August 2005 Archives

Messier 25

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Click image for larger version. The above sketch is an update to the original to clean it up, scale down fainter stars, and update formatting. The original and comparison rollover are shown below. Move mouse over image to view comparison astrophoto. Rollover Photo Credit: Hillary Mathis, Vanessa Harvey, REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF...
Move mouse over image to view labels. East and West noted in the sketch are Martian E/W, not celestial E/W. Observation Notes: Since observing 3 hours earlier, Syrtis Major had rotated into view. The break between Mare Cimmerium and Mare Tyrrhenum was still evident. I was surprised how far...

Clavius Crater and Craterlets

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Move mouse over image to view labels. Lettered craters are Clavius labels, unless otherwise noted. Observation Notes: The craterlet pattern in this larger crater is amazing. The floor of Clavius was smooth overall and shaded nicely from light to dark in the setting sunlight. A number of ravines ran...

Mars - August 27, 2005 - 1:00 AM

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Move mouse over image to view labels. East and West noted in the sketch are Martian E/W, not celestial E/W. Observation Notes: The dark band of Mare Cimmerium and the point of Syrtis Minor were prominent along the southern hemisphere. The South polar Cap was not as prominent as...

Messier 30

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Observation Notes: This was a rewarding cluster to observe. It was a pleasant sight at 38X, 120X, and 240X. At 120 and 240 X, it began to resolve into stars along the edges. Several were constantly visible, with many more forming a granular splat just east of a bright...
Move mouse over image to view labels. The nearly full moon at night is a bear to study naked-eye. There is so much flaring, it is hard to see details. As with my daylight observation on 6/16/05, Mare Tranquilitatis and Fecunditatis were the darkest features. Tycho's white splot also...

Digitizing Tutorial Added

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I just added a tutorial for digitizing scanned sketches. I hope you find it helpful if you're interested. I also hope it doesn't have too many typos or errors. Please give me a heads-up if anything jumps out at you. Also, I apologize for the heavy load time for the...
Table of Contents Introduction What you will need Scanner peculiarities To invert or not to invert Sizing your image Dealing with a color cast Inverting the image Adjusting luminosity and overall color The levels dialog The black slider The white slider The gray slider Setting overall color Image cleanup Adding...
To invert or not to invert Another question you will want to consider is whether or not to invert your scanned image if you are sketching on white paper. For the purposes of this discussion, the word "invert" refers to changing a positive image to a negative image and vice...
Dealing with a color cast Check your sketch to see if it has a color cast (yellowish is pretty common). If it does, you can easily fix it by converting to grayscale and then converting back to RGB. Recent versions of Adobe Photoshop also have a command at Image >...
Adjusting luminosity and overall color (Continued) Now, I'm going to make a suggestion that you don't have to follow. You can either lighten the background of the entire image, or you can choose to lighten just the area inside your sketch circle. I prefer to lighten inside the sketch circle...
Adjusting luminosity and overall color (Continued) The black slider The black slider (Fig. 17, D) is the touchiest one, and has a very limited use in my experience. Its job is to mash all the almost-black values down to black--or whatever not-quite-black value you just entered in the "Output levels"...
Image cleanup If you are like me, your sketches will have some unintentional flaws. I leave it up to you whether you want to "Go Commando" and leave those rough edges in for a more raw expression of your work. I respect that. (You buy organic don't you ;-) Now,...

Digitizing Tutorial - Page 7 of 7

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A note on saving Photoshop will allow you to save JPG files through the normal save menu, but using the "Save for Web" menu can substantially decrease the file size of some images. I would encourage you to use this option to treat your visitors to shorter load times, and...

Gamma Arietis (Struve 180)

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Sketch Refinement Above is the cleaned up sketch that was submitted to Sky and Telescope for the September 2006 issue. August 7, 2005 Observation Observation Notes: This was a stunning pair. They were so close in magnitude, I couldn't tell the primary. At low power, both looked light blue....

Lambda Arietis (Herschel 12)

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October 18, 2006: To help provide a consistent style for my double star sketches, the above sketch is a digital update to the original sketch. Observation Notes: The primary star was yellowish with a blueish secondary. They made a good pair at low power (38X). The 240X view wasn't...

Eta Persei (Struve 307)

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October 18, 2006: To help provide a consistent style for my double star sketches, the above sketch is a digital update to the original sketch. Observation Notes: The primary star was a brilliant orange, with a blue-white secondary that picked up a hint of violet from the contrast. The...

Struve 331

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October 18, 2006: To help provide a consistent style for my double star sketches, the above sketch is a digital update to the original sketch. Observation Notes: The seeing was poor in this part of the sky and the color of the stars hard to determine. If anything, the...

Sigma Cassiopeiae (Struve 3049)

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October 18, 2006: To help provide a consistent style for my double star sketches, the above sketch is a digital update to the original sketch. Observation Notes: This is the closest AL Double I've observed so far. Both stars were white. The secondary appeared to sit at 330° PA,...

Double Star Entries Added

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I had five double star entries that needed to get added. The Astronomical League Double Star list is excellent. These are beautiful star pairs. Anyway, here are the new observations: Eta Cassiopeiae [ALDS 1] Gamma Andromedae [ALDS 8] Iota Trianguli [ALDS 9] Otto Struve 525 [ALDS 83] Epsilon Pegasi [ALDS...

Sketch Gallery Added

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Years ago, I was in a 4-H entomology group and I had this huge collection of insects in a large box under glass. They were all arranged by taxonomical order and size in rows and columns. It was a nice little piece of structure and fascination in my life. It...
I've added a couple more of my observation sketch/note forms in pdf format: a Naked Eye observation form and a Condensed observation form. You can get them here. There is also an entry for M63 from a few weeks ago that I realized I hadn't added....

Iota Trianguli (Struve 227)

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October 17, 2006: To help provide a consistent style for my double star sketches, the above sketch is a digital update to the original sketch. Observation Notes: This little booger took me by surprise. At low power, it looked like a single star and I thought maybe I was...

Gamma Andromedae (Struve 205)

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Sketch Refinement Above is the cleaned up sketch that was submitted to Sky and Telescope for the September 2006 issue. August 2, 2005 Observation Observation Notes: This beautiful, close double star had a bright yellow primary and deep blue secondary. The contrast almost made the secondary look violet. My...

Mars - August 2, 2005

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Move mouse over image to view labels. East and West noted in the sketch are Martian E/W, not celestial E/W. Observation Notes: Mars was still low in the east and the seeing was poor when I made the observation. The South Polar Cap was still prominent. After shading in...

Uranus - August 2, 2005

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Observation Notes: As I was scouting out double stars late into the night, I noticed that the seeing had suddenly settled and become very nice. I swept over to Uranus and got a very smooth view. The edges of the small dot were smooth and gave an excellent impression...

Eta Cassiopeiae (Struve 60)

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Sketch Refinement Above is the cleaned up sketch that was submitted to Sky and Telescope for the September 2006 issue. August 1, 2005 Observation Observation Notes: This was a nice close double. The bright primary was on the southeast side with a deep orange secondary on the northwest side....

Epsilon Pegasi (South 798)

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October 17, 2006: To help provide a consistent style for my double star sketches, the above sketch is a digital update to the original sketch. Observation Notes: The primary star was a brilliant yellow with a tinge of orange. The secondary color was either white or blue. It was...

Messier 75

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Observation Notes: This observation was cursed! I tried observing it 3 nights prior and spent 15 minutes gandering, switching eyepieces and seeing if I could resolve it and discern any asymmetry. Before I could pick up my sketch sheet and record it, the view faded to nothing as clouds...

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