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Re: (IAAC) Obj: NGC 7000 (North America nebula, HV-37, LBN47...



One IAAC reader comments:
>I must say that anyone who can so accurately represent the night sky with
>pencil and paper as Sue has done is as good an Artist as any I've seen!
Hear, hear. :)
Discussing the "nature of art" on a visual deep-sky forum may be just a wee
bit outside of our community's primary interest. But as a matter of fact, I
would say that waxing poetic about Sue's beautiful deep sky sketches is NOT
off-topic, at least not so long as we can RELATE IT BACK to our visual deep
sky observing passion, somehow! So in that spirit...
Sue, I noticed that in your sketch of the California Nebula (NGC 1499), you
have somehow managed (with a 4.1" scope, Hydrogen beta filter and your well
trained eye, brain and hand), to capture details in this object which most
astronomers would expect would require LONG-EXPOSURE photography to detect!
To illustrate what I mean, I have to direct readers to the following "deep"
astrophotograph of NGC 1499, for comparison with Sue's sketch:
    http://voltair.csun.edu/california.html
And here again is the URL of Sue's sketches:
    http://home.talkcity.com/Terminus/susanfrench/astronomy.html
In particular, note the bright arc of nebulosity in the edge opposite the
brightest field star (Menkib, xi Per). This is not merely visible in Sue's
sketch (even as reproduced on the Web), but in fact her sketch brings out
nuances that are hard to find on the deep image!
If that isn't enough, note the small dark "blob" close near the brightest
field star opposite xi - mag 6 star HD25152. This looks almost like a Bok
globule, it is so dark, small and distinct. This feature is nicely brought
out on Sue's "small telescope sketch"! So to is the dark "arc" stretching
across the W half of the nebula, from near the center to near the W edge.
Or look at the rounded "envelope" of nebulosity which extends indefinitely
into the ESE from the main nebula: On the long-exposure photo, this nebula
simply peters out into indistinct haze, not long after it engulfs a mag 8
field star, HD25508. Yet in Sue's sketch, this envelope of haze is clearly
seen extending beyond HD25508, into an intricate rounded "lobe" extention.
This is an extraordinary effort at astrosketching, clearly. However, it is
also a clear indication of what a little patience, coupled with a *lot* of
eye self-training (of the type one might glean here on IAAC), can do...
Sue, you really do inspire us with these drawings. :)
As my final contribution on this topic, I wanted to suggest that all of our
readers keep in mind, that what we're all here on this list for is to share
descriptions - primarily, but not exclusively, by written means - of detail
in visually observed deep-sky objects! And any well-written deep sky log is
inevitably an artistic - not *JUST* an archival or a "scientific" - product.
And so, naturally, is any well-done deep sky sketch. :)
In fact, I believe that the very best of *written* deep-sky logs require as
much artistry, care and passion as any good astrosketch. I might almost say
that these logs are the "literary form" of the art of deep-sky sketching...
Well, this is just my opinion, of course. I welcome other (on-topic) views!
Clear skies,
Lew Gramer
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