Making a Drawing of Jupiter

If you wish to make a serious study of Jupiter you should observe it as often as possible. Only when you stay abreast of conditions on the planet can you hope to recognize a subtle change when it occurs. If you observe only occasionally you will never know whether something you see has any significance. Nor will you know when an event began or how long it has run.

Drawing or sketching what you see while looking through a telescope is the oldest and simplest method of making a record of the observation. Even today, in this high tech world, the eye as detector and paper and pencil as recorder is a simple, inexpensive valuable method available to everyone. Not necessarily to be outdone by CCD cameras, modern observers with very high acuity of vision like Carlos Hernandez, John Rogers, Claus Benninghoven, and Stephen James O'Meara can accurately record amazing detail with just their eyes and a telescope of good quality. Indeed, during the era of photographic film, the eye was always able to see more planetary detail than film could capture. Studying Jupiter by making a drawing has another attribute. The process of drawing the planet will make you a better observer; it trains the eye to see fine detail. It trains the mind to remember what has been seen. Somehow, the simple act of drawing what we see puts us on a higher intellectual plane. Even if you feel that you are not skilled at drawing, you should give it a try. In fact, there are techniques that can help even the beginner. And remember, not only is it pleasurable to record what we see, we are also trying to make a record that has scientific value.

The drawing of Jupiter should present the planet in the normal configuration as seen through an astronomical telescope, inverted with the south pole at the top. This is easily done in Newtonian reflectors. However, refractors and Schmidt-cassegrains often come supplied with star diagonals that make it easier for the observer to view objects near the zenith. Use of these star diagonals will insert an extra reflection, an odd number of reflections, into the light path of the telescope.

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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