Gallivanting in a Stellar Ravine

We take our energetic and clear evenings when we can get them. We can be tired from long days and clear summer night skies in August are not that common. So when we have a clear eveningwith energy and no events that are interfering, the telescopes go up. But it is hard not to share the experience with our friends, so we usually broadcast the image of what we see and teach a sketch lesson at the same time. It makes for a long evening, but it’s fun.

This particular evening we wanted to roam around a ravine. Ever do that as a child? I remember finding a big ditch or ravine and exploring. Now we are doing it in the skies by watching objects that have massive dark lanes or sections. The Lagoon Nebula is one of those places where you see a giant chasm of darkness through the center of the object. It has quite a few paths of darkness that seem to go out from one big “ditch”. And, it also has a beautiful star cluster. So we sat down together to broadcast, sketch, do a sketch lesson, and enjoy the lovely color of the object. We did it differently. I used what kids would have: piece of white paper (I used off-white) and a soft pencil. This means the brightest things are dark and the darkest things (like the stellar ravine) are light. Linda, on the other hand, used bold colors on black sketch paper. My entry is below. Linda’s is at the Caring Bridge site ( and comprises the entry for August 21st.  Hope you enjoy the observations.


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