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Mars: January 10, 2010

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#1 frank5817

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 03:56 AM


It was a cold, mostly clear, moonless, night with Mars high in the southeastern sky. Mars was very bright at visual magnitude -1, 98% illuminated and 65.1 million miles from us. The visual diameter of the planet was 13.4"of arc and the central meridian was at 292°.
The first sketch, a graphite drawing, was made at the eyepiece over a one hour interval. When I returned indoors I redrew the sketch in color pencils. When the second colorized sketch matched the eyepiece sketch I stopped and considered it complete.
The seeing was about average (Antoniadi III). Mars is inverted in the sketch and matches the Newtonian view with the north polar cap down and the preceding side to the left.
From top (south) to bottom (north) along the meridian I was able to see with certainty Hellas, Iapygia Viridis, Syrtis Major, Casius and much of Utopia. Also visible in the southern hemisphere were Mare Tyrrhenum, Mare Sepentis, and part of Sinus Sabaeus. In the northern hemisphere I could see intermittently Nodus Alcyonius and Boreo Syrtis.


Sketching:

White sketching paper 8" x 11"; HB graphite pencil, blending stump for blending orange, brown and yellow Crayola pencil shavings. No adjustments were needed after scanning.
Date 1/10/2010 – Time 3:45-4:45 UT
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/6 Dobsonian and 6mm eyepiece 333x
An UltraBlock Narrowband filter was helpful with some of the fainter features.
Temperature: -17°C (1°F)
clear, calm
Transparency 4/5
Seeing: Antoniadi III

Frank McCabe :)

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#2 dweller25

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:13 AM

Very nice drawing, Mars is showing lots of detail this year.

#3 NUNKY

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:47 AM

Bravo Franck, trés joli dessin et l'idée de mettre le dessin noir et blanc à l'oculaire puis couleur fait au chaud me plait bien !
J'aime bien le rendu pastel de la couleur, par contre il me semblait avoir vu des fomations plus contrastées !?

Christian

#4 Jef De Wit

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 07:42 AM

Frank
That's a really nice ice cold (-17°C !) Mars sketch. Thanks.

Here in Belgium it is clouded since friday and it will stay clouded for still some days. It is freezing for almost a month. Yesterdag we had a (small) "snow storm". We're not used to that kind of weather over here.

So I have some time to make an apodizing mask for my telescope. Kris put his mask on my 12" and it works! So next time it is clear, I will observe Mars with the mask if the seeing isn't that great. Hopefully I will see more detail.

#5 Kris.

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:14 AM

Frank, awesome mars sketch :bow: i think your subtle colouring is also very nice. the icecap seems to get smaller and smaller.

for your colour sketch, do you first draw draw the dark markings and then add the colour, or do you first make a yellow/orange disk and then add the grey markings?

-17°C ? geez! and we thought we were brave observing at -10°c :grin:

#6 frank5817

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:38 AM

dweller25, Christian, Jef and Kris,

Thank you all for your nice words. It has been a few weeks since our skies have cleared at night. I was glad to get out even briefly in the frigid air to sketch.
__
Christian,
Le merci tous pour vos mots agréables. Cela a été quelques semaines depuis que nos cieux se sont éclaircis la nuit. J'ai été heureux de sortir même brièvement dans l'air glacial à l'esquisse.
--
Kris, I colored the disk after I did the North polar cap, and then I added the graphite. You know Kris when water freezes at 0°C I begin to do the same.

Frank :)

#7 JayinUT

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 12:09 PM

Frank,

A pleasing and admirable rendition of Mars. I really liked it and hope to be out in the cold soon. Frank I would assume your cold is a humid cold instead of the dry cold I have which is more tolerable I think than the humid cold. When I lived in northern Florida, North Carolina and Virginia that was a humid cold that just seemed to penetrate through everything. Again, thanks for sharing the observation and the sketch.

#8 CarlosEH

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 04:00 PM

Frank,

An excellent observation of Mars showing much detail over the Martian disk. The region surrounding Syrtis Major is full of interesting albedo features. I have labeled the major albedo features visible. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

I hope to observe Mars again when my weather improves.

Carlos

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#9 Tommy5

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:58 PM

Wow great sketch Frank, i fell asleep before the skies cleared, nice catch of Mars with Syrtis Major on the meridian, hope we can observe more this year lots of cloudy nights last year.

#10 frank5817

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:04 AM

Jay and Carlos,

Thank you both very much for your comments. :thanx:

--
Jay - It is usually a humid cold we have here but I can never dress warm enough for cold air no matter the moisture level.
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Carlos - Once again I am impressed with the way you have labelled and formatted the drawing. Thank You.

Frank :)

#11 cildarith

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:09 AM

Excellent sketch of Mars, Frank! :waytogo:

Carlos - thanks for the labels, they are very informative, as always. :cool:

#12 frank5817

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:21 AM

Eric,

Thank you for the compliment. :thanx:
Having Carlos label my drawings so well is like having my very own Mars tutor. Now I'm spoiled.
By the way, have a happy birthday.

Frank :)

#13 niteskystargazer

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:19 AM

Frank,
:waytogo:, nice sketches :)

:thanx:,

Tom

#14 cildarith

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:16 PM

Thanks, Frank! :)

#15 frank5817

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:23 AM

Tommy5 and Tom,

Thank you both very much. :thanx:

Frank :)

#16 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:45 AM

You saw a very lot of detail. Thanks for sharing.

#17 frank5817

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:35 PM

Uwe,

The seeing was only average but I stayed with it long enough to pull out some detail. The filter helped with the margins. Since Mars is riding high at culmination I think this is producing eyepiece views much better than two and four years ago even with the smaller disk size.
Thanks Uwe.

Frank :)

#18 frank5817

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:10 PM

Mars was as good as it gets in the Chicago area last night. This was the best seeing condition I have experienced while observing this planet since the summer of 2003. The air was rock steady for intervals lasting many seconds. Mars is now 13.6" of arc and 69 million miles from us. 99% of the disk is illuminated and the planet was 50° above the horizon at the time of the sketch. The central meridian of Mars was about 260° at the time of the sketch.


Sketching:
The eyepiece sketch is the first one in graphite pencil. Second color sketch was made indoors.
White sketching paper 8" x 11"; HB graphite pencil, blending stump for blending orange, brown, yellow and violet Crayola pencil shavings. No adjustments were needed after scanning.
Date 1/13/2010 – Time 4:30-5:30 UT
Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 6mm eyepiece 241x
Temperature: -9°C (16°F)
mostly clear, slight winds
Transparency 3/5
Seeing: Antoniadi II

Frank McCabe :)

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#19 rolandlinda3

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:16 PM

Must have been a very good night to catch the planet. Nice sketch.

#20 frank5817

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:54 AM

Roland,

In all my years this was the best night I believe I ever had observing and certainly sketching the red planet.
I hope you get some time with Mars soon.

Frank :)

#21 markseibold

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 05:09 AM

Frank

Very nice sketches of Mars. You've captured many albedo features. :bow: :bow: :bow: It is admirable that you stayed out for an hour in 1 degree F temperatures!

Also, nice labeling by Carlos.

I look forward to seeing your next sketches,

Mark

#22 mike bacanin

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:45 PM

Frank,

A very nice sketch of Mars, thank you for posting it!

Mike

#23 CarlosEH

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:31 PM

Frank,

Another excellent observation of Mars. You have recorded an impressive amount of detail over the Martian surface. I am glad that you enjoyed good seeing conditions for observing Mars. I have labelled the major albedo features noted. I hope that this helps in identifying what you observed. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

I hope to observe Mars soon myself.

Carlos

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#24 frank5817

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:32 PM

Mark, Mike and Carlos,

Thank you all for your kind words. :thanx:
---
Mark - I was dressed very warm but I had frozen fingers for the entire time.

---
Carlos - Thanks for the labels and format. I'm going to look into doing that for myself so you can have back your valuable free time. Thanks again.

Frank :)

#25 CarlosEH

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:09 PM

Frank,

It is my pleasure to add the nomenclature to anyone's observations of Mars if they feel it is useful in understanding what was observed. It does not take me long to do so. The best of luck in your future observations.

Carlos






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