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DarkerSky

Mars - 22 April

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This was a test drive of my latest scope acquisition - the 12" Orion Optics :). Spent a couple of hours prior to the session collimating. Moved the secondary down the tube a bit, and got things looking around 98% good I would say. Still needs a few more tweaks, especailly after I clobbered the tube on the doorframe getting it in afterwards!

Anyway - onto Mars and its 7.7 arc second disc ;). Seeing was not the greatest. Wavering between III and IV most of the time. Still managed to get a good deal of detail off it though at x265 magnification with no filters:

Mars22Apr.png

The classic 'Y' shape of Syrtis Major was prominent on the east of the disc with some quite dark areas observed within it. The equatorial end part of the Y seemed less distinct. The Hellas basin to the south of Syrtis Major was the brightest area on the disc. To the east on the limb around Libya it was bright too.

In the north a dull and small NPC was made out. A dusky area capped it, more longitudinally extensive in the west than the east. The eastern end seemed to turn up slightly and point towards Syrtis Major. Also noted was some darker areas moving up towards Syrtis Major from the north, skirting Arabia. Can identify one of these areas as Ismenius Lacus.

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That's a lovely observation, I had kind of given up on Mars but you are still getting quite a lot of detail there, i remember from previous apperitions how good it is to see the planet receed from earth, phase defect increasing and diamter shrinking, you are also seeing the season change too.

Is your OD300 new? I suppose it is a little easier to handle than the 16"?

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Hi Seb.

Nice to see that the 12" is getting some use.

Very nice sketch.

I'll get the suff in the post on Monday ;)

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That's a lovely observation, I had kind of given up on Mars but you are still getting quite a lot of detail there, i remember from previous apperitions how good it is to see the planet receed from earth, phase defect increasing and diamter shrinking, you are also seeing the season change too.

Is your OD300 new? I suppose it is a little easier to handle than the 16"?

I've turned into a bit of a Mars addict!! It is the first time I've watched it so intently for so long tbh, so first time I have made regular obs and sketches through season changes. Going to try to follow it through for as long as my horizon will let me. I have a poor western horizon, so I won't be able to follow it all the way down to the sun.

The OD 300 is 2nd hand. It is easier to handle than the 16" for sure, but I know it wont be long until it is only the 16" revealing any useful detail on Mars now ;)

Just need some nights of steadier seeing than during last week!

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