August 17th /18th 2010
Time : 23:45 UT - 00:45 UT
August 2010 I was staying in a cute house close to the village of Durrus in Co Cork. This little place is the gateway to exploring the outstanding Sheeps Head peninsula. The night sky down there was seriously beautiful to the eye; one did not need a telescope to enjoy it.
Earlier in the evening I had a look into Sagittarius before it got too low, then as the night followed on I was inspired to do a naked eye drawing of the sky above my head.
To give me the best option for a sketch I retreated to the back garden, away from the car park lights. I turned off the lights in the house; the village light pollution was minimal. Dark adaption came to me in about 25 minutes, and death would come to anybody who turned on a light.
Bliss greeted my eyes as the wonders of the summer sky opened up for me, the seeing was good.
We had brought along comfy canvas beach chairs, one of these was fine to sink into and observe. My tools for the drawing were a sheet of black paper, a clip board, a white gel pen, finely grated white pastel, blending stick ,cotton wool, and a red head light.
My working area was the star n Persei and from that visualy along the galaxy to a Cyg. I carefully added the stars in each visible constellation . Larger brighter dots according to magnitude and so on and so forth till I had a star map on my paper which mirrored the sky above my head and toward the North East. The Double Cluster and Andromeda were crystal clear naked eye objects, not usual from my home garden at all. The placement of these objects was very helpful in lining up significant stars like alpha Cyg ie Deneb in the constellation Cygnus and all the stars that made paths in the sky to each other.
A small wad of cotton wool loaded carefully with finely grated white pastel was how I added the magnificent Milky Way and all its visible star laden tendrils. When my drawing was almost finished a long trailing Perseid shot from n Persei, went flying past Cassiopeia and ended its journey just short of delta Cep . At its leading end for a nano second I noticed a sickle shaped flick of white. This meteor and its unusual flick was added into my drawing . It was a few weeks before I could look this up and discover that some Perseids produce visible bow shocks in front of themselves as they enter our atmosphere. However so far I have only come across records of Perseids bow shocks that were caught on film, so would love to know if anyone has seen one by eye while observing. email@example.com