2014 04 15 Total Lunar Eclipse

•April 15, 2014 • 1 Comment

10171100_10202463032870961_8131867034584355636_nEarly this morning, we were treated to a total lunar eclipse in most of North America. I spent a good chunk of the evening preparing my sketch kit to record the event through a series of sketches to be animated. I also set up the Canon 60D DSLR equipped with a 70-300mm zoom lens, set at 300mm. 1613982_10202464300302646_4627109439256183855_n

The sketches are left smoldering in a folder until I can bare too look at them – what a new experience for me to work at such a fast pace with color pastels! In the mean time, here is the resulting animation of the photo sequence. My friend, Stephanie Hansen was my observing buddy and snapped the first half of the eclipse for me while I sketched.

20140415-total-lunar-eclipse

Mars was shining brightly northwest of the Moon and Spica was seen to the southwest.
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2014 02 13, 13.24-day-old Moon

•February 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

2014 02 13, 0325-0620UT (-6) 13.24-day-old Moon
Erika Rix, Texas, http://www.pcwobservatory.com
102mm f/9.8 refractor, LXD75, 13% T filter, 20mm, 50x
S: Antoniadi II, T: 2-4/6, Temp: 31F, H: 51%
Colongitude: 70.2°
Phase: 20.3°
Lunation: 13.24 days
Illumination: 96.9%

20140213-13.24d

Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte crayon, white charcoal pencil, black Derwent charcoal pencil, black woodless oil pencil, blending stump.

2014 02 10, 10.13-day-old Moon

•February 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The evening started off clear with crisp views. The clouds moved in shortly after the terminator was sketched, so I concentrated on adding key identifiable features on the lunar disk like rays, maria and bright craters. The session ended at 0330 UT (2100 local time) as the sky became completely overcast, leaving me with an unfinished sketch.

2014 02 10, 0045-0330UT (-6) 10.13-day-old Moon
Erika Rix, Texas, http://www.pcwobservatory.com
102mm f/9.8 refractor, LXD75, 13% T filter, 20mm, 50x
S: Antoniadi I, T: 5/6 degrading to 0/6, Temp: 58F, H: 53%, clear to 100% overcast
Colongitude: 32.5°
Phase: 53.9°
Lunation: 10.13 days
Illumination: 79.4%

20140210 10.13d

Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte crayon, white charcoal pencil, black Derwent charcoal pencil, black woodless oil pencil, blending stump.

2014 02 09, 9.12-day-old Moon

•February 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This was a marathon session. I meant to be outside for only a couple hours. Then four hours later, I forced myself to stop sketching even though more detail could have been added. The sky conditions that night were nearly perfect.

2014 02 09, 0030-0430UT (-6) 9.12-day-old Moon Erika Rix, Texas, http://www.pcwobservatory.com
102mm f/9.8 refractor, LXD75, 13% T filter, 20mm, 50x
S: Antoniadi I, T: 5/6, Temp: 40F, H: 50%, c/c
Colongitude: 20.3°
Phase: 64.9°
Lunation: 9.12 days
Illumination: 71.2%

20140209 9.12d


Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte crayon, white charcoal pencil, black Derwent charcoal pencil, black woodless oil pencil, blending stump.

A member from the Austin Astronomical Society, Rob Pettengill, was imaging that same night and sent me an animation to compare my sketch to the fantastic image he took that night.

“I noticed that we both caught the gibbous moon last night and was curious about how it would look with the photo I took, so I scaled my picture to the same size and made an animated gif. I thought that you might be amused by the result as well.”

I really enjoy these types of comparisons. Not only does it show similarities, but it also shows where my sketch was off. This helps me to improve my sketching technique.

GibbousMoonAnimation140208

2014 02 05, 5.13-day-old Moon

•February 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The weather hasn’t cooperated very well for a daily lunar phase sketch. Even so, it’s been great fun watching the progression of the terminator on the “clear enough” nights!

2014 02 05, 00455-0322UT (-6) 5.13-day-old Moon Erika Rix, Texas, http://www.pcwobservatory.com
102mm f/9.8 refractor, LXD75, 20mm, 50x
S: Antoniadi III, T: 5/6, Temp: 41F, H: 55%, c/c
Colongitude: 331.6°
Phase: 111.0°
Lunation: 5.13 days
Illumination: 32.1%

20140205 5.13d

Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte crayon, white charcoal pencil, black Derwent charcoal pencil, black woodless oil pencil, blending stump.

2014 02 02, 2.12-day-old Moon

•February 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This was a rushed sketch before the overcast sky prematurely ended the observing session. Very little albedo features were detected within the earthshine.

2014 02 02, 0030-0130 UT (-6) 2.12-day-old Moon
Erika Rix, Texas, http://www.pcwobservatory.com
102mm f/9.8 refractor, LXD75, 20mm, 50x
Partly cloudy degrading to overcast
Colongitude: 294.7°
Phase: 150.3°
Lunation: 2.12 days
Illumination: 6.6%

20140202 2.12 day Moon


Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte crayon, white charcoal pencil, black Derwent charcoal pencil, black woodless oil pencil, blending stump.

2014 February 1, 1.12 day Moon

•February 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Moon was sinking toward the horizon with cirrus clouds obscuring the view. Thankfully I had the opportunity to grab a quick binocular sketch in the front field regardless of the soft views through Earth’s atmosphere.

2014 02 01, 0030-0100 UT (-6) 1.12-day-old Moon
Erika Rix, Texas, http://www.pcwobservatory.com
15x70mm binoculars, no filter
Thin cirrus
Colongitude: 282.6°
Phase: 164.1°
Lunation: 1.12 days
Illumination: 1.9%

20140201 1.12 day Moon

Eyepiece sketch on black Strathmore Artagain paper, white Conte crayon, white charcoal pencil, black Derwent charcoal pencil, black woodless oil pencil, blending stump.