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Messier 31

Messier 31 is one of the most popular objects, especially among beginning astro-amateurs. In the internet there is so many photos of this galaxy.⁣ At the beginning of August 2021 I made two astronomical sketches of this object at AstroLife’s request.

First sketch shows M31 seen through 10×50 binoculars (which means the magnification here is 10 times and aperture of one objective lens is 50 mm), while the second one depicts it through 25×100 binoculars (so magnification is 25 times and aperture – 100 mm). But Messier 31 isn’t the only one object here. In both sketches you can see two more galaxies – Messier 32 and Messier 110. The first one is similar to a star, but a bit more blurred, and lies to the right and below M31. The second one is a bit broader, fainter and is located farther from M31 than M32. You can find it above M31 (in the second sketch it’s closer to the diaphragm).⁣

Messier 27

Messier 27 (the Dumbbell Nebula) is the brightest planetary nebula in the northern sky (and the second brightest at all). Thanks to an apparent magnitude of about +7.5 and a diameter of about 8 arcminutes (angularly one of the biggest object of this type), the nebula can be even seen through small binoculars. In the heart of M 27 we discovered one of the largest known white dwarfs.⁣⁣

Recently I decided to sketch this object during observations through SW 150/750 telescope. Weather conditions were really great, after dark adaptation of eyes the Milky Way was visible very very gently. It surprised me – I was stargazing on the outskirts of the city with about 100 000 population (Kalisz)! ⁣⁣
I was using ES 11 mm 82° eyepiece.⁣⁣

Venus and the Pleiades

On Friday (3rd April) there was meeting of Venus and open star cluster called Messier 45 or Pleiades, what I decided to perpetuate and make a sketch. Among the clouds I was able to draw only the planet and a few the brightest stars of M 45 – after that there came a big, viewless cloud and covered all western sky. I couldn’t see anything.
For this reason I drew the rest of the stars in the cluster the next evening.

By the way, during Friday observations, when clouds were drifting on Venus’s disc, I was able to see its phase – the clouds acted like a natural filter, which turned down dazzling glow of this planet.

I was using APM MS 25×100 binoculars.

M 81, M 82, NGC 3077

Messier 81 (Bode’s Galaxy) is one of the brightest galaxies in the northern sky – highly experienced observers having good sight may even be able to see it with the naked eye under exceptional observing conditions with a very dark sky.
Messier 82 (the Cigar Galaxy) accompanies it intrinsically. It’s a bit fainter than the neighbour but still easy to see, even with a modest binoculars. In contrast to the oval M 81, the Cigar Galaxy is longitudinal and slightly irregular in shape.
With a bit bigger instrument we can see one more blear – it’s NGC 3077. In my sketch it looks like a small brightening below one of the stars in lower right part.

All three galaxies are gravitationally bound and come under a greater groups, among which M 81 is the healthiest. W can observe them in the constellation Ursa Major.

My sketch depicts described above objects sight with the binoculars APM 25×100 under Bortle Class 4 sky.

NGC 2264

This sketch depicts NGC 2264 – an open star cluster located in the constellation Monoceros. This object is more commonly known as the Christmas Tree Cluster. Do you see this shape? The Christmas tree is upside down here and its trunk is made of the brightest star in the field of view. 

I drew the sketch during observations through the APM 25×100 binoculars in southern Poland under Bortle Class 4 sky.

Partial Lunar Eclipse – 16/17.07.2019

This evening in many parts of Poland the weather wasn’t dream, but luckily at my location clouds didn’t prevent the observations of the eclipse. ⁣⁣⁣

I documented this pfenomenon in my own way, but my sketch is monochrome, while in fact the shaded parts of the Moon had reddish hue.
All times are Central European Summer Time (UTC+2:00).⁣

Moon in 99%

I made this Moon sketch last night (17/18.05.2018) during observations between clouds flying in the sky. Some of them were more transparent, other – less. Sometimes there was 22° halo around the Moon visible and even subtle upper tangent arc!

I was using APM binoculars 25×100. For the first time I was sketching astronomical object in such scale – lunar disc in my drawing is 10 cm in diameter. Part of the circle above the Moon shows field of view of my binoculars.

I know it’s not my best Moon sketch – lunar surface isn’t so interesting near the full moon. Craters and other geological features are best seen close to the lunar terminator (line dividing the day- and the night-side of the planetary body). But even so, creating this drawing gave me a lot of joy, otherwise such big and round Moon can be mesmerising, especially surrounded by veil from clouds.

Pencils on paper, dark background added in Gimp.

Messier 46 and 47

This sketch depicts two open star clusters – Messier 46 and Messier 47. The left one – M 46 – is definitely more rich in the stars, but also more subtle and dainty. Its neighbor – M 47 – actually has less stars, but it shows them more decisively. These clusters lie in the north part of the constellation Puppis and are located so close each other in the sky that you can see them in the same binocular field, but in reality M 46 is located much further away (and is much older).⁣

I drew it on 8th February 2019 during observations through the APM 25×100 binoculars in southern Poland under Bortle Class 4 sky.⁣

Total Lunar Eclipse 27.07.2018

There was something unique in this eclipse. Except for the reddish Moon, low over the mountains (The Little Beskids) there was seen the maroon planet – Mars in the great opposition.

I depicted this phenomenon in the true colours using the coloured pencils Koh-i-Noor Mondeluz.
All times are Central European Summer Time (UTC+2:00).⁣