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TONIGHT - NOV 20TH, MARS, FAVOURABLE WEATHER FOR MANY, SYRTIS MAJOR WELL PLACED.


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Can't have a late one because of work tomorrow, but I've stuck a scope in the shed to cool and shall get an early night. Set my alarm for an hour before I usually get up, so hopefully it will still be clear at 4.30am. 4 years since I've had any decent views of Mars. Missed the last opposition due to living in a top floor flat at the time.

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I didn't spend long outside - is damn parky here atm. but I did stop prevaricating and for the first time in ages and ages lugged the scope (200P) outside for a look up.  I've just got back in and outside the sky here is superb - it's crystal clear - damn cold, but crystal clear.  I've been wanting to look at Jupiter this year as it's supposed to be close - though I know I've missed closest by some large margin, but I still got a great view - very bright (brighter than I recall it), but two really clear lines across it under Morpheus 6.5mm.  Saturn I couldn't see - too close to the horizon, but then I remembered seeing this post about Mars and easily found it.  Again really bright, but I could actually see the 3 lobed dark shape indicated in the image above with the 6.5mm.  Then for a bit of fun I wandered around pleiades with the 26mm plossl that I still use that came with the scope.  I generally take it out, it's always made a pretty good 'finding' EP, after I've done red dot - optical then finally hit the object under the 26mm in the eyepiece.  Then I came in as it's damn cold out.  The views of Jupiter and Mars I think were as good as any I have had.  I've never seen lines across Jupiter that clearly before, and as for actually seeing some detail in Mars well I've never seen that at all before.  However, if I haven't already mentioned it it's damn cold out there!!!!

NB.  If you are wondering how I can make an on the spot decision to take the scope out, I keep it in our unheated porch and by this sort of hour it's very nearly outdoor temps in there, so the scope doesn't need to do much in the way of cooling down.

Edited by JOC
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8 hours ago, paulastro said:

1757780445_Screenshot_20221120-140223_SamsungInternet.jpg.b1e6765fad76460e6dcf4e10aed2dc57.jpg

709272582_Screenshot_20221120-140620_MetOffice.thumb.jpg.6992894eb89e31568021f64bd8ca5cbc.jpg

 

7 hours ago, Telescope40 said:

Hhmm. I’m under the “E” in Manchester. 😂😂

Still here, dispute what weather apps and the BEEB say.  Ho hum 👎

Edited by Telescope40
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Just completed an imaging run on IC1396 and the clouds have come over. So I'm waiting for clear skies to return so I can take a look at Mars. Apparently it's going to clear from 11pm onwards. Apparently....

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I had a good session last night.  Clear and cold as forecast, seeing not as good as I've had but still could see good detail on Mars.  

Out from 10.10 to 12.30 am.  Seeing didn't really improve but between views of Mars I visited some deep sky destinations including NGC 1664, NGC 225 Carolines Rose,  Cave Neb, M52 and Bubble Neb, Orion Neb, M36, 37 and 38. M35, M1, and M44 

The 8 inch StarSense Dob was putting objects in the bullseye of the target at x300 using my binoviwer.  Looked at the Orion Neb at this power and it was a mass of billowing clouds of nebulosity. Very impressive.

Edited by paulastro
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I could only gplo out for half an hour with a 72mm refractor, Mars was veiled by thin cloud unfortunately but Jupiter was on and the seeing looked good, a shame I didnt have time to go out for longer with a bigger scope.

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i appreciated this heads up and reminder @paulastro. I've been struggling with Mars in recent weeks and had kind of given up till December when i hope to have a new refractor to try again. However your post here yesterday afternoon spurred me to try again last night and "try harder" as it were and in the end i had a great observation and feel like i've got one in the bank now for this opposition. Thanks.

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3 hours ago, josefk said:

i appreciated this heads up and reminder @paulastro. I've been struggling with Mars in recent weeks and had kind of given up till December when i hope to have a new refractor to try again. However your post here yesterday afternoon spurred me to try again last night and "try harder" as it were and in the end i had a great observation and feel like i've got one in the bank now for this opposition. Thanks.

That's great josefk, I'm  delighted you managed a good view of Mars.  It does take some effort, it's not the easiest planet to observe.  Well done for sticking with it.  🙂.

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Thanks @paulastro, I had a good session on Mars last night with the 8” f8. It was blowing around in the wind quite a lot, but still got some decent views. The seeing wasn’t the best, but with Syrtis Major so well positioned it was easy to see, plus the ice cap/frosting at the pole.

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I’ve been observing Mars too. But the best I’ve got so far was on the night of November 11th-12th. Then the seeing was decent and Mare Acidalium was obvious and made the planet more interesting. Being right up against the north polar hood the contrast of white + dark area really helped it stand out. 

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Had a few goes at Mars recently. Seeing has been really poor but still the views afforded by Mars at 114x are still really satisfying. Tonight, although a fair bit of AD and seemingly a lot of water vapour affecting views, a generous northern polar ice cap is visible and the unmistakable inverted y shape of Syrtis Major is segmenting the Martian planetary face. 

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I’m still buzzing from the views I had of Mars this week - Tuesday night (22nd) provided my best ever view. Until now I’ve seen just blurry albedo features and “hints of “, but after several years trying I finally saw what I might call a “photorealistic” or textbook view of Syrtis Major at 150x. Amazing. 😀

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9 hours ago, Astro_Dad said:

I’m still buzzing from the views I had of Mars this week - Tuesday night (22nd) provided my best ever view. Until now I’ve seen just blurry albedo features and “hints of “, but after several years trying I finally saw what I might call a “photorealistic” or textbook view of Syrtis Major at 150x. Amazing. 😀

That's fabulous a land mark observation for you Andrew, a great moment.  I can remember how thrilled I was the first time it happened to me, back in 1971, my first Mars opposition - with a telescope at least. 

It just happened to be a very favourable opposition, attaining a diameter of 24.9", and the best since 1924.  Talk about luck!  I was observing with a six inch f8 Fullerscopes Newtonian with a Ramsden one inch eyepiece and a barlow of dubious origin.  I still have the sketch I made at the time.

I'm sure you'll have many more oppositions to enjoy in the future Andrew.

Edited by paulastro
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1 hour ago, geoflewis said:

@paulastro I see that you posted a screenshot of the Mars Mapper 2022 app, so where can I get that please? All I can find is it windowed in a page of Astronomy Now, but not how to download the app itself.

Here it is below.  Ade sends me a link for it before every opposition.  I think he puts it on his web site,  there's a link to his web site at the top of the Mars Mapper.

http://www.nightskies.net/skyguide/mars/mars.html

Best regards  Paul

PS as you can see, you have the choice of maps and if the features are named on it.

Edited by paulastro
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1 minute ago, paulastro said:

Here it is below.  Ade sends me a link for it before every opposition.  I think he puts it on his web site,  there's a link to his web site at the top of the Mars Mapper.

http://www.nightskies.net/skyguide/mars/mars.html

Best regards  Paul

Thanks Paul, that's brilliant. I had it for the last apparition in 2020 and possibly 2018, but I couldn't recall where I got it and thought maybe it wasn't available this time.

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