From the February 2006 issue

Sketching your lunar observations

Learn the importance of sketching your lunar observations.
By | Published: February 20, 2006 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Gassendi sketches
Sketching the Moon with pencil on paper trains the eye to discern subtle detail in observations. It will help you learn a lot about the Moon’s geological features — craters, mares, and plains. Sketching a large area can be challenging, so focus your attention on a small region — maybe a single crater. If you don’t feel adept at sketching, try drawing the faint outline of a crater from a lunar atlas or a photograph. Use a light pencil while you’re at the telescope, and fill in shadows and other fine details. The region near the lunar terminator — the boundary between dark and light regions of the Moon — offers strong contrast between dark shadows and sunlit highlights. Once you capture the main outline, complete the drawing indoors with a mug of hot chocolate at your side.