Ye know drawing is sometimes like an itch I have to scratch. When an idea takes even a fingertip hold on my mind it will sit there in silence forever or until I deal with it. As a result I have a backlog which I am sure would take several years to achieve. Most days new notions for visual experiments snap crackle and pop in my head.
Lunar drawing, for the most part it is for my learning pleasure and enjoyment. It would be very rare for me to produce a drawing that was not directly from my telescope observations. On a New Year break (minus telescope) I was inspired to sketch in celebration of the NASA Grail’s mission to the Moon. Some time ago I was sent a NASA facts sheet about GRAIL – Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission. I used the little moon image on the back of the sheet to inform my ink drawing. “Grail is a Discovery Class mission that will unlock the mysteries of the Moon. By globally mapping the lunar gravitational field to unprecedented accuracy and resolution, the mission will peer deep inside the Moon to reveal its internal structure and thermal history. “
My drawing materials were new to me and oh boy they are wonderful, Inktense blocks by Derwent. Little sticks of water-soluble ink, can be used with a little water or just as sticks of colour or grated or any combination of these. There was no white ink stick, OK now I could have left the paper do the white for me but I like using white over darker colours. I had brought a white gel pen with me; it was past its best, so I cut into the tube to make use of the ink that remained for my ejecta rays. For the Grail’s I used two tiny pieces of foil from the neck of a Champagne bottle. Cheers Grails how appropriate I giggled as added the shiny orbitors to the blackness of space around my Moon drawing. GRAIL's A & B went into lunar orbit on New Years Eve
and New Years Day . They will bring us lunar secrets held for eons.
Eyes On the Solar Syestem follow it here
MoonKam is the public outreach part of the mission
Eyes On the Solar System you can follwo this and other missions here
January 3rd / 4th I made efforts to observe and sketch the Quadrantid meteor shower; however cloudy conditions put an end to that idea. The irony was that my location was much darker than home and I had a clear view to the north with no obstructions, such are the trials of Irish observing.
My husband and I had a wonderful wild winter week in Lisdoonvarna .We went walking in the rugged rocky landscape of north Clare. It is always in my opinion very important to be aware of our planets place in space as we observe and explore outwards. It’s Important also to take time to wallow in the beauty of this Earth. Doolin Cave an extraordinary experience, 80 feet underground in pitch black , like being in space within the planet and then the lights turn on to reveal the jaw dropping two colour stalactite, 25 feet long , weighing in at 20 tons with a three meter natural plug anchoring it to the ceiling of the chamber. The vision was a fantastic surprise, and then very unexpectedly a second chamber 100 feet down with a ceiling that looked so like many HiRISE Mars images.
It was as always a tonic to stand within yards of huge Atlantic waves crashing into both each other and the cliffs near Fanore Beach. There is an Earthy pleasure in tasting sea salt on your own face and standing in a gale full of sea foam bubbling like jelly Guinness on a limestone beach in winter.
We stayed at Trident Holiday Homes Lisdoonvarna
We had a super meal for our wedding anniversary at The Wild Honey Restaurant in Listoonvarna
We visited Doolin Cave and Allwee Cave
You can download the fact sheet here in pdf form and learn more about
the GRAIL mission in a pdf here