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Another 1st January 2010 Mars sketch

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#1 Kris.

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:33 AM

Only average seeing last night, but a few good moments allowed to make a quick sketch!

Syrtis Major looked interesting, the light dessert seemed to run into Syrtis Major just above Moeris Lacus (?) the tip ended with a curved hook to the left. Hellas was the second brightest feature after the polar ice. seeing wasn't stable enough to see any clouds over Lybia or Aeria though (left and right of Syrtis Major).

The dark plains Utopia and Boreo Syrtis above the NPC. Nodus Alcyonius was also visible at momenst of good seeing, Aetheria wasn't however.

A lighter region, the division between Mare Cimmerium & Mare Tyrrhenum was quite easy to spot.

I chose to use the 8" with the fan running during the sketch and an hour before because temperatures dropped to (i guess) 4 or 5°C minus.

Mars is big enough now to allow some great views if seeing cooperates!

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#2 Jef De Wit

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 09:20 AM

And here is an another Belgian Mars from Newyearsday!

Like Kris said the seeing wasn't that good. At x300 I had to wait all the time for moments of steady seeing. But I'm happy that I finaly saw the "good" side of Mars. And when you like for some time you see Mars rotate!

The two sketches were made at the same time, so you can compare what a experienced Mars-observer see more than a newbie :whistle:

12" dobson 22.55-23.25 UT.

@Kris: I finally managed to see something on Mars with my ETX-70:whee:! The polarcap was by moments visible @ x87. I tried x150, but then Mars looked like it was on fire! For the Moon this small refractors works fine, but for planets the optics is to bad. Thanks a lot for encouraging me in the past (at the Urania discussion forum) for observing Mars. :thanx:

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#3 dweller25

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 09:30 AM

Very nice guys, the weather here in the UK did not co-operate for me so I shall enjoy your drawings.

#4 frank5817

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:31 AM

Kris,

Very nice work on Mars. I enjoyed reading your report too. :bow:

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And Jef,

You too, well done. :bow: I had clear skies last night but I know my cold finger limit for sketching.

Frank :)

#5 Kris.

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 03:22 PM

And here is an another Belgian Mars from Newyearsday!

Like Kris said the seeing wasn't that good. At x300 I had to wait all the time for moments of steady seeing. But I'm happy that I finaly saw the "good" side of Mars. And when you like for some time you see Mars rotate!


Nice to know i'm not the only crazy belgian out there in the cold these days :grin: this side is definitely the most interesting one isn't it? but also challenging to sketch.

You caught the same feature in syrtis major (dessert running into it from the left, i don't think it was that distinct the last 2 oppositions as it is now, but i might be wrong here) and the curved appearance of Mare Tyrrhenum to the left.

how long did you cool down the scope, and did you make use of any filters to cut the glare?

i found a pic of mars on 21/12/09 from Teruaki Kumamori (scroll down second to last) which shows very good what i mean.

@Kris: I finally managed to see something on Mars with my ETX-70:whee:! The polarcap was by moments visible @ x87. I tried x150, but then Mars looked like it was on fire! For the Moon this small refractors works fine, but for planets the optics is to bad. Thanks a lot for encouraging me in the past (at the Urania discussion forum) for observing Mars. :thanx:


i told you it was possible ;) i've seen it too back in 2007 with my little 66mm scope. if you search some of Sol Robbins' mars sketches, ypu'll see what a really experienced mars observer/ gifted sketcher can do with a small 80mm scope! :D
i tried to spur people on observing/sketching mars in the past at Urania, but it seems you're like the only one who really tried/tries :shrug:

i hope you don't mind i put a 'quick 'n dirty' black background round your mars, i think it gives a nicer look to it as a whole.

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#6 Jef De Wit

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:55 AM

Kris

Thanks for the black background! I should learn to work with layers.... because it looks much better now.

About the cooling. I leave my telescope by cold days in the garden house, so he is almost at the same temperature than outside. I have no cooling, so if the temperature drops to fast, I have problem with seeing.
I didn't use any filter, because I haven't a ND or colourfilter. This time I have had no problem with Mars being too bright.

#7 sixela

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:35 AM

Hi, Kris. Hope you didn't miss the previous night's stupendous seeing (3-4 Jan 2010). I haven't made a "processed" sketch, but the raw sketch I did post on astroforum.nl.

I really ought to find some time to make a coloured sketch, because the subtle tone varieties were stunning, with light grey above Sinus Sabaeus, a markedly ocre coloured Hellas, and a very faint gray Nilosyrtis (but only in the few moments of exceptional seeing) separated from the stuff at the North pole by an area slightly lighter than the main plains.

Strangely, the subtle shading and vivid colour was better at "too much" power (which this night was 500-600x), even though most contrast features stood out more starkly at slightly lower power (350-400x).

The Baader Moon & Skyglow once again proved a stunning filter as far as colour aesthetics are concerned (though it doesn't show the greenish-gray features as well as a #23a).

Should you have failed to guess, this was in the 400mm scope, not the Starblast ;).

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#8 Kris.

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:53 AM

Alexis, the good news is i went outside last night and could make a sketch, the bad news is i didn't stay up long enough apparantly to experience the great seeing you mention :D perhaps mars was also not high enough at 40°.

i found the seeing quite turbulent at first but noted that occasionally it was very steady, i had to get up early tough so i packed up at 00:30 (23:30 UT).

i clearly see you used the 16-incher from your sketch :D (do you also feel the left side of syrtis major looks remarkably different from the previous opposition? i see you drew the same feature which is absent on you sketch from 2 years back) i'd love to have a view with great seeing with such a scope. sadly i seem to have some trouble with my 12" not performing as well as i would have liked, so i'm back using my old 8" dob.

here's my sketch from tonight under varying seeing conditions, but some very steady moments allowed to see quite some detail, especially the bright cloud or dust over Elysium, very obvious, you couldn't miss it in your 16". Aetheria was visible and bordering Elysium. i also found Lybia looking bright again, but i suspect it's not clouds or haze, because unlike the Elysium area i couldn't really confirm it in blue light.

this was also the first time the limb haze seemed to go all around the disk masking part of Mare Cimmerium, probably because we're close to full illumination now.

i overdid the shape of the tip of syrtis major in the sketch, much too pointy, the scanner seems to bring it out more than it should :(

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#9 sixela

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 12:16 PM

Yes, Syrtis Major looks a lot different this time around. Much more pointy than last time around, and the wierd thing about the tip is that it's slightly hooked but that we're seeing the (Ikemura/Newt convention) *left* hand side as darker, with the right hand side rather less contrasted (which is what makes it appear as "pointy"); last time around it appeared less pointy and with a darker hook following the *right* hand then bottom side.

What's striking is that you can see the spur at the left side much better than in 2007, although I see it somewhat lower (more to the North) than you do, and with a blotch in Syrtis Major that's definitely less dark immediately under the lighter cut into it.

I started observing when you were quitting (just when the fog was coming up). Syrtis Major changed appearance on the right hand side, making it look like Africa with Sinus Deltoton as its "Ethiopia" - rather dark and projecting out of the general shape.

I see you also caught both Nodus Alcyonis and Hyblaeus. Seeing mustn't have been that bad.

Sadly, I was too late to see the bright markings you have on your sketch (lost in the limb haze, I guess, or if they were there I mistook them for limb haze).

On the other hand, I did see Sinus Sabaeus, which is very striking this apparition, much more narrow, with the region North of it clearly lighter than the central plains (and no, I don't think it's a subjective contrast effect; it also appears much more clearly with a Baader Moon&Skyglow and at higher powers).

#10 Kris.

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:20 PM

Yes, Syrtis Major looks a lot different this time around. Much more pointy than last time around, and the wierd thing about the tip is that it's slightly hooked but that we're seeing the (Ikemura/Newt convention) *left* hand side as darker, with the right hand side rather less contrasted; last time around it appeared less pointy and with a darker hook following the *right* hand then bottom side.


yes you're right, i went back to some of my sketches from last opposition and i believe they show what you mean, see also the shape of Syrtis Major in this sketch from 2005.

What's striking is that you can see the spur at the left side much better thna in 2007, although I see it somewhat lower (more to the North) than you do, and with a blotch in Syrtis Mahor that's definitely less dark immediately under the lighter cut into it.


i'll have to look at that next time, but i think it's out of reach for my 8" :question:

On the other hand, I did see Sinus Sabaeus, which is very striking this apparition, much more narrow, with the region North of it clearly lighter than the central plains (and no, I don't think it's a subjective contrast effect; it also appears mcuh more clearly with a Baader Moon&Skyglow and at higher powers).


i experienced the same thing with Deucalionis and added it to my report here

i hope you make some more sketches from your observations :D

#11 CarlosEH

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:28 PM

Kris,

Excellent observations of Mars which show a good amount of detail. Syrtis Major does appear more "pointed" this apparition your, and other, observations. This well known albedo feature does appear to change shape between apparitions. It will be interesting to follow over the rest of the apparition.

Alexis and Jef- Excellent observations of Mars as well. You have recorded the major albedo features visible. Thank you for sharing them with us all.

A fine showing of observational skills from Belgium.

Carlos

#12 Kris.

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:31 PM

Thanks Carlos!

A fine showing of observational skills from Belgium.

:grin: we've been spoiled with Syrtis Major last week!

#13 Jef De Wit

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:41 PM

Hi Alexis

Mars must be a fantastic sight in your 40 cm telescope! Your sketch gives a lot of detail. Can't wait to see a colour version.

#14 frank5817

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 09:06 PM

Kris, Alexis and Jef,

This is becoming the Mars sketching headquarters. Some really nice sketching is appearing here. :bow: :bow: :bow:

Frank :)

#15 sixela

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:02 AM

Hi Alexis

Mars must be a fantastic sight in your 40 cm telescope!


To be honest: even at 600x, there isn't a lot you can't also see in a much less cumbersome excellent 300mm scope.

Here's the coloured version of the sketch (and looking at it, the feature at the lower left must've been sketched earlier and misplaced with respect to the rest):

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