Thursday 5 June 2014

A Little Fat Owl on the Moon

The Moon is one of my favourite sketching subjects.  It is always bright to make it an easy telescopic target from my home in Sydney.  Another aspect is the occurrence of alphanumeric along the terminator, caused by the shallow incidence of sunlight provoking shadows on the cratered surface that to our eyes resemble letters and numbers.  Another type of lunar apparition caused by incidental shadows is the appearance of other recognisable shapes and even animals.

My latest lunar sketch is one such shadow apparition.

I don't often have a particular target in mind.  I typically start by scanning the length of the terminator looking for features that catch my attention as a sketching subject.  The "terminator" is the junction line between the lit and dark edge of the lunar surface.  On this occasion, a lovely set of flooded crater shadows forming the shape of 'A Little Fat Owl'.

The crater Fra Mauro forms the body, Parry the right eye, and Bonpland the left eye.  The contours of the flooded Fra Mauro give the effect of plumage to the body.

Later while researching this area, I came to find out that the Apollo 14 landing site happens to be just below where the owl's feet would be.

Object:  "A Little Fat Owl", craters Fra Mauro, Paddy and Bonpland
Telescope:  1980's Orange Tube Celestron C8, 8" SCT
Gear:  5mm Baader Hyperion, 400X
Date:  8th May, 2014
Location:  Sydney, Australia
Media:  White and grey soft pastel, charcoal and white ink on A5 size black paper
Duration:  approx. 2hrs.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alex! Long time since we heard from you on the RASC astrosketchers list, so happy to have come across your website last night! I will be looking for this fat owl, but looks like I just missed it by a day or two on the terminator. Great to see all your work, take care!
    Winnipeg, Canada