April 26, 2014

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Bravo L'artiste

drawings by Serge Vieillard, Noumea, New Caledonia

I remember the disbelief and awe when the first lunar images with the Ludiver Observatory 24" by Bruno Daversin were released. The combination of large aperture, stacking of video images, and masterful technique produced unsurpassed images. Now those feelings return with the discovery of an extraordinary astronomical artist, Serge Viellard. Jocelyn Sérot alerted me to Serge's drawing of the recent lunar eclipse that appeared on the French Astrosurf website. The drawings start with the bottom one as the eclipsed Moon rises through low clouds. Serge used a series of his own outline maps of the Moon, applying colors and hues as the Moon rose and the eclipse evolved. As striking as this set of drawings is I was not prepared for the amazing collection of drawings of Moon, planets, Sun, nebulae and galaxies on Serge's website. Individual lunar formations are captured in about three dozen drawings, each a clear and careful depiction. Immediately below the lunar drawings on Serge's web page are beautiful drawings of solar prominences and the 2012 transit of Venus. Clicking on tabs for planets and galactic features reveals that Serge, like masterful observers of 150 years ago, has captured the universe with only pencils and paper. I am pleased to have discovered this lunar artiste

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
2014-04-17. 16 inch ultralight reflector. From a Google translation of Serge's description: "...drawings are just Crayonnages in color on 82 mm circular templates. They attempt to reproduce at best the observed color sensation, here exacerbated by the instrumental diameter. This information is then fused on the detailed image of the final design implementation gray for these operations."

Related Links
Serge's website

Yesterday's LPOD: Tribute To Image Processing Software Developers

Tomorrow's LPOD: Cosmic Reflections


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