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Mattwaters

Mars at its closest

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So I managed to get a glimpse of Mars in around the begining of January this year. Mars wasnt in a good position and I think was about 292.500 mio Km away. It was literally a large red dot and I couldnt make anything out when viewing.

Mars will be u der 57.000 mio Km away in July this year, I faviour my 9-10mm eye piece which gives about x100 magnification. Sadly my scope cant really see much further without compromising the image quality. What differnece can I expect when Mars its in opposition? Would I see any geographical features? 

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I've just posted these elsewhere, to show the relative size of Mars now vs how large it will be at opposition. Of course, in the eyepiece it will be much smaller.

I generally find that Mars needs high power to pull much detail from it, and by that I mean x200 plus, but if x100 is what you have, give it a go, you may see one of the polar caps or some dark markings on the surface. Bear in mind it will still be low from the UK so the views may not be that good for any of us even with kit which will take higher power.

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40 minutes ago, Stu said:

I've just posted these elsewhere, to show the relative size of Mars now vs how large it will be at opposition. Of course, in the eyepiece it will be much smaller.

I generally find that Mars needs high power to pull much detail from it, and by that I mean x200 plus, but if x100 is what you have, give it a go, you may see one of the polar caps or some dark markings on the surface. Bear in mind it will still be low from the UK so the views may not be that good for any of us even with kit which will take higher power.

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I'm drooling with anticipation!!

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28 minutes ago, Paul M said:

I'm drooling with anticipation!!

Don't get too excited Paul, still only 13.5 degrees above the horizon. Fly South young man, fly South! ;) 

If money comes my way in time, I shall do just that. Unlikely though :( 

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1 minute ago, Stu said:

Don't get too excited Paul, still only 13.5 degrees above the horizon. Fly South young man, fly South! ;) 

If money comes my way in time, I shall do just that. Unlikely though :( 

Well....

It just so happens that we are in Gran Canaria in July. I won't have any scopes with me though! :(

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1 hour ago, Mattwaters said:

So I managed to get a glimpse of Mars in around the begining of January this year. Mars wasnt in a good position and I think was about 292.500 mio Km away. It was literally a large red dot and I couldnt make anything out when viewing.

Mars will be u der 57.000 mio Km away in July this year, I faviour my 9-10mm eye piece which gives about x100 magnification. Sadly my scope cant really see much further without compromising the image quality. What differnece can I expect when Mars its in opposition? Would I see any geographical features? 

This summer Mars will be around 25 arc seconds in diameter, which will give a great opportunity to see albedo features through your scope. The down side is that from the UK the planet will be very low, so try and find a site with a good horizon to observe from, and persevere!

The planet was low in 2016 and only 15 arc seconds in diameter at its largest, yet detail was observable with patience. The difficulty in the main lies in the turbulent atmosphere near the horizon.

Attached are a couple of observations from 2016, and a map produced from observations made in 2003 when the planet was high and at its largest.

 

2018-03-07 08.47.50.jpg

20180307_083013.jpg

2018-01-31 13.14.39.jpg

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42 minutes ago, Paul M said:

Well....

It just so happens that we are in Gran Canaria in July. I won't have any scopes with me though! :(

Paul, you've got to smuggle one in with you, I feel it is your duty ;) 

If you can't, maybe you can arrange to meet some local astronomers there for a night? Should be pretty cool from there.

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9 minutes ago, Stu said:

Paul, you've got to smuggle one in with you, I feel it is your duty ;) 

If you can't, maybe you can arrange to meet some local astronomers there for a night? Should be pretty cool from there.

Unfortunately it's very unlikely I'll get to see Mars with naked eye let alone through a scope. Only got 1 week there and being foster parents to 2 ebullient young ladies with individual needs I doubt I'll even see Gran Canaria! :)

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8 hours ago, Stu said:

Paul, you've got to smuggle one in with you, I feel it is your duty ;) 

If you can't, maybe you can arrange to meet some local astronomers there for a night? Should be pretty cool from there.

My thoughts exactly !

I am making a  trip to to the US next year and will be in the Nevada/Arizona areas for part of it, and certainly I am going to sample the wonderful skies out there by contacting clubs or groups, and joining in. :happy11:

Edited by Saganite
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There seem to be quite a lot of us wanting to head south for Mars.......... I'm tempted but not sure I could get my Mak 180 aboard Ryanair, so an atmospheric dispersion corrector might be a more practical option!

Chris

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6 minutes ago, chiltonstar said:

There seem to be quite a lot of us wanting to head south for Mars

Maybe SGL should consider chartering a plane! :icon_biggrin:

Edited by Demonperformer

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44 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Maybe SGL should consider chartering a plane! :icon_biggrin:

...or even a coach! 22 hours from London to a good location like say Malaga, 2 seats each (one for the OTA). Could be done, although tedious.

Chris

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6 minutes ago, knobby said:

Doesn't Sara @swag72 live in Spain ?

Lock your doors girlie :icon_biggrin:

:D:D 

Locking my doors now!!! 

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Joking apart, I suspect it would be quite possible to set something up with a local astronomy group in an appropriate location; weather will always be a problem though, because you can't guarantee decent weather even in S. Europe.

Chris

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3 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

Maybe SGL should consider chartering a plane! :icon_biggrin:

Yep, a big one like a C-5 GALAXY :evil6:

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On ‎08‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 11:39, Saganite said:

Yep, a big one like a C-5 GALAXY :evil6:

NASA's "SOFIA" 747 is already fitted with a nice 100" (2.5m) diameter OTA.

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