I got finaly early out of bed for my first observation of Mars with a 12" dobson. The seeing was excellent: I could magnify to x600 (althoug I didn't see more than with x300).
The big problem was: Mars is too bright to see much detail. Because the only filter I have is a Lumicon UHC, I tried to stop down the aperture with a kitchen towel. It was a little better...
Then I tried the UHC and that gave the best result. I know he's not made for observering Mars
So I think I will by me some filters for Christmas. Is a standard filter-set a good buy for allround planetary use? Or do you suggest other filters?
Is there software for Mars? Something like Virtual Moon Atlas could be interesting to control your observation with reality.
What I certainly saw:
north polar cap, black region south of polar cap (wider from "left" to "right"), a lot of limb haze
What I think I saw:
a small black region at the south, a lighter region at the "left"
Although I'm not quit satisfied with the sketch, here he is. All comments are welcome. I have still a lot to learn.
14/12/2009, 3.30-4.50 UT, 12" dobson @ x300, UHC-filter