Binocular view sketching

Welcome to sketching the celestial objects as seen through a Binocular. I took a shot at Ptolemy cluster and decided to record as I saw it. Pretty much it takes nothing to do it other than a piece of paper and a pencil.

Step 1: Draw a circle of decent radius. I preferred a 8cm radius because of the 80mm binos lens I have. I marked the circle at 12 points like a clock using a compass.

Do this before your observation session starts. This circle represents the field of view(FOV)

Step 2: Using a red light source when sketching in the dark helps. White light can affect your night vision.

Step 3: For a cluster like the one above, start with the stars closest to the edge of your view. From there get to the centre. (For other objects like nebulae and galaxies shading needs to be done which is reserved for another post)
Note: stars are not and dont have to be drawn to scale.

Step 4: Make a darker impression on your sketch for stars that are brightest and so on.


This is Sagittarius star cloud sketch. I couldn’t find the Ptolemy sketch in my files. Take it as a representation. My circle in the above sketch is a mess and its not a problem because all that will be edited away in the processing.

Step 5: once done with the sketch, upload your sketch to an editing software. I use GIMP. Use anything of your choice.

Step 6: There are several tutorials on processing you will find on YouTube on how to process to binocular sketch. Anyone will do.

While sketching is more taxing and tedious compared to photography, it is perfect for those into visual astronomy. Sketching makes you look at individual stars however dim and with experience giving you expertise on observing variable stars which is an actual contribution you can make to the http://www.aavso.org/vsx

The merits are endless once you’re accustomed to the effort the job asks of you.

Happy hunting!

Edit: The tutorial I found useful to add the binocular view -> https://youtu.be/XaILZFdh9aI

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Thank you for this @Pooja28! It will be great if you share the editing technique that you personally follow.