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mikeDnight

Mars ūüė®

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mikeDnight    4,325
Posted (edited)

I doubt I could have felt colder if I'd actually been standing on Mars itself! It was bitterly cold this morning and the seeing was yuk, but I gave it my best shot before common sense prevailed and I chickened out. After half an hour of watering eyes and frozen fingers I scratched out the sketch below. ūüė®

I believe the dark feature in the south to be Syrtis Major and Mare Tyrrhenum, with Hellas giving the impression of a southern polar cap. While the north appears to show Mare Boreum and Utopia.

5a5358444c511_2018-01-0811_40_31.thumb.jpg.2c0b911d4f93ce127c94e4e3b7286f90.jpg

The above sketch is a diagonal view, so it's the right way up but the wrong way round. Below I've flipped the drawing to represent the prefered (by some) IAU orientation with south top.

5a53585aeae74_2018-01-0809_02_13.jpg.25b8bbe79a31fccc83ac56a8e538e78f.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by mikeDnight
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Demonperformer    1,012

That is very good considering the conditions and the small size of the disk atm. 

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Knighty2112    2,546

Excellent sketch Mike in cold and poor seeing conditions. Well done! :) Very chilly out there still. Would love to see a sketch of Mars when next at opposition in July when it will be 4 times larger.

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iPeace    2,890

Heroic effort! :thumbsup:

I have only once seen the slightest hint of detail on what has otherwise appeared as an orange dot. This is very impressive indeed.

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mikeDnight    4,325
1 hour ago, iPeace said:

Heroic effort! :thumbsup:

I have only once seen the slightest hint of detail on what has otherwise appeared as an orange dot. This is very impressive indeed.

At least you've seen a hint of detail! :icon_cyclops_ani:

To be honest, that's just how I see it to begin with! Over time however, fleeting hints of bright and dark markings reveal themselves, so I just scribble down what I think I'm seeing and somehow a drawing of Mars miraculously appears! Im always amazed when the smudges on the page roughly correspond with the features that are actually on show, especially when the diameter is so small. As the planet gets larger however, it becomes much easier to observe detail with certainty, though the planet is always a challenging object to study. It's strange that although the disc appears so tiny, there's such a lot of information on show. When putting pencil to paper I'm able to place the dark and bright areas in their relative positions. Looking for bright areas, not just on the limb but on the face of the disc, helps to draw the eye in to the subtle darker regions. :happy11:

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Stu    16,666

Amazing sketch Mike. I have no idea how you do this. Having looked at Mars for the first time this time around on Sunday morning during the conjunction, I know just how small it is! I could see (I think) the North polar cap(?) but really nothing else at all. At opposition though I think Mars can be very rewarding, looking almost earth like with it's features. Always tough but can be very good.

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chiltonstar    1,569

Amazing result considering the size of the Airy disk compared with the angular size of Mars at the moment. I would have been out too, but an injury will limit my observing for a bit.

Chris

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mikeDnight    4,325
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Stu said:

Amazing sketch Mike. I have no idea how you do this. Having looked at Mars for the first time this time around on Sunday morning during the conjunction, I know just how small it is! I could see (I think) the North polar cap(?) but really nothing else at all. At opposition though I think Mars can be very rewarding, looking almost earth like with it's features. Always tough but can be very good.

Hi Stu,

 The polar cap is often the first thing I see, then perhaps some limb brightening. The rest just builds up around those more obvious but not easy features. A couple of days ago i sketched Mars and struggled at X296, which gave a nice image scale but was over powered for the seeing. This morning I used a 7.4mm TV plossl and X2 barlow to get X200. It was small but a bit sharper than the previous morning. After I'd finished the sketch I turned the scope to Jupiter which looked almost featureless behind a river of fast moving air. If id have looked at Jupiter first, I probably wouldn't have even tried with mars. If you can pick out the polar cap now under such poor conditions, I'm certain you'll have some reasonable views as the disc gets bigger. I think a lot depends on the local seeing, but it hasnt been good lately!

Mike

Edited by mikeDnight
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mariosi    816

Excellent result Mike! 

Marios

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dweller25    1,013

Great sketch Mike,

I have tried twice to see detail on Mars over the last 2 weeks to no avail.

I see an obvious disk and limb brightening but no surface detail.

It's too cold now so I will stay warm and enjoy your sketches :icon_biggrin:

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mikeDnight    4,325

Thanks everyone for your kind comments! The seeing has been rubbish for the last few weeks, probably due to the cold conditions, so hopefully the best is yet to come and we can all play and enjoy ourselves while not freezing to death! :icon_biggrin:

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Pete Presland    8,038

A fine considering the conditions, just wait until the summer it will be a fantastic view by then!

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BRADLEY 1953    20

HI MIKE,  I ECHO THE VIEWS  OF  OTHER CONTRIBUTERS,  A GREAT SKETCH CONSIDERING THE CONDITIONS. UNFORTUNATELY I CANNOT SEE MARS OR JUPITER  FROM MY PRESENT OBSERVING SITE, THEY ARE MUCH TOO LOW, THE MORNING SKY IS NOT GOOD FOR ME. WHEN THE WARMER WEATHER ARRIVES I WILL HAVE TO TRAVEL ELSEWHERE AND TAKE MY 130MM APO WITH ME. HOWEVER, MY 155MM F9 APO WILL HAVE TO STAY AT HOME, MOUNT TOO BIG TO TRANSPORT FAR, POOR SEEING CONDITIONS WOULD PROBABLY MEAN THAT I COULD NOT USE THIS INSTRUMENT TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL ANYWAY.  KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK IF YOUR FROZEN FINGERS WILL ALLOW.     BEST WISHES    CHRIS.

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Mr niall    479

Great report, hats off to you for braving those conditions (and early hours)! I can’t imagine being able to sketch in those conditions!

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PurpleFringe    12

Wow brilliant! I had no idea Mars would be big enough to see anything at the moment, been waiting for July.

Great sketch Mike, inspires me to try a few more sketches.

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mikeDnight    4,325
40 minutes ago, PurpleFringe said:

Wow brilliant! I had no idea Mars would be big enough to see anything at the moment, been waiting for July.

Great sketch Mike, inspires me to try a few more sketches.

Thanks for that! If the seeing is reasonable you may get lucky! The disk is very tiny though, so you'll need to use high powers to get an acceptable image scale. :icon_cyclops_ani: Attached are some earlier sketches of the tiny disk showing only very subtle differences in albedo.

5a6214f8268be_2018-01-1613_04_14.thumb.jpg.a7634cc34f787e7afde59c5debde95e4.jpg

Edited by mikeDnight
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