September 6, 2012
A Bite Out of the Terminator
drawing by Erika Rix, Texas
The evening started off with DSO hunting while waiting for the Moon to come up, even though the stars were and faint galaxies were starting to wash out from the moonlight rounding the eastern horizon. I started a sketch of M12 that will have to wait for another night to complete when the Moon isn’t so much of a factor. Once the Moon rose between two short junipers behind me, I switched to black paper and scanned the terminator. Mare Crisium looked like it was taking a bite out of the Moon. I’ve always been a bit intimidated at sketching rough terrain, but took a stab at it nevertheless. Sketching in the highlights makes it incredibly easier in fast moving areas such as along the terminator. The trick is to have very sharp pencils at hand, and I made sure of that during set up before it got dark outside – although I did have to resharpen once or twice during the session (as well as stand up and stretch.) It was a rush against time to render the basin’s western edge before the shadows swallowed the view. I began with the inner ridgeline along the terminator, marking each highlighted crest individually with a very sharp Conte’ pastel pencil. Then as quickly and accurately as I could, started working my way west, alternating between the Conte’, charcoal, Derwent and oil pencils, focusing first on the highlights, then the shadows, followed by albedo. Of particular interest, Crisium sports the crash landing site (although not visible from last night’s lunar phase) of the Soviet’s Luna 15 in 1969 and the landing site of Luna 24, 1976, when soil samples where successfully brought back to earth.
2012 09 04, 0330 UT - 0615 UT. AT6RC f/9 1370mm, LXD75, Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm Mark III (FOV 68 degrees at 171x), no filter. Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte’ crayon and pencil, Derwent watercolor pencil, black charcoal, black oil pencil.
Rükl plate 26
Yesterday's LPOD: What's the Pink?
Tomorrow's LPOD: Familiar Target