I’m a member of the cloud appreciation society and I love the sky. When it is misty and the sky turns salmon pink, when there are dark storm clouds in the background and bright sunlight shines on the landscape in front of them. We see amazing lightening storms, cumulo nimbus, stratus, cirrus, mammatus, so many sorts of clouds.
I love looking up at the sky, looking at the stars and meteor showers or seeing a satellite tracking overhead. I’ve seen Jupiter and Saturn and Mars and Venus in the telescope.
Chemicals create different colours, sodium used in street lights glows yellow. Chemicals are used in fireworks, like strontium (red?) or copper green, creating different colours, blues, purples, oranges.
The reason sunlight is made up of a spectrum is because the sun is made not only of hydrogen and helium but all the chemicals in the periodic table up to iron (any chemicals beyond that can only be created in Super Novae explosions). All the chemicals in the sun glow in different colours, which is why they show up when the white light from the sun passed through a prism. If you split the spectrum further you can find dark lines, these are markers of which chemicals are present. The older the star the more chemicals. As a star gets older it starts to burn up its hydrogen and helium. New chemicals are created by atoms fusing together. That’s where new chemicals are made. When you think about it, if it wasn’t for stars burning or exploding we couldn’t exist.
I’m into Astronomy not Astrology, but I do like the symbols that are used, I just tried this out as an idea to symbolise the Gemini ♊ twins. I wanted to capture the feeling of identical and non identical at the same time. I did consider different skin tones and eye colours. This is also female, but I could have drawn male instead. Drawn in ArtRage oils and Sketch apps, it is again an example of digital drawing. I might put it through a few filters and see what results.
Picture from the studio at spode last year. I thought it would be fun to paint a nebula onto a star shaped canvas I found. I’ve never seen another one. I also painted the Earth on a hexagonal canvas, but again I’ve not been able to find more. The shops seem to have less options to what they had even a year ago. I would really like to get hold of a circular canvas.
The photo is an illustration and it doesn’t actually show parallax.
Do you know what parallax is?
Hold out your thumb in front of you and close one eye. Place it so that it covers something, perhaps a flower outside, or something in front of you. Maybe the moon.
Now without moving your hand open your eye and close the other one.
What do you see? The moon or the object appears to have moved! That is because your eyes are seperate. They are the base of a very long thin triangle and believe it or not you can measure distance that way.
Now stick a piece of wood in the soil on the equator, and a similar one a few miles north or south of it. At midday on the equator the sun will be directly overhead and there will be no, or hardly any shadow. But the one miles away will cast a shadow. The further away from the equator the longer the shadow. If you know the distance between the sticks, and the angle the shadow casts by the other stick. (measure the angle from the top of the stick and the end of the shadow) you can actually work out the distance to the Sun (which is casting the shadow). In this way the ancient Greeks did this and also worked out the size of the Earth approximately. You can use this idea if you look at a star at one end of the Earth’s orbit and six months later the other side of the orbit. That’s how they work out distances to stars. Amazing what you can work out by using your eyes, a couple of sticks and your thumb!
Want to see the stars? You don’t need an expensive telescope. Maybe just a pair of binoculars (you can get monocular too). You just have to get them set up so you can see images clearly. You can use them to look at the moon, where you will be able to see more of the craters and mare (seas). These are not actually filled with water, but flattened areas amongst the craters. There is the sea of tranquility where Apollo 11 landed for instance. Other things that binoculars make visible include some galaxies and comet Neowise which is gradually fading as it moves away from the sun. It is visible above the western horizon below the star Arcturus (follow the stars of the big dipper handle down till you get to a bright star, then look about halfway between it and the horizon. It is an idea to look in a dark sky area, and allow your eyes to become adapted to the dark for about twenty minutes to allow the pupils of your eyes to open fully.
In the sky I see stars, not many, the major constellations, ursa major, ursa minor, casseopea. Its hard to make out because the clouds are flitting by. And despite lockdown, the street lights still deaden them.
I’ve only ever felt the greatness and infinity of space when we were out in the countryside. Seeing the milky way galaxy made me feel so tiny. Like I could fall off the surface of the earth, into a whirlpool of stars. Seeing that band of stardust overhead can be overwhelming.
Dark skies, where the town and city light does not reflect back. Where you can lie down on the ground and see shooting stars flying overhead. I may have seen satellites or the ISS but I wouldn’t be sure. We have seen comets…
The sky is there to observe. Look if you can, and learn.
Another one of my digital drawings on sketchfu. Probably drawn in 2013 before the site closed down. A lot of this is done by using opacity and transparency. There were about seven sizes of pens on the website and a large colour palette and a colour picker and erasers that I think had a varied transparency.
When you do something like this you have to build up from a basic background, layering details, adding more and smaller detail as I go along.
Observation is important. I can excuse slight mistakes, but I try and be as accurate as possible.
I’m interested in astronomy so being able to draw from beautiful images is a real pleasure. I think this either came from a stock image, or somewhere like NASA or ESA, but it’s so long ago…
I must go back and visit Jodrell bank again. Maybe its somewhere to get Stoke urban sketchers to go to. I know it’s in the Cheshire countryside but it’s not too far away at Holmes Chapel. It’s certainly a challenging draw. I know I had a go ages ago. If my hubby was here he would be explaining how parts of it are off a battleship or something, I don’t remember…. So anyway yes it’s a fascinating place to visit, although I think it’s half term next week so it might be very busy.
I’ve been making patterns again, this time using a close up of sequins on my jumper… Very random I know.
The stiches on the jumper also add texture to the photo. I think the stars look like little dancing people holding hands.
I love stars and astronomy. I’m interested in things like the magnitude of stars, seeing comets, planets and asteroids. I read web pages like spaceweather.com which gives you information about CMEs (coronal mass ejections) from the Sun, which is caused by the sun’s magnetic lines of force getting tangled up and hurling out plasma from the sun’s surface.
If the weather is clear I will look out for meteor showers like the orionids or geminids (Based on the constellations they appear to emanate from).
I wish I lived in the southern hemisphere. I have heard of the magellanic clouds (small neighbouring satellite galaxies) which are below the plain of the ecliptic, which is the flat plain of our galaxy. Anything below that can only be seen from the south.
We (our planet) is topped at an angle of 22?degrees. So although we see constellations they vary with the seasons. They rise above the equator or sink below it depending on where we are in the year. If you sailed on a boat or flew on a plane at night you would see the constellations change as you flew north to South, or vice versa. Some constellations like the southern cross are only visible in the southern hemisphere and some like the plough or Great bear are only visible in the North.
I had a couple of little telescopes and once saw a tiny image of saturn and its rings and the galilean satellites of Jupiter – four moons that orbit Jupiter. There are more but are too small to see in a backyard telescope.
I’m no expert but I do like to learn. I’m sure there are lots of websites where you can find more information. Funny how I can ramble on after describing my jumper!