June 2009
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Chasing Galileo - fourteen-day moon

fourteen-day (full) moon

The full moon rises as the sun sets on the 14th day of the lunar month. A small telescope, such as the 70mm f.8.7 Televue Ranger I’m using for this series of sketches is a perfect instrument for full moon viewing. So are binoculars. The moon is [...]

Chasing Galileo – sketches of the eleven-day moon

It’s showtime! Sunlight reveals most of the lunar surface and the moon is visible all night long.

Sinus Iridum — the Bay of Rainbows — is visible near the north part (left in my sketch) of the terminator. It’s the little half circle. The Jura Mountains ring the western edge and catch the [...]

Chasing Galileo – Head of Orion cluster

Galileo’s Head of Orion cluster

Jane’s Head of Orion cluster

Astrophoto of Orion Head cluster by Morris Jones

Map of the constellation Orion

Galileo looked at the fuzzy patch surrounding the head of Orion through a telescope, and resolved many starts not previously known. He called it Nebulosa Orionis.

Look between the shoulder stars Betelgeuse and [...]

Chasing Galileo – Jupiter and the four Galilean satellites

Galileo’s drawing

my drawing

my sketch of Jupiter’s rotation

Galileo published his observations in Sidereus Nuncius in March 1610: “On the 7th day of January in the present year, 1610, in the first hour of the following night, when I was viewing the constellations of the heavons through a telescope, the planet Jupiter [...]

Chasing Galileo – sketches of the nine-day moon

nine-day moon

Lunar creature features

Rabbit on the full moon

Night owls can enjoy the nine-day moon – it’s up all night long. In my sketch, the magnificent crater Copernicus is visible on the sunlit side of the terminator – on the right side of the lunar center. It looks so insignificant right now, but [...]

Chasing Galileo – sketches of the five-six day moon

Six-day old waxing moon

The six-day waxing gibbous moon is visible for many hours in the evening – perfect for lunar observing and sketching. The time of my sketch was closer to the sixth day than the five day old moon. I had a hard time identifying craters using either lunar days! Note how much [...]

Chasing Galileo – sketches of the 3-day moon

three-day old waxing moon

This year, my observing project is to recreate as many of Galileo’s original telescopic observations as I can. I’ll be using my smallest telescope, a 70mm refractor, and making my sketches using a 25mm eyepiece for a magnification of 19x. Each of my lunar sketch pages will each show three [...]

Chasing Galileo – sunspots

Galileo's sunspots

My sunspots

In the summer of 1612, Galileo sketched a series of sunspots which were published in Istoria e Dimostrazioni Intorno Alle Macchie Solari e Loro Accidenti Rome, (History and Demonstrations Concerning Sunspots and their Properties), in 1613. Galileo corresponded with other scientists and artists who also were sketching the [...]