Astronomy Drawing

Blackeye Galaxy

A drawing (left) and photograph (right)
of the Blackeye Galaxy
Drawing copyright Michael Geldorp. Photo from
the Students for the Exploration and
Development of Space

When I was an astronomer, we had telescopes, but we didn’t have cameras or computers. We couldn’t just take a picture through our telescopes. To record observations, or to show them to our friends, we had to draw what we saw.

Even today, many people draw what they see through their telescopes. The picture to the right shows a drawing and a photograph of the same galaxy.

Question 1: What do the drawing and the photograph have in common? How are they different?


In this project, you are going to pretend that you are an “old time astronomer” like me. Cameras have not been invented yet, so you have to record your observations by drawing. Your computer monitor will be like your telescope. You will look at a picture and try to draw what you see.

Before you begin drawing, get some advice from a modern astronomer who still draws what he sees through his telescope. Click Next to meet him.