Archive for July, 2016

A great sketch from Frank

Still nothing from me astro wise, hooray for my good friend Frank who keeps pluggin away in the US 🙂



Theophilus in Early Light

On this evening with a crescent Moon to the southwest, a telescope revealed crater Theophilus (101 km.) with both its rim and one high central mountain peak illuminated by the rising sun.

Theophilus juts out onto Sinus Asperitatis between Mare Nectaris and Mare Tranquillitatis. 28 kilometer crater Madler is included in this sketch just to the east of Theophilus. Further to the north across the sinus, teardrop shaped crater Torricelli (23 km.) casting long shadows was visible. In this region there is a small plot of highland that was named ‘Colchis’ by Hevelius in the 17th century. On that patch of highland two craters included in the sketch are Capella (50km.) and Isidorus (41 km.). The name Colchis has been officially dropped.




For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 8”x 12”, white and

black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump.


Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x

Date: 07-10-2016 1:45 – 03:00 UT

Temperature:  13°C (70°F)

Transparency: high cloud cover, calm, 6/10

Seeing:   Antoniadi III

Co longitude: 332.1°

Lunation: 5.4 days

Illumination: 29.9%

Phase:   113.7°


Frank McCabe

Antares a double star-

Since I’m doing very little astronomy currently, I thought I would share this excellent piece of wqork by my good friend Frank McCabe in the US, hope you enjoy it 🙂
Antares: Alpha  Scorpii
On summer nights as twilight is ending I often turn my telescope to Antares to check the atmospheric “seeing”.  Last night the seeing was above average and I took the time to sketch “the rival of Mars” and its companion in my 10 inch Newtonian telescope. Antares is a first magnitude long period irregular variable.  It takes many years for it to change magnitude by just 0.1. The companion (Antares B) shines at 5.5 visual magnitude and is about 3 seconds of arc away. Antares is very large M class super giant, 3.4 astronomical units in diameter and 550 light years away. At an age of about 12 million years and an expected lifespan not to exceed 13 million years, supernova explosion is in the future of this great star.
Rival of Mars (1)
I did this sketch on black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 8”x 6” using colored pastel pencils. I used a straight edge to sketch in the secondary diffraction spikes. The telescope was riding on an equatorial platform and a 4mm eyepiece used giving a magnification of 362x. On many nights of poor seeing the companion is hidden by the bloated disk of Antares.
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