Received this from my friend Frank in Chicago, as I’m not posting anything due to Moon & cloud I thought I would share this exceptional sketch made in ultra cold conditions. Cheers Frankie 🙂

Mare Tranquillitatis

Southwestern Mare Tranquillitatis


I began this sketch which had me at the eyepiece for about two hours. I was wearing my warmest ice fishing gear to ‘create a sense of warmth’. The sky was clear but the seeing was not the best.

I tried to pick out Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin just to the East of the region sketched but only Armstrong was barely visible on this evening. The “Twin craters” Sabine (30 km) and Ritter (31 km) both

have flat, rubbly floors which are also fractured and very shallow from subsurface lava flooding . These craters contrast in appearance with nearby Dionysius (18 km) a very bright, deep, youthful looking crater. This crater is known for its bright and dark ash rich rays, best seen near full Moon. Just north of Dionysius is crater Ariadaeus (12 km) and the western end of Ariadaeus rille (300 km long). Moving eastward crater Manners (15 km) and Arago (27 km) were clearly visible. The sun was just a little too high in the lunar sky to pick out the fine domes in the region under the poor seeing conditions.


Sketching and Equipment:


For this sketch, I used black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9” x 12”, white and

black Conte’ pastel pencils and blending stumps.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 6 mm eyepiece (241x) riding on an equatorial  platform

Date:  from 01-04-2017 to 01-05-2017; 23:15 – 02:00 U.T.

Temperature: -9° C (15° F)

Clear, breezy

Seeing:  Below average – Antoniadi  IV

Transparency 4/5

Colongitude  352.0 °

Lunation 6.5 days

Illumination 38 %


Frank McCabe