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" GOOD MORNING MARS "


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At long last a clear night in these parts, and a chance to view the red planet in all it's glory. Transparency was good after all the heavy rain, and seeing reasonable. I managed to observe for nearly 2 hours with the 155mm f9 APO, until Mars was eventually obscured by an inconsiderate holly bush. Fortunately, despite the attentions of my cat, I was able to complete a rough " impressionistic sketch"  during the pre dawn hours.  Hopefully, weather and dust permitting, more will  follow in due course.  Take every advantage of this very favourable apparition.  Cheers  Chris.S1010014.thumb.JPG.2837348b67108bc46d6fd129b64fe3e4.JPG 

Edited by BRADLEY 1953
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Lovely sketch.

Can you give me some advice? I’ve only had my scope a few weeks and still have everything to learn.

I was looking at Mars around the same time as you but the image was far too bright for me to make out anything other than glimpses of darker areas on the surface. I have an 8” f/10 edge hd and 30, 15 and 9 mm EPs. The 9 gives about 225x and was my clearest view of Mars but just too bright. Is my aperture letting in too much light? Or do I just need to persevere and learn to train my eyes? Or maybe use more magnification with the associated brightness reduction? Or filters perhaps?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by globular
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Hi there globular, thanks for your comments.  If the atmosphere is steady you could easily use 300x on Mars with an 8 inch scope,  however, good seeing is essential for planetary observation. The lower magnification views will always produce a sharper image, but Mars is still relatively small compared to the gas giants, and as you say can seem too bright. Try using a orange/red filter this will dim the image and make dark features a bit easier to see. However, patience as they say is a virtue, and you may have to observe for several hours and get your eye in just to get a few glimpses of the often subtle surface features. Mars is generally not an easy planet to observe, but well  worth the effort, especially during this favourable apparition for northern latitudes.  Good luck.   Chris.  

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Thank you very much for the advice Chris ( @BRADLEY 1953). 
I did view for about 30 minutes or so thinking WOW the whole time with a huge smile on my face - but my eyes are just not yet up to picking up enough detail to make a stab at a sketch; and I was too impatient to move on to other targets. I know I have a lot to learn and there is a huge difference between viewing and observing.
I haven't yet purchased any coloured filters nor EPs beyond the stock ones that came with the scope - I'm trying to be patient and 'learn' what I need to improve my set-up rather than using newbie gut feel and end up making lots of expensive mistakes.  But I just have to take advantage of the current Mars positioning so it looks like a new EP and a filter or two have made my shopping list.

Edited by globular
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Hi,

I observed Mars (properly) for the first time 2 days ago. I used a Baader neodymium filter  to try and get more details out of the view - which helped. Also, try and kill off any dark adaption you have, which is quite easy with the full moon just now.

I was using around 170x with an 8" reflector. I could have tried a higher mag, but it's a dobsonian so would have been really hard to track then.

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