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Hi all, I thought I'd share my observation from this night. At approximately 22:00 local time I was already setup and ready to image Mars and Saturn. As I'm using a mirror diagonal for framing/searching purposes I looked through it and focused using my 40mm LV eyepiece. What I saw in the eyepiece took my breath away. The disc was massive and detailed. I stack Baader Contrast Booster and Neodymium filters for planetary viewing since it does make a considerable difference in revealing detail and increasing contrast. Mars showed a big disc with two CLEARLY visible patches on both the "north" and "south" (equivalent to earth location polar cap regions). There was a clearly visible dark greenish borders around the white patches. The bottom part was white and crisp with a irregular dark greenish patching bordering it from the pinky orange center of the planet. The equator region showed some dark markings around where, I think, Olympus Mons is located. Now I'm not saying that I spotted Olympus Mons in my 8" SCT but I'm thinking, and hoping, maybe... there was definitely something there along with other more subtle spots and shades. This was hands down the best view of Mars I've ever seen. After Mars I had a look at Saturn, it was big and clear although it was not the clearest I've ever seen. Last year I had a clear view of Saturn's cloud bands and a crisp Cassini division surrounded by 5 of its moons (that was the best view of Saturn I ever experienced). This time the Cassini division was there but not as defined as before and any cloud bands were a struggle to see, and the Cassini division was coming and going. There were 4 moons around it glistening in the dark. I know some of you might be wondering why I have seen such big discs using only a 40mm eyepiece. The magnification was at least 250X-300X judging by the size of Saturn in my past experience near opposition using nothing but eyepieces and a diagonal. The reason why the magnification was so high with the 40mm was because it was a bit of a distance away from the visual back and I was also using a Celestron 2X barlow, due to me being setup to do planetary imaging. The lineup was a 2X barlow, 1.25"-2" adapter, a Vixen flip mirror, on the mirror the 40mm eyepiece, and behind the flip mirror were a filter wheel and a IS 618 CCD as shown in the pic. Does anyone know how to work out the actual focal length in a setup situation like this? The pictures didn't come out as crisp as I though they would after the seeing I was experiencing, I'm thinking that the line up caused a bit too much magnification. When I tried the 2.5X power mate the magnification was less, about 60% of the size with the Celestron 2X barlow, I think the TV 2.5X powermate should be labelled 1.5X. I didn't capture any images through the PM due to Mars moving out of the optimal imaging position, coming down with Bronchitis and starting to freeze through my layers of jumpers so I ended my session. The views I had I will definitely remember for a long time and I'm looking forward to the next Mars opposition since it'll be another 38% closer and again will move through the zenith visible from my location... now thinking about a 16" dob for those views!!! Thanks for reading, Mariusz