Eratosthenes Drawing Drama plus an Experiment opportunity for schools all over the planet


April 25th 2007 21:30UT - 22:55UT Lunation 8.47 Days Illumination 66.6% 200mm/8mmTVP/ F6/152X Seeing 1 - 2 300gm Daler Paper/Soft Pastels/ Conte Crayon/ Quiling tool/fingers South is up.

On that cold evening back in 2007 Eratosthenes looked powerful in its position emerging into the suns warm rays. Rupes Recta was also inviting and Plato almost called me again. Even drenched in sunlight Plato’s steel grey floor carried those unmistakable flame shaped shadows. Eratosthenes is a truly dramatic crater, a sweeping mountain chain whips away from it in a visual series, of broken, deep shadows. Montes Appeninus is cut and chopped first by Mons Wolf, and then by Mons Ampere.

Next in line, Christian Huygens name is lent to Mons Huygens named in honour of the discoverer of Saturn's largest moon Titan . This high mountain (164,000ft) is a billion miles away from those primal methane or ethane seas discovered by the Cassini Huygens mission on one of its routine flybys.

Mons Bradley and Mons Hadley cradle the Apollo 15 lunar landing area from 1971. A mission that put wheels on the moon for the first time. This wonderfully complex mountain highland system is a challenge to sketch.

Sinus Aestuum (Bay of Billows) appeared to have some ray’s barely visible on the undulating floor of the bay. These are most likely issued from Copernicus hiding in the dark night.

I attempted to sketch the seemingly different heights on the southern edge of this bay; differing grey tones gave up ethereal views which never quite came into focus. The elusive rays appeared to hug the lunar surface rising and falling with the land.

The black edge guided my hand to sketch the neat Timocharis and the lunar surface markings visible now to my eye. I was using a lovely jet black Mungyo soft pastel. Just a little pressure on it caused the whole stick to shatter into a million bits and they went all over the drawing like shrapnel exploding everywhere wow!! gently does it with those sticks, nice black though. The corners of these rectangular sticks make clear defined shapes , the black is a perfect black for use directly or on fingers when blending surface areas.

These days I make an effort to bring key craters like Eratosthenes to the attention of children who attend my workshops. It's good to give moon features context in relation to the historical importance of lunar nomenclature. You can also get really into the spirit of Eratosthenes by taking part in the Eratosthenes Experiment . This is an effort to reproduce his very clever experiment to measure the circumference of the Earth. This year it takes place on March 21st 2017 so you have a short time to get involved but there is a link for doing it on another date and of course there is always next year . You can read all about Eratosthenes the man and his experiment here - You can also register to take part -


Deirdre Kelleghan

About Deirdre Kelleghan

Deirdre Kelleghan is an Astronomer, Artist and Educator. She invents designs and enacts creative workshops to help children understand our solar system through drawing . Her activities take place in schools, libraries, science centres and observatories in Ireland and abroad. In practice her work is always engaged in the NOW. A recurring feature of connecting with her audiences is being actively attentive to astronomy or space events that are ongoing in real time. ICT ,eLearning and blended learning play a key role in many of her programs. Her Action Sun workshop opened Building the Scientific Mind 2013 Colloquium at Bosscha Observatory West Java Indonesia. This was a UNESCO / The Learning Development Institute event. In 2011 Deirdre was awarded the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education. The workshop was Deadly Moons the awarding body was the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is co author of Sketching the Moon an Astronomical Artists Guide. Deirdre is a contributing artist / writer for BBC Sky at Night Magazine . Deirdre has recently been invited to write for The Vatican Observatory Foundation. Deirdre Science / Art Workshops for children support • The primary school curriculum • eLearning • ICT in Education • Astronomy • Astronomy software • Enquiry Based Learning • Drawing skills • Observation She has her own blog: You can follow her on Twitter, and Facebook

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