Solar Sketching Book Review
Solar Sketching is a comprehensive introduction into recording the Sun features by sketching. The introduction gives a detailed description into the basic equipment required including Filters, types of Telescopes and Mounts along with essential tips to help with equipment and techniques including the use of TiltingSun a free program to create templates from.
Determining the orientation of the solar disc can be a problem when observing through the Telescope, one of the useful tips is to use free software called ’Tilting Sun’ which gives the positions of the Sun’s poles and equator, direction of rotation and the direction of drift in the telescope field of view at the observing site.
Once the basics have been explained, the solar sketching book takes you into step by step detailed tutorials together with the types of materials used to create a detailed image.
Each of the observing mediums are explained; White Light, Hydrogen Alpha and Calcium K. Each tutorial has illustrations of the technique involved with step by step instructions and a final finished example.
The section, Sketching for Science written by Kim Hay outlines how the finished document can be used to record a historical record of the solar feature at a specific time and date, this can be sent to various Astronomical groups solar sections. Examples of reporting forms for the various groups are in Appendix A.
There are sections of Solar Sketching with computer software in, it’s not all about hand drawn work. Some use of Photoshop is included including using it to create animations of your drawings.
The drawings of the solar disc in Hydrogen Alpha are truly amazing in the book and to me they look real.
There is a useful little chapter in the book entitled “Ideas for Outreach” which includes things to do like making a sun funnel and sun spotter and also a section on how to make a solar spectrograph.
There are two appendices, one contains a great collection of observing forms and the other contains a glossary.
In this day and age most Solar observers record Sunspots, Prominences, Filament and full disc images using cameras, whereas drawing the sun requires detailed observing and skill and it’s refreshing to have a book which encourages this method of observing, it is time consuming and requires patience but the rewards are very satisfying.
If you’re interested in sketching the Sun using pencils and pastels then this is the book for you, I can highly recommend this book Written by Erika Rix, Kim Hay Sally Russell and Richard Hardy.
Book Reviewed By Mick Jenkins and Daniel Coe