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Walking on the Moon

Martian Moon obs report


Moon-Monkey
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Okay this is an observing report from Sunday, the 29th of November 2022 the time was approximately 1050 pm and the skies transparency was around about 2 to 3 out of 5 now earlier in the evening fog was abundant and I was very very excited to see between the fog the air was extremely still so along with the observing report when I got out I had a short period with my sky watcher ST80 while my 8 inch dob was on cool down I was able to observe some planetary observations with the ST80 stopped down to a 40 mm F 10 I was pleased with the views which were somewhat muted however still with the relative amount of detail I could see clearly Sirtis major and some of the lesser known albedo features I then proceeded to bump up the magnification to a 2. 5 mm TMB while I had the number eight rattan yellow filter the chromatic aberration was reduced somewhat I then proceeded to observe Mars which was somewhat clear right now I then decided to replace the number eight yellow filter with a number 21 orange filter this had significant increases in the resolution and contrast of the albedo features I found it interesting how when I stacked the yellow and the orange filter I was able to not only see the albedo features that also the light the polar hood was visible also and the orange became a somewhat lighter orange although light transparency as a hole was slightly less due to the stacking of filters after this experience with the ST80 I realised that my 8 inch dobsonian was now cooled down so my observing session with the ST80 was now complete moving over to my nicely cooled down acclimatised 8” Dob and I realise that the seeing was in fact extremely good and had most definitely improved in the half an hour that I was out there consequently I started off with the 12 mm modified achro Matic eyepiece (my occulting eyepiece )and a 2X Barlow giving me I believe 240 X I could see good detail on Mars with Sirtis major and the hellas planitia coloration was still slightly muted however there was darks and lights of the albedo features that could quite clearly be seen to the eye even with this occulting bar in place it took me around about 40 minutes worth of observing to realise that I didn't quite have the magnification that I needed to observe the Martian moons consequently I then increase the magnification with the 12 mm modified acro Matic eyepiece with a 3X Barlow lens this gave me a power of 300 X through the eyepiece Mars was suitably enlarged and was 2/3 of the width of the occulting bar itself using my Mars application to locate the approximate positions of Phobos and Deimos I realised that Deimos  was in fact the furthest away from the planetary disc as was possible over two Mars discs in width location (50 arc seconds)  unfortunately DeImos was actually in part of the diffraction spikes and was suitably hard to resolve my session carried on for another 90 minutes and I realised very quickly that as soon as the planetary disk came from behind the occulting bar to the actual field of view my night vision had becomes substantially reduced at that point which made it even more difficult to observe the Martian moons I therefore took numerous attempts and managed up to 5 minutes at a time to keep Mars behind the occulting born I observed Deimos which is between 11th to 13th magnitude 4 or five times over the space of 90 minutes they were fleeting moments although I did see demos in my peripheral vision i.e. averted vision quite often it was small it was dim however it also was there a few times I managed to actually view DeImos with direct vision and it was a fantastic experience it was something that I learnt a few hard lessons over the last couple of weeks making this eyepiece and getting it to the point where it's usable and easy to reproduce one of the learning experiences of this program I believe is the absolute necessity of having your equipment balanced and free moving to absolute perfection at 300 magnification on a manual mount you do not have the ability to make the very fine movements unless you have your mount perfectly tuned perfectly balanced and you almost become one with your scope especially with a dobsonian and this is the case with me the other thing I have learnt is you will be amazed at what you can see if you give it the time and patience initially I couldn't see the moon DeImos which is in fact the dimmer of the two moons although Phobos was within eight arc seconds of the planetary disk far too close in the glare to be easily resolved I will however at a later date go back and pull out Phobos as well if I can time it so that the planetary rotation is that both orbits are opposite ends of the rotation or even just out way out away from the planetary disk then I will attempt to observe both of these Martian moons at the same time which will be a great observation to make at this stage I am 50% of my project completed with just Phobos two complete my Martian moon observing observing project many thanks clear skiesD0C8AB3F-8877-47FA-B717-6A15B896DB22.jpeg.94ce2a90a033eb691710fd2267541d63.jpeg

Edited by Moon-Monkey
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Fantastic observation, well done! I've never seen either moon visually. My guess is Phobos is harder than spotting  Sirius B: the maximal separation is similar, about 10 arcseconds, Mars is of similar brightness to Sirius but Phobos is mag 11 while Sirius B is only 8. Keep trying!

 

I now wonder what is the smallest aperture needed to spot Phobos. My biggest scope is a 7 inch Mak, perhaps I should give it a try if the clouds ever lift up this week.

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1 hour ago, Nik271 said:

Fantastic observation, well done! I've never seen either moon visually. My guess is Phobos is harder than spotting  Sirius B: the maximal separation is similar, about 10 arcseconds, Mars is of similar brightness to Sirius but Phobos is mag 11 while Sirius B is only 8. Keep trying!

 

I now wonder what is the smallest aperture needed to spot Phobos. My biggest scope is a 7 inch Mak, perhaps I should give it a try if the clouds ever lift up this week.

Thabkyou for your kind words I think you should Absolutely give it a try 🙂🙂 Sirius and the pup is on my list too trouble is my horizons aren’t great here so it would be a proper adventure to some good horizons to try for that one really I should think with your mak (I assume it’s tracked ) wil be fine with you have an occulting eyeoieces buddy 

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Great report @Moon-Monkey , fascinating read. Impressive to see what you can see with a 40mm F10 scope for starters. You did well to spot Deimos with your 8”, and i’ll follow your progress with interest. I’d be interested to know how you made your occulting eyepiece, perhaps something I should try as I would like to have a stab at the at least one of the moons with my 8” SCT. I’ve also never seen Sirius B and I think an occulting eyepiece might with that one too. 👍

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On 29/11/2022 at 23:44, Epick Crom said:

Thanks for your interesting observation report. Congratulations on seeing Deimos! That is a good achievement. I am yet to see either of the Martian moons, but have seen Sirius B on several occasions. Well done👏

Thanks Sirius is ok my bucket list although I’m not sure if I use an occulting bar if the observation would be valid ?? I don’t read many reports of these being used anymore ? That’s why I went down the road of making this specific eyepiece so people could experience this blast from the past 

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13 hours ago, RobertI said:

Great report @Moon-Monkey , fascinating read. Impressive to see what you can see with a 40mm F10 scope for starters. You did well to spot Deimos with your 8”, and i’ll follow your progress with interest. I’d be interested to know how you made your occulting eyepiece, perhaps something I should try as I would like to have a stab at the at least one of the moons with my 8” SCT. I’ve also never seen Sirius B and I think an occulting eyepiece might with that one too. 👍

Hey bud yes I will be doing a write up of this once I’m in a position to have used this on more than a few targets buddy I will keep you informed 🙂🙂🙂🙂

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Brilliant well done. I have several eyepieces or nosepieces I wouldn’t mind doing a bit of surgery to, so I might attempt an occulting set-up myself. I’d always assumed without looking it up that those two moons were out of reach to amateurs. A nice little project-let for me.

Cheers, Magnus

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4 hours ago, Captain Scarlet said:

Brilliant well done. I have several eyepieces or nosepieces I wouldn’t mind doing a bit of surgery to, so I might attempt an occulting set-up myself. I’d always assumed without looking it up that those two moons were out of reach to amateurs. A nice little project-let for me.

Cheers, Magnus

Just so your aware the occulting bar has to be at the focal plane of thr eyepiece otherwise it won’t be in focus and may be a bit fuzzy to use 🙂🙂🙂 it’s absolutely possible and great fun although there is a learning by curve it’s all good fun though good luck and can’t wait to hear others reports on this 🙂🙂🙂

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7 minutes ago, Moon-Monkey said:

Just so your aware the occulting bar has to be at the focal plane of thr eyepiece otherwise it won’t be in focus and may be a bit fuzzy to use 🙂🙂🙂 it’s absolutely possible and great fun although there is a learning by curve it’s all good fun though good luck and can’t wait to hear others reports on this 🙂🙂🙂

Yes thanks. If I choose my sacrificial eyepiece correctly, ie with a focal plane within the nosepiece,  I can operate just on the nosepiece and have it detached when I perform the surgery. It won’t be an Ethos though 😁😁

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14 hours ago, Captain Scarlet said:

Yes thanks. If I choose my sacrificial eyepiece correctly, ie with a focal plane within the nosepiece,  I can operate just on the nosepiece and have it detached when I perform the surgery. It won’t be an Ethos though 😁😁

That’s a good plan buddy I don’t blame you I wouldn’t sacrifice an ethos to the god of war either lol 

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