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John

Mars is looking better and better

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Despite being well past opposition now, the dust seems to be settling and Mars is showing some nice details even with my little 70mm TV Ranger tonight.

The planetary disk is still a respectable 18.6 arc seconds in apparent diameter so 150x with the little 70mm is quite enough to get a good view :smiley:

 

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That sounds promising John, although having been on a company team building event all afternoon including zip wires and Tarzan swings, I couldn’t even lift a finger to point at Mars, let alone get my scope out! Even a 70mm one! 😴 😴

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Last night we headed up to the darkish site and I got some good views of Mars (and other things) - yes it was an eyethingy night.

I took up the C11 but the battery gave up after about 3 hours 😥

 

I tried some fiddling with filters and got good results with red and a stack of green and blue.

 

M13 was cracking in the C11.

 

 

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I remember those type of events when I was working ! :rolleyes2:

I've managed around 45 mins of observing between cloud cover. Amazing how you can zip around the sky (and the garden !) with a 70mm scope on a photo tripod and get a great astro "fix" without too much effort.

Hope you recover quickly and get back to the eyepiece Stu :smiley:

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, John said:

Despite being well past opposition now, the dust seems to be settling and Mars is showing some nice details

I just came in dripping with dew and feeling the chill.  Just for the heck of it I took the Celestron 4se up the hill to check out some EPs I'd bought for the 12" Dob.  Lining up with an unbranded 10mm plossl to get started I was astonished how clear Mars had become.  Higher mags didn't work with the 4se so wished I'd taken the Dob up instead.  Nevertheless the 14mm Speers WALER gave me a pretty good view of Mars - and Saturn was very clear tonight too.  Nice to hear I wasn't the only one, John.

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These planets are not visible from my back yard - a clearly insurmountable obstacle! So I contented myself with trying out an old 15 mm Plossl that came 10 years ago as a free gift with my dearly departed 4SE. I never got on with the eyepiece as it has a fuzzy field stop and seems to have less than 50 degrees FOV. But I have been thinking of getting a 16/82 eyepiece as a finder for my ST80 (giving 3.3 degrees of sky) so I wanted to see if  objects stood out more clearly at a 3 mm exit pupil (5 mm exit pupil with my current finder eyepiece makes the sky very bright and stars very faint). It was a great success - m31 and the Double Cluster both showed up nicely! 

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Tomorrow night, my club is conducting a public viewing night, on the foreshore, Goldcoast

Annual Saturn in the park night

Hope to play around with some filters as well with Mars with my ED80

Mars is almost over head

Will have 20+ scopes setup, and about 700+ members of the public filtering through as well

Last night had quarter moon splitting Venus and Jupiter on western horizon as well

Was perfectly clear last night, and where I am minimal light polution 

John 

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7 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

Tomorrow night, my club is conducting a public viewing night, on the foreshore, Goldcoast

Annual Saturn in the park night

Hope to play around with some filters as well with Mars with my ED80

Mars is almost over head

Will have 20+ scopes setup, and about 700+ members of the public filtering through as well

Last night had quarter moon splitting Venus and Jupiter on western horizon as well

Was perfectly clear last night, and where I am minimal light polution 

John 

Sounds like a Stargazers dream. Enjoy the views 👍

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Last night even the TV Ranger 70mm was showing quite nice martian surface featuring including Syrtis Major, Mare Tyrrhenna , the pale Hellas region, Sinus Sabaeus and a well defined south polar cap. The northern polar area also appears very pale but I'm not sue if that is an icy cap or a form of limb brightening ?

The 70mm views at 150x were almost rivalling what the 12" dob was doing the previous evening. Shows that a small scope can cut through the atmospherics a bit easier and make up for an aperture gap I think.

 

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36 minutes ago, John said:

The 70mm views at 150x were almost rivalling what the 12" dob was doing the previous evening. Shows that a small scope can cut through the atmospherics a bit easier and make up for an aperture gap I think.

Nice one John. That has been a view I have had for a long time, and have really enjoyed the view through a range of small, high quality fracs. The TS72mm is another fine example. Glad you are enjoying the Ranger :) 

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Good to hear. Its been a few weeks since I've observed Mars. I may get out tonight with the AA 70ED for another re-visit :)

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Forcast to be clear tonight, so hoping to get my C8 SCT out on Mars, and also possibly both my two ‘fracs out also on my Skytee 2mount side by side to have a good looksee at Mars again, and hopefully take some images too. :) 

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Sounds good Gus. Haven't checked the forecast but if clear I may try the 72mm or if feeling less achey then the Tak, and see how Mars is looking.

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Unfortunately it was cloudy over here last night. Hopefully it will be clear tonight. Im itching to try my Vixen 80mm F15, as I spent most of a night a couple of nights ago flocking anything that reflected light in the ota tube. Including the focuser draw tube! Also flocked the dew shield, and I flocked to the first baffle behind the ota. I also flocked to the baffle closest the focuser, and any part of the focuser that was flat facing the lenses got flocked as well. Now the ota tube looks flat black, no stray light from either the focuser or lens end of the tube! Should be an improvement in performance! 

Dave

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Sounds good Dave. I recall flocking the living daylights out of a Carton 60 f16.7, including the focus drawtube. That was a challenge so I can relate to what you've just done! Let us know how it goes 

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Well the Vixen has a modern Crayford focuser, which the draw tube is over 2" in diameter. Like all modern draw tubes it has loads of micro baffles, but being made of black anodised metal was still highly reflective, coursing stray light. So it got flocked. 

Will let you know how it goes, I hope now its low contrast performance on planets will match the Towa or exceed it. 

Dave

Edited by Dave1

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On ‎14‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 19:31, Rob said:

Good to hear. Its been a few weeks since I've observed Mars. I may get out tonight with the AA 70ED for another re-visit :)

Rob

Saturday night played around with filters on my ED80 with Mars

The #8, light yellow, could see polar caps using a 12mm eyepiece

Initially viewing raw, and had about 10 people having  a view, when said hang 5, try something different

That is when screwed on the #8, and rezoomed, and  Mars was totally different

Couple of people who the viewed with the #8 filter, commented best view they seen all night of Mars

Give it a go with different filters

John

 

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Good suggestion Rob, I think I have a #8 in a tin somewhere so will give it a go. Thanks.

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