Old 06-11-2010, 04:11 PM
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Orion's sword sketch

Noticing a lovely clear sky on the way home from work last night, I figured it would be a crime to let it slide. So after a couple of beers and dinner, headed out with the 120st refractor for a bit of wide-field in the summer Milky way.

Date: 6/11/10
Time: 3:00-4:30am
Scope: Skywatcher 120mm F/5 refractor

Started with M42. With the 22mm LVW at 27x the entire sword was in the FOV and a very pretty sight with M42, M43 and the Running Man Nebula (NGC 1977) immersed in a rich star field. M42's "wings" stretched quite far, with the expansive SW portion of the cloud visible. M43 appeared as a small fuzzy blob with its eastern edge slightly indented and better defined. NGC 1977 was fairly faint but easily detectable with two portions seen.

Also did a bit of a sweep of the Milkway, Eta Carina at 27x with the OIII filter was excellent, very detailed, curdled and filling most of the FOV. Several nearby nebulous knots could be seen, including the "Gabriel Mistral" Nebula which took on a semi-circular shape, somewhat like a first quarter moon. Without the filter, the starfields around here are quite spectacular. All the large clusters in the area including NGC 3532, IC2602 and NGC 3114 are excellent in this scope. NGC 3114 looks uncannily like the nazi sign! anyone else notice this?

Also had a look at the Pleiades, the entire cluster easily fits in the FOV with the 22mm LVW at 27x. The sky in here is fairly light polluted though, but still a pretty sight.

Lot of fun cruising the Milky way with the 120st, it's excellent for that purpose and its large aperture makes those rich starfields and clusters a visual treat.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:41 PM
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Nicely done sketch Sab. Good to see you using the refractor.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:41 PM
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Lovely sketch, your very brave taking on that one.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:19 PM
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Nice job pgc! This view in a 40mm EP through my reflector is fresh in my mind, and not much different to what you've drawn, great stuff!

Cheers -
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:51 AM
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thanks guys. Since getting the scope in Dec last year, only had it out twice, but I reckon I'll be using it more, it's really quite enjoyable just sweeping the milkyway with a widefield eyepeice. Micheal, yep its a rich field and a bugger to get it accurarely down but I think the 2 beers I had beforehand made me lose my inhibitions . The ultimate challenge though is getting the Eta Carina region down pat, now that is hard! Rob, I need your dark skies, damn we could have so much fun with one of these rft jobs
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:32 AM
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Awesome sketch Sab,

The Orion nebula is a difficult one to sketch because of the high detail and a very rich star field.

thanks for posting
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:25 PM
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Top sketch Sab. I love the richness of the star field and not only the accuracy of the nebula, but the texture of your sketch.

I kow what you mean about cruising with a wide field scope - I find the big dob always lures me in to small fields and it's quite a delight to get out the 15x70 binos or ed 80 for something wider.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:25 PM
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Great report as usual Sab, and a truly amazing sketch as well.

You've actually just helped me out with a mystery I've been trying to solve over the last few weeks. A few weeks ago I did my first obs report and I was trying to find what the catalogue no of a star with nebulosity surrounding it was, but too no avail. (right next to the Orion Neb). There are so many catalogue no's in this area, it had me confused and I couldn't find any pics on line to match up the number. So now I know - it's M43. I've looked it up in my Atlas of the Messier objects, no pic - but there it is - the same info which lined up with your sketch. So thankyou! Mystery solved!
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:55 PM
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Fantastic sketch Sab. So crisp. Nice soft touch.

One idea I've heard about will make anyone go troppo-

"If you need to see a feature with averted vision, then that is how you must see it in a sketch"

Now, to sketch with directly looking is one thing. To achieve an effect by "not" looking at it, man-oh-man.

I might slip this pearl into the 'Sketch tips' thread too.
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:59 AM
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Thanks guys. I actually thought the sketch turned out too rough, well rougher than usual for some reason. The field looked very nice in the 120st, I can only imagine in truly dark skies.
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