Saturday, 28 November 2015


27/11/15 2230UT
Antoniadi II
305mm OOUK VX12L / 8mm Delos x198

Sketched in the evening lunar sun with a diameter of 177km Petavius is a large crater with its distinctive Rimae running for 80km along the crater floor.
I always find sketching craters off the terminator very hard, its the fine differences of contrast that makes craters like this really stand out but are also very hard to capture.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Jupiter 23/11/15

My first observation of Jupiter this apparition was fairly successful given the fairly low altitude and small disk size of Jove.
Its also my first colour sketch of the planet, it could do with being a little cleaner but I still prefer it over my older graphite sketches.

Some notes to go with the sketch -
Both polar regions were a smooth grey colour.
The STB showed very little detail, maybe some darkening on each edge but was very hard to tell.
Great Red Spot showed an almost burnt orange colour, very different from the SEB.
A dark rift stretched 3/4 of the way across the SEBs with one large white oval from the wake of the GRS.
EZ was clear with no festoons.
NEB showed two separate blue patches with the shadow of Ganymede just crossing the CM on the NEBn.
The NTB was split on the preceding side and gradually getting fainter towards the following edge.

Mersenius D and Rimae Mersenius

Mersenius D and Rimae Mersenius
22/11/15 1930 UT
Phase 43.4˚
Lunation 11.02 days
Illumination 83%
Antoniadi II
305mm Orion Optics UK VX12L f/5.3 dobsonian - 7mm Pentax XW x227

Scanning along the terminator my eye was caught by a fairly small crater just off Mare Humorum.
A jet black crater with a tangle of local Rimae and craterlets was just too enticing to pass up so out came the pastels!
The upside down teardrop shaped crater of Mersenius D isn't large by any means large with a diameter of around 34km but it was the small rimae around it which I really found fascinating as they weaved around a pockmarked surface. Even though seeing conditions were good I just didn't have time to record all the detail as the surface changed by the minute.
Rimae Mersenius is around 2km wide....A few weeks ago I sketched Crater Prinz and Rilles which had a similar effect on me that its just incredible that we can see this fine detail on objects so far away!!

Monday, 2 November 2015

NGC 7027

NGC 7027
Constellation Cygnus
Planetary nebula
Distance 4900 Ly
Mag 8.5

Date 1/11/15
Transparency 4/10
SQM 21.39

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 5mm Pentax XW x318 (TFoV 13')
DGN NPB filter

Sketch notes
Small and bright, easy to see even unfiltered and showed itself as a bright blue fuzzy star with a low power EP.
Increasing the magnification and trying both OIII and NPB filters did little to show and detail within.

NGC 7635 - The Bubble nebula

NGC 7635
Constellation Cassiopeia
Emission nebula
Distance 1400 Ly
Mag 11

Date 1/11/15
Transparency 4/10
SQM 21.45

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 14mm Delos x114 (TFoV 38')
Astronomic OIII filter

Sketch notes
This was the second attempt to observe this little nebula, a few weeks ago in near perfect transparency in nearly 21.6 skies I couldn't see it. Last night I observed from the same location with fairly poor transparency and the Bubble was clear to see?!!
The nebula appeared to curl itself around a central star, uniform brightness, a narrow point at one end widening and fading the further it went out.
I tried both NPB and OIII filters, the OIII seemed to pick out the fainter nebulosity slightly better.

NGC 7331 (NGC 7335, NGC 7340)

NGC 7331
Constellation - Pegasus
Distance 48MLy
Mag 9.5

Date 1/11/15
Transparency 5/10
SQM 21.42

Telescope 12" f/5.3
EP 10mm Delos x159 (TFoV 27')

Sketch notes
Average at best transparency made seeing the 'fleas' very tricky. Only two of them were visible. In the past I could quite easily hold NGC 7337 with AV but conditions just wasn't good enough last night.
NGC 7331 showed a bright core but no sign of the dust lane or detail.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Crater Prinz and Rilles

Prinz + Rilles
24/10/15  2115UT
Phase 37.7˚
Lunation 11.85 days
Illumination 89%
Orion Optics UK VX12L

To start with very poor Antoniadi V conditions showed Prinz crater swimming in turbulence with no sign of the small rilles that I was looking for. The jet stream forecast was for it to move north as the evening went on so I headed back inside hoping seeing conditions would change.
The view an hour later was completely different, Prinz glowed in the early morning lunar sun and below it even with a medium powered EP I could see the dog leg rille of Prinz I.
Increasing magnification still didn't show Prinz II, hoping the seeing conditions wouldn't quickly change for the worse I made a quick sketch of everything I could see in the area.
It wasn't until later that I realised I had actually seen the deepest section of Prinz II and marked it on my sketch.
Seeing such small details on the lunar surface, making a sketch and then confirming what I'd seen later was a very enjoyable experience.

More details on the Prinz Rilles here .