Sketch Pad Sketching the Sky Competition Winners

Southern Skywatch was 10 years old with the April 2008 issue! It all started back in 1998, where there was an arcane discussion on the ABC's email science discussion list about whether you could see the Moons of Jupiter from Earth with the unaided eye[1]. As part of this discussion, I began drawing ASCII maps of parts of the sky so the readers could find Jupiter and look for themselves. Ian Allen of the ABC's online science unit noticed this and suggested that I put up a monthly skywatching page for Southern Hemisphereians. I jumped at this suggestion and in April 1998 Southern Skywatch began with the assistance and encouragement of Ian Allen and the ABC science on-line graphic department who created the great logos on that page. Southern Skywatch has been running for continuosly for over 10 years now, with only one issue missed[2]. In that time I've directed people to the Leonid meteor shower, the Solar Eclipse of 2002, the great Opposition of Mars, Comet McNaught and many more wonders in the southern sky.

To celebrate this 10 year anniversary, I put on a competition, with prizes donated by the ABC, Sky and Space, and my good self. In the spirit of Southern Skywatch, which is to get people out and looking at the sky, the competition was for kids and adults to send in their best sketches of the sky. Anything was fair game, the motion of Mars past Regulus and Saturn as seen with the unaided eye, the Milky Way, Orion, Scorpio, comet Boattini as seen through binoculars, Jupiter and Saturn as seen through a telescope, Jupiter's moons as seen through binoculars, the Moon under any condition.

People were only limited by their imagination and their pencil or crayon set. I gave some hints on sketching in my article Sketching Stars . Without further ado, here are the winners of the competition, and their entries (which, naturally, are copyright to the various artists, no pinching their pictures!).

Overall Winner

There was no question of who won the overall prize, John Goldsmith stood out with these remarkable sketches (click on the images to see them full size). Sadly, my PDF to JPG conversion software has cropped the edges of these images, but you get the impact anyway. John won a 7 DVD set of Carl Sagans Cosmos donated by ABC online. Check out his astrophotgraphy!

Comet McNaught Jupiter Impact Moon Terminator

A fabulous sketch of Comet McNaught
Note how the striations are captured!
Impact markings on Jupiter after the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levi The Lunar Terminator

Kids Entry Winners

The kids entries were all very good, and everybody who entered got something. These are the winning entries as ranked by the expert panel of judges (my boys, aged 12 and 9). Again, click on the images to see them full size.

Comet Boattini Solar System Saturn
First Prize, Tome's sketch of Comet Boattini
He won a years subscription to Sky&Space
Second Prize, Alex's sketch of the Solar System
He won a gift voucher from Sky&Space
Third Prize, Sonja's Sketch of Saturn
She won a book and a plansiphere



Here are some links to sites of interest for sketching space and various astronomical objects:


[1] Although the Galilean Moons of Jupiter; Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa, are bright enough to be seen by the unaided eye, they are usually too close to Jupiter to be seen without a telescope. It turns out you can see at least one of the Galilean Moons when Jupiter is near opposition, and the moon is at the furtherst point from Jupiter in its orbit. Even then, you have to know here to look, and hide Jupiter behind a wall to see it.

[2] Family and work matters colled to make me miss one issue, after the 10 years of continuous posting, it also delayed me putting this gallery up for several months


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This page is provided by Ian Musgrave and is © copyright 2009 Ian Musgrave, except the "Southern Sky Watch" logo, as well as any other ABC logo used on this page, is © copyright of the ABC and the drawings are © copyright of their respective artists. Please ask for permission to reproduce these drawings.

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Created: Wednesday, 30 November 2008, 11:22:32
Last Updated: Friday, 6 February 2009, 11:22:32