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Mars and dust storm - 26th November 2020


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Hello,

Surprisingly the clouds cleared last night for a short while allowing me to do a quick sketch of Mars with the dust storm just off central on the globe.

Seeing was surprisingly good and the image was sharp in the 4" refractor at x240 but features lacked contrast - maybe due to the dust storm and/or the ever increasing distance Mars is away from us.

South polar cap was easy tonight - a couple of nights ago I could not see it at all !

Dew on the preceding limb and north pole could just be seen.

The edge of Nilokeras was visible on the northern limb.

Seeing : AII

CM : 47'

Time : 19:25UT

Mars_26_11_2020.jpg.f2a35b66afc0c850acca285fa06efc46.jpg

 

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Great sketch David  :smiley:

I found the seeing very steady last night after experiencing rather the opposite the previous evening.

I agree though that the contrast of the dark features on the disk were somewhat muted.

Is the S polar cap growing in extent I wonder or more distinct for other reasons ?

 

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27 minutes ago, John said:

Great sketch David  :smiley:

I found the seeing very steady last night after experiencing rather the opposite the previous evening.

I agree though that the contrast of the dark features on the disk were somewhat muted.

Is the S polar cap growing in extent I wonder or more distinct for other reasons ?

 

Thanks John, Yes it could be that the SPC is starting to extend again now

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I also got my first reasonable view of Mars for a week or two last night, observing between 21.00 and 22.00 I could just make out Solis Lacus, although it was not very district, indicating some possible dust storm activity.

I could also just make out the South Solar Cap, unlike in November 2005 when it appeared to disappear completely.

John 

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Observed Mars again at around 18.00 yesterday (27 November) when the Mare Erythraeum should have been on display, despite a reasonably steady image little detail was visible, and the South Polar Cap could just be discerned, indicating continuing dust storm activity, although according to the BAA website these are now weakening.

John 

Edited by johnturley
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Observed Mars again at 21.30 last night (30 November) when the Mare Erythraeum was again on display, despite rather unsteady atmospheric conditions (inferior to 26 November), the Mare Erythraeum and the South Polar Cap now appeared to be standing out more clearly, indicating a decline in any dust storm activity. The disc is however now getting much smaller, around 14 arc seconds, and similar to that at an aphelic opposition)

John 

Edited by johnturley
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