Tuesday, 21 July 2015

5 Day old Moon

Hi all,

I have wanted to sketch the crescent Moon for a few years now.  But the timing of the phase during the day is rarely ever a good one for me.  Today, after such a long wait, the 5 day old Moon beckoned, and all the ducks lined up !

One aspect of the crescent Moon that has appealed to me is that when it is high in the sky, it is set within the blue of the daytime sky.  I’ve had blue coloured paper for some time now in patient anticipation that one day I would get the chance to use it.

What a magnificent scene greeted my eyes.  The amount of detail took me by surprise.  I used low magnification, and this served to concentrate the quality of the image.  And it took me a little while to figure out that there was no way I was going to replicate the level of detail I would normally put into lunar sketch – it is just impossible.

It was a joy to produce this sketch.  As a whole, the finished piece impressed me too!  It was such a delicious treat to see not a smooth lunar limb, but a textured and rippled limb with mountains, ridges and valley breaking up the hard edge.  The terminator was beaded with isolated peaks catching the first rays of the sun.  And details that are normally washed out when I typically get to sketch the Moon, tonight were on show.

But the magic of the night held another precious moment for me after I completed the sketch.  My young son joined me in the backyard.  He was keen to see the Moon through the telescope I had just sketched.  He was mesmerized by the detail, and when I explained the flat plains he could see were fields of lava flows, his curiosity really picked up.  As a final treat I showed him Saturn.  He was amazed to learn that gap that is Casini’s Division is larger than Australia!  And we finished with a view of the streaky clouds on the disk which he ran inside to tell his mum about!  “Mum, mum, I just saw clouds on another planet!”

I came in a very happy dad.

Object:  5 day old Moon
Scope:  C8, 8” SCT
Gear:  30mm Superview, 67X
Date:  21st July, 2015
Location:  Sydney, Australia

Media:  white and blue soft pastel & white ink on blue paper.