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Mars - 3rd May


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Struggled with Mars for close on 2 hours last night. Seeing was very difficult. Got a 10 minute window of more mixed conidtions with steadier interludes at around half eleven which allowed me enough time to get some details down.

I have been in two minds whether to post this sketch or not as it was a rush job in the end and so im a little unsure about the accuracy of my placement of features - especially in the south as it was all very vague, and doesnt particularly match up with the clarity of features on martian maps.

But here it is...

12" Orion Optics x265 magnifcation

Red filter

22.25 UT to 22.35 UT

CM approx 232 degrees


I do wonder if there is some dustiness about in the south. The markings were particularly difficult to detect tonight, requiring real concentration in moments of better seeing. With the south about to reach winter solstice (May 13) the combination of axial tilt and the small disc - now only 7.1 arc seconds - doesnt help matters for sure!

The most obvious feature was the dark linear feature of Utopia in the North. It had a small protrusion pushing southwards on the western side.

Mars is at eastern quadranture today - so is at a maximum 90 degrees east of the sun. Phase is 90%. May 13 marks the start of summer in the northern hemisphere of Mars. I will attempt a few more observations into early summer with my 16". By the end of May I think I'll be done with Mars this time around.

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