I finally settled at the camp it was dark and I just didn't feel like setting up a big scope. The sky was clear, the full brilliance of the Milky Way was arcing overhead, so it was a great chance for some wide field sketching with my little 4" achro.

Omega Centauri and Surrounds

My favourite eyepiece for this little scope is my 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific bruiser. As this scope and EP combination gives me a massive 5deg TFOV, I'm always thinking "hmmm, I wonder how much of that patch I can see...". "That patch" this time was Omega Centauri and Centaurus A. Cripes! I could actually get BOTH in the one field of view!!!

Greed took hold and I wanted to sketch that entire FOV. Exhaustion from the long drive to camp took hold and I could only manage the area around Omega Centauri. But I am still so pleased with the 'cropped' sketch. Omega is seen resolved into a little ball of thousands tiny, tiny pin-point diamonds. Surrounding Omega is the mottle background of the Milky Way, and a lovely large darker patch to the left of the cluster, and another dark but smaller patch to its upper right. This big picture scene is totally missed when we magnify Omega. Blooming brilliant patch of sky,

This sketch represents approx. 4deg TFOV.

Object: Omega Centauri and surrounds
Scope: 4" f/5 achromatic refractor
Gear: 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific, 17X
Location: Lostock, NSW, Oz.
Date: 25th April, 2014
Duration: approx. 2hrs

Jewel Box and the Coal Sack

A little rest and back to it. Some time ago I had made a mental note of a potential sketching target as being the area around the lovely cluster The Jewel Box in the Southern Cross. The great thing about the same scope and EP combination is the TFOV encompasses the Jewel Box, Mimosa or Beta Cruxius, and the eastern edge of the dark nebula The Coal Sack, all set off against the mottled background Milky Way. Gorgeous stuff!

The Coal Sack is also surprisingly detailed. Streamers of darker lines, patches of brighter, and ghostly arcs. These details made for a great challenge as they are, well, black... Another fainter open cluster can also be seen just to the upper right of the Jewel Box. The Southern Cross contains dozens of open clusters within its boarders.

This sketch is very close to showing the full 5deg True Field of View I had.

Object: Jewel Box and the Coal Sack.
Scope: 4" f/5 achromatic refractor
Gear: 30mm 82deg Explore Scientific, 17X, 5deg TFOV.
Location: Lostock, NSW, Oz
Date: 25th April, 2014
Duration: approx. 2hrs
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Omega Centauri wide field.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Jewel Box and Coal Sack.jpg)
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  #251  
Old 29-04-2014, 01:20 PM
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Very nice sketches Alex! You have an amazing ability to reproduce what is seen through the eyepiece. I very much enjoyed your sketching workshop, you have a lot of great work in your diary's, thanks for sharing.

Cheers

Rod
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  #252  
Old 29-04-2014, 09:28 PM
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Very nice Alex what equipment did you use for this ?
Hey what's this workshop? Do you have it on video ? I would love to see your work in action
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  #253  
Old 29-04-2014, 09:44 PM
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Does anyone here know the name of the app that turns a negative drawing in reverse or how to do that in photoshop?
I'm not sure whether to draw on white paper or black paper ?
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  #254  
Old 30-04-2014, 09:28 AM
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Jen try Irfan View
http://download.cnet.com/IrfanView/
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  #255  
Old 30-04-2014, 09:46 AM
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Brilliant sketches Alex as always!
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  #256  
Old 01-05-2014, 01:20 AM
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Amazing sketches once again Alex and you are true cornerstone for the few of us that still use our eyes. Your work is truly incredible and I find myself wondering how you do it, it is photographic in quality. Good stuff mate and keep it up!

Jen, Irfanview is one of the most useful downloads you'll ever make.
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  #257  
Old 01-05-2014, 08:11 AM
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thanks guys
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  #258  
Old 02-05-2014, 06:23 AM
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AG Hybrid (Adrian)
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We'll I picked up my astrosketching gear and I have been practicing the Mellin technique. I hope in time to be able to contribute here.
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  #259  
Old 27-05-2014, 09:42 PM
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M83 - the Southern Pinwheel

Hi all,

This is one baby I've been wanting to sketch for a LONG time.

M83 has eluded my sketch pad for years. Poor weather and conditions being the main contributing factors. Conditions in particular on those times it was a viable target were particularly frustrating. M83 requires nothing less than very good conditions to bring out the detail. Its low surface brightness falling victim to poor transparency.

This year's South Pacific Star Party finally presented the best opportunity,

What a beauty. First look at M83 this night had me say "Wow! That's spectacular!". A blatant bar. A brilliant core. Two definite arms that fade out into an asymmetrical round shape. M83's outer areas have a mottled appearance. A 'tag' is visible that comes off the end of one of the arms - that, and the asymmetrical shape suggest to me either recent or current external gravitational influence. Photographic evidence to this is the enormous amount of HII regions. Such activity is the result of significant gravitational tidal influence. This is all my own speculation from observable evidence.

This galaxy was a joy to sketch. Big, meaty, expansive. The only regret I could have is my eyes were very fatigued at the time, so the HII regions eluded my observation when I 'blinked' M83 with an OIII filter.

Object: M83 galaxy
Scope: 17.5" push-pull dob
Gear: 13mm LVW, 154X
Location: Wiruna, Ilford, NSW, Australia
Date: 24th May, 2014
Media: White soft pastel and white ink on A4 size black paper
Duration: approx. 45min
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (M83 17,.5in.jpg)
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  #260  
Old 27-05-2014, 10:31 PM
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Very cool
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