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The Red Planet


spudicus
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Hi All,

Well it was clear skies last night, so I set up my 5 inch refractor bought from Alan at Skies the Limit and waited... I tracked down M13 but couldn't sit still long enough to take in the awesome sight overhead.

I looked at my watch, it was midnight. An hour later I looked again, it was five minutes past midnight.

A patch of cloud drifted lazily over my view obsuring both Vega and Arcturus. I went inside cursing my luck, made a brew and came back out to clear skies. My Coffee sat on the floor growing cold as I concentrated on the agonisingly slow movement of my watch.

I made a half hearted attempt to find the ring nebula but gave up in frustration, surely the Red Planet was only minutes away from being visible.

I sat in the darkness and chuckled at myself, a grown man sat on the porch wishing his life away. I grinned, looked up and saw a brilliant shining star over the tree tops.

With a dry mouth and shaking hands, I aimed the scope grabbed the focus dial and held my breath...

I over focused several times as the bright star came into view. Then there it was, a teeny-weeny little disc hanging there in space. I grabbed my 6mm EP and pulled the little disc into focus.

'It's Mars' I spoke those two words out loud. No one heard them but me, and in that instant I had seen another world and life on this one would forever be a little different.

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Hi Spud,

I am almost thirsty after reading your report :) sounds like you had a lot of fun last night and Congrats on seeing another world (MARS) :)

Glad the pesky clouds moved away and you spoke out loud to yourself it's Mars i do something like that now when i see a meteor"wow"....

James :):)

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Hi Spud im so glad to hear the you finaly got to see Mars live and using your own kit.

With a dry mouth and shaking hands, I aimed the scope grabbed the focus dial and held my breath...

If i had done all that on my first attempt at trying to look at Mars

i would have turned purple and passed out. :oops:

I must admit to liking the way you so graphicaly describe the events as they unfolded it was like reading the tense bit of a thriller.

A good title would be -

Planet fishing by J R HARTLEY AKA SPUD :)

Well done.

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Did you see the little green men running around and what about those canals :):):):)

Thats great news you seeing Mars....it's always a treat seeing one of the planets for the first time. And Mars is one of my personal favs.

How was the view in the 6mm?

And just imagine how it's gonna look in a few months time. Almost twice the size, much brighter and much higher in the sky. I reckon you'll be bowled over when you see the detail on show.

Russ

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I had a good look mate but couldn't see any little green men, vikings or beagles! To be honest it was quite difficult keeping the image in the scope as I don't have a motor yet. But come pay day!

It was a teeny-weeny pea sized image in the 6mm, but having done a lot of research that what I expected!

The location I'm at at the mo is pretty dire too, a couple of street lamps pretty much dominate the lower skyline, but I'm moving soon so I'm having to be patient!

I've just ordered a x2 barlow and a 10mm EP so I'll hopefully get a view at x240, maybe that'll be a better image (not that I'm complaining, what I saw blew me away).

I think it'll be amazing at twice the size, higher and brighter...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reading that Spud, I actually felt like I was there...

and the strange thing is that I bet everybody who read that can remember that feeling when they looked at the moon / saturn/mars/jupiter for the first time.

Don;t forge that MArs is actually very small at the moment - about 11 arc seconds across. In novermber it increases to 20 arc seconds across. So even without the barlow Mars will be twice the sizr in the EP... with the barlow 4 times the size... Bet you can't wait now :)

Ant

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