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Mars & Syrtis minor. 1/10/20


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At over 22 arc seconds in diameter Mars is an awesome sight in the eyepiece, with detail almost throwing itself at us. Below is last night's sketch which shows Syrtis minor almost bang on the meridian. It was another one of those nights when you feel you've seen all there is to see, but you just can't step away from the eyepiece. 

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Thankyou Gordon,

Yes, I do find that sketching improves my concentration and makes me look a bit harder for subtle contrast differences that I might otherwise overlook. And of course by looking for longer, it gives more opportunity for less obvious features to reveal themselves in moments of steady seeing. And because I have to continually refocus the scope to make sure sharp focus is maintained as the planet rises, the features on view are continually reinforced. A pencil is a fantastic observing aid, even if the sketch is just a basic outline of features.

Edited by mikeDnight
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We should observe together sometime David, that is if this virus is ever brought under control. Sometimes local seeing can kill definition.  The sketch above represents around 20 minutes of study, continually adjusting the focus so as to maintain a sharp image, so it's not how I see things at first glance. ☺

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3 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

We should observe together sometime David, that is if this virus is ever brought under control. Sometimes local seeing can kill definition.  The sketch above represents around 20 minutes of study, continually adjusting the focus so as to maintain a sharp image, so it's not how I see things at first glance. ☺

I’ve known for a while that living in a river based valley just north of Manchester adversely affects my seeing conditions - confirmed when I take my scope to France where I see what it is really capable of 😁

Yes, it would be great when we are Covid free to get together for an observing session - when that will be I don’t know 🙁

I will bring the biscuits 👍

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