Weeks. Months really.
Don’t get me wrong, I like social astronomy. I love a good astro-conversation over the top of a cool scope. I can wax lyrical about stars and stuff for hours.
But last night I sat under a clear sky, alone with my scope for the first time in 3 months. I have been out socially, sharing astronomy with others but not this, not the quiet, personal solitude of observing, sketch book in hand. No questions, no chit-chat, no astronomy small talk.
Just me and the sky.
I’m in Cornwall, dark, quiet, laid back. The bleet of goats, the hoot of owls and no street lights…no sodium glow, no sirens, no heavy traffic. London could be another world. And the sky…
Despite being bathed in the soft glow of an almost full moon the Milky Way was apparent, the Andromeda Galaxy was easily found and my scope was easliy revealing the Dumbbell Nebula, M27.
But the moon was king and after a small deep sky tour I began to sketch. Nothing spectacular, to be honest I’ve not seriously skectched the moon for months, three sketches flowed, with long periods of just exploration, searching the surface from limb to terminator.
The deep craters filled with ice cold black, bright white rays stretching for miles across the pit marked surface, the irregular sunlit outlines of mountains against the black of space, the endless and subtle variation of of shading across the mare.
And silence. I need to do this more often.