Society for Popular Astronomy

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Author:  Orchard47 [ Sat Oct 22, 2005 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Mars?

Dusted off my scope this evening after being unused for six months for a quick look at Mars before is disappears again for two years.

Saw nothing but a big orange blob! Is there a dust storm going on there at the moment or something?

Author:  davep [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars?

Orchard47 wrote:
Saw nothing but a big orange blob!

What were you looking at it with? What sort of time? Filters of any sort? Any other details?

The reason I ask is that this has been discussed a few times over the past few weeks and Mars seems to have generally given a few people (myself included) this initial view. With some effort (and the aid of the odd filter or two) some of us seem to have managed to have teased some surface detail out.

Orchard47 wrote:
Is there a dust storm going on there at the moment or something?

A couple or so days ago one appeared to be forming, although I've not seen if it's turning into a planet-wide storm yet.

Author:  Orchard47 [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:16 am ]
Post subject: 

I was using my 14" dob without any filters at about 10.30pm, then again at about 1am. I tried several different eypieces such as a 12mm, a 6mm and a barlow. The moon was "boiling" quite badly so I am putting it down to very bad seeing. During the later observation, I could just make out a dark band across the middle, but in spite of intensive study, that was all. I didn't try my 6" refractor because it is always inferior to the dob.

It's amazing how a bit of turbulence messes things up. I only have to insert my hand into the light-path (it's a truss-tube scope) and everything goes fuzzy. If only we could predict good seeing nights with some accuracy.

Author:  orion f6.3 [ Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  good views of mars

i have found that using ND13 and ND25 filters either on their own or with a No21 work very well! i use a meade 20mm with a 3x or 2x barlow in a 8" dob. over the weeks of late sep to last night 22.10.05 i have gone from a light band with the No21 to a Y shape with its own dark regions on 15.10.05 and 21.10.05 using the NDs (i must add i use the no alcohol/caffeine rule and light adaption for around 2 hours this gives me the best results!) david.

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