Monday, October 21, 2013

M4, Globular cluster in Scorpius

Welcome to my blog about stargazing and sketching. I hope you can enjoy all the information I will post here and together we can make this a good corner of science and knowledge.

This is my first blog, so I’m open to your advice and opinions. Everyone is welcome: professional astronomer, experienced astronomer, beginner, student... 

So let´s get started...this time with M4 in Scorpius:

This was one of my first sketches made August of 2012. Since that time, I have improved not only my sketching technic, but my brain has learned to observe more details and more faint objects.

At the time I made this sketch my favorite instrument to stargaze with was my Celestron Skymaster 15X70 Binoculars.  Just two months before I had received as my wife´s gift of my first telescope and obviously I did not have the practice yet to set objects and sketch at the same time (I will tell you this story in a future entry).

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter:

Stargazing conditions: constellation at ≤ 10° above the horizon, Bortle 9, clear sky, moonless.

After spotting Antares, which is a very easy target because of it’s remarkable red color, I looked slightly west and followed 3 stars, very similar in magnitude (±8) to the southwest toward the horizon, (for some reason, these 3 stars remained me of the three stars in Orion’s belt traditionally called the 3 wise men in Spanish) to Antares right and very close to the last of the three stars, M4 appears.

I could see just a very faint white-grey spot floating in the sky, with some kind of circular shape but not really well defined edges.  However, I’m very pleased that I could see this DSO which is at about 7000 light-years from the earth in comparison to Antares which is only at about 550 light-years from the earth or 12.7 times closer to us while it appears to be 6 times brighter (according both apparent magnitudes).
I thought that if M4 could be at the same distance as Antares we could see it even in the LP skies with the naked eye!

Now let’s talk about digitalizing the image:

Scanned, inverted and “re-sketched” with adobe Photoshop just this month.  This comes after a long process of learning about this program.  In addition to digitalizing the sketch, I added the red color to Antares and from now I will use color characteristics in my sketches.


Edited by Jennifer Steinberg (editor in chief)


1 comment:

  1. Excellent start to this corner of science and knowledge! Bravo on starting this blog... and going on the endeavor of learning Photoshop. :)