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City-Slicker Light Cup & Martian Night Life



Well, it's done; the Country Light Cup has now turned into a city slicker Light Cup!
In a way, this is our first light in the city (a suburb of San Diego). I approached this
observation with great anxiety and trepidation. Would the seeing be really bad now
that I've to look over many roof tops, tens of thousands of roof tops across the city
in fact L? Have we gotten ourselves away from Site A into Site B?

First look showed Mars over the neighbor's roof top with seeing of Antoniadi III.
However, sometime into the session, it steadied up a bit into Antoniadi II (later
also confirmed when viewing the Moon after the session). Say, this ain't as bad as
I thought J! Here's the sketch I made mostly at 220x.

Date: 09/14/03 Sketch Time (UT): 06:43 - 07:30
Central Meridian: 277º - 288º Filters: #23, #25, #80A
Instrument: 10.2cm f/8.6 TV-102 APO refractor Observation Time (UT): 06:30 - 07:45
Magnification: 220x (4mm TMB) Seeing - Antoniadi (I-V): II - III
Apparent Size: 23.7" Magnitude: -2.6

The blue haze around the NPH was still very small with the #80A filter. The SPC is
now tiny. Alas, as hard as I tried, I failed to see the "Mountains of Mitchel" this time
from within the city L. Also a wee bit of blue haze noted at the following rim.

Using #23 orange filter, Mare Cimmerium clearly seen. Could what seem to be a
"bend" in the Mare possibly be the unresolved two "fangs"? Well, I'll have another
crack at it in a few more nights nearer the CM. Mare Tyrrhenum obvious. Neil over
in the Tele Vue eGroup reported on 09/08 "a very dark, round spot and a medium-
dark "arm" between Mare Tyrrhenum and Hellas" with his Tele Vue TV-102. Well,
I saw it too last night! I wonder if it's just an unnamed protrusion from Mare
Tyrrhenum into Ausonia. Hellas obvious. However, the bright oval I saw on 09/08
just above Iapygia seemed to have gotten very noticeably larger and brighter, much
brighter than the rest of Hellas when using #25 red filter in fact. Could another dust
cloud/storm be brewing? Mare Hadriaticum was quite easy tonight. Syrtis Major
obvious but alas I couldn't see any green or blue color (without filter) reported by
some observer, just very dark gray to me L. Moeris Lacus protruding from the
preceding rim side of Syrtis Major and Deltoton Sinus from the other side. Syrtis
Minor could be seen. A three-prong separation at the following rim into Sinus
Sabaeus, Noachis and Hellespontus from Mare Serpentis was very evident. Very
low contrast and very difficult to see Nodus Alcyonius to the north of Syrtis Major.

Well, not bad I thought for city seeing. However, I can't help but notice that the
transparency last night was lower than where I used to be. In fact, early morning
hours around 4am are goners as the marine layer sucked everything in. One thing
that surprised me was that those roof tops were affecting the view as much as I
thought it might have.

Ron B[ee]



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