Saturday 26 December 2015

Maginus, and this time no clouds...

I had a fabulous run of clear skies and the chance to sketch.  Three nights in a row.

Conditions this night were the best for a very long time.  400X was showing some ‘boil’, but still very acceptable.

In scanning the terminator for a sketch subject, I came across Magnius.  I had attempted to sketch Maginus one time before – on that occasion clouds rolled in, killing off the sketch session early.

Maginus is a very ancient feature.  Its floor is flooded, with the tips of the central peaks just showing.  The peaks, and the sheer size of Maginus are the only features still keeping the semblance of the original crater.  Otherwise, it has been heavily altered by the successive impacts that are slowly obliterating the remains of Maginus.

It is these newer impacts superimposed onto the massive ancient crater that make this a very attractive sketching subject.  The floor of Maginus is surprisingly clear of particularly major impacts, with the major newer impacts doing their best to obliterate the ramparts (wall structures) of the underlying crater.  This grace of luck has left the remains of the central peaks visible, and the remainder of the floor peppered with smaller impacts.

Maginus makes for a fantastic telescopic target.  Highly tortured, and littered with hundreds of craters inside and surrounding Maginus, and the floor making for a good test of conditions to be able to spy out the mass of tiny impacts.   Curious to call these craterlets at ‘tiny’, as the ‘tiny’ craters still range from 500m to 2km in diameter!  Bloody big holes all the same!


Object:  Crater Maginus and surrounds
Telescope:  C8, 8” SCT
Gear:  5mm Hyperion, 400X
Date:  19th December, 2015
Location:  Sydney, Australia
Media:  Soft pastels, charcoal and white ink on black paper.

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