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Mars

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20 years 10 months ago #220 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Mars handout
Ive uploaded a 2 page handout for anyone who is wants something to give out at any observing sessions but doesnt want the hassle of drafting up their own:

groups.yahoo.com/group/irishfas/files/mars.pdf

Feedback welcome!

Cheers,
~Al (IAS)

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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20 years 10 months ago #256 by michaeloconnell
Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Mars
Had a look at mars last weekend. V. nice. Tried the dark red 23A filter again. Gave it a bit of time and effort on this occasion and reaped the rewards. I found that it helps big-time to improve the contrast of the surface details. Tried my other filters (yellow, green and blue) but found that they weren't as good to bring out the surface detail but helped to improve the ciontrast a small bit for the polar cap. When looking at a map of Mars it shows the Hellas region as if it's a bright white region similar to the polar cap. But when I looked at it through a scope I was only barely able to distinguish it from the surrounding area. Mabey it's my eyesight or do other observers here find the same? That pdf on mars looks v. nice Albert. Well done. Nice tough to put in a picture of what to expect when looking through a scope. People are a bit spoiled nowadays with the Hubble telescope hence expectations are a bit too high.

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20 years 10 months ago #295 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Mars
Hi Michael,
Maybe the program expected you to see a fine layer of frost or clouds in the Hellas region, hehe just kidding..

I've never seen anything (besides the caps) that remote approach a whitish colour, just varing shades of red. I'm not saying its not there, just that I've never seen it.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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20 years 10 months ago #330 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Re: Mars
From Gordon Nason:

If you haven't been staying up late to observe Mars yet, please do so. The detail is absolutely fantastic. Best views I've ever had and it's not even at its closest yet. I stayed up until nearly 3am on a couple of nights this week. The South Polar Cap is a brilliant white surrounded by a dark hood, signs of it melting. At the moment, the northern hemisphere facing us in the early hours of the morning is somewhat barren but the southern hemisphere is full of detail with Mare Cimmerium, Mare Sirenum, Mare Chronium, Eridania, Hesperia and Mare Tyrrhenum quite easily seen using a 10" LX50 with a 8mm Radian giving 312x. High power is essential - I tried 385x but unfortunately the seeing just wasn't good enough. Perhaps tonight! Observers I know in the US south-west have managed 500-700x!

Gordon

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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20 years 10 months ago #332 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Re: Mars
I went up to the mountains last night to get above the mist and away form the lights to get a look at Mars, and luckily ran into the SDAS folks, so had plenty of scopes to look through, some pretty spectacular meteors and a very bright iridium flare.

Nice views with just over 200x magnification, I need to use a 2x barlow and a 6mm eyepiece to get above 300x but thats a little hard on they eye if youre looking at it for a long time.

The one thing I learned last night, thanks to Gordon and the other observers!, is that observing planets like this requires more than a quick look through the eyepiece. Through the night the seeing changes, and occasionally you get glimpses of detail. So you need to keep watching for those brief periods of exceptional seeing which will let you see the detail, and by the end of the night you will actually have seen quite a lot of the planets detail. Looking at it for 5 or 10 minutes isnt enough :-)

Ideally this is where the webcam would come in for imaging, but I cant try that till my boss gets back from his holidays and I can borrow his laptop!

Added to the shopping wish list now btw are: a green laser pointer, just cause they are cool!; focus motor, as the scope shakes too much when focusing by hand and shock absorbing pads for the same reason.

Cheers,
~Al

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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20 years 10 months ago #343 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Mars
We got a very clear night here in Limercik on Thursday the 8th, so I called over to a friends house to do a bit of observing, didnt get home until 4.30. We got great views of Mars, the polar cap is so white and big that it is unmistakable.
There seems to be a dark edge around the side of the cap. The southern side of the globe is full of detail while the north is pretty barren.
In the south we could see a bright area between Mare Sirenum and Mare Chronium, these "seas" really sweep the southern side of the planet and link up with other seas such as MAre Tyrrhenum. I'd really recommend Mars Previewer2 for naming the sites your looking at on Mars, and be careful of the virus Michael warned about earlier.
We also saw 12 PErseids between 2 and 3 am (between mags2 and -1) and 2 sporadics.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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