Before our journey to Namibia I was certain only about a few things concerning the observations. One thing I knew for sure. I wanted to draw already on the first night and I wanted to start with the Jewel Box. One of the most beautiful open clusters in the sky in one of the most beautiful constellations in the sky. I couldn't resist. I was not sure about the composition (I could have made it tighter). But as I saw this field with the Mimosa (ß Crucis) I immediately fell in love with it. The spectacular dark spot of the Coalsack begins straight off the southern edge of this field. Unfortunately this didn't fit into the 1.8 degrees. Concerning the colours, the very red star closest to Mimosa (W-SW of it) is perhaps even more spectacular than the central orange star in the triple star chain in the middle of the Jewel Box.
According to the plan I was hoping to finish this drawing on our first night. But it took almost the whole of the second night as well to draw this sea of stars in this wild Milky Way field. Of course this was no problem at all because I terribly enjoyed whatever I drew under one of the most beautiful Sky that can be found on our planet.
Even though this is only an open cluster it might be woth comparing the drawing that is the visual impression to the photograph. The photo on the left, courtesy of Iván Éder was made using a 20 cm astrograph. The original photograph has been rotated and cropped to show a similar area as the drawing next to it.
Though the drawing does not show the colors, the brighter stars were colorful in the telescope (see above). The rest is obvious I think.
Polar ring galaxy
Barred spiral galaxy in the thick of the Milky Way
Interacting spiral galaxy
Lupus planetary nebula
Bright bipolar planetary nebula
Norma planetary nebula
Perfectly annular planetary nebula
Interacting galaxies in Pavo