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Mars Jan. 10-11

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#1 Sol Robbins

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 03:31 AM

Hi,

Its been a while since I have uploaded anything, but tonight I finally had some good weather to take out my very old but newly refurbished reflector.

Sketch was done using 4H and 2B pencils with blending done with fingers.

After observing with various filters Mars still looked best, overall, with my old Sirius Optics Variable Filter.

Best,

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#2 dweller25

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:16 AM

Very, very nice.

What was the CM at the time ??

#3 Jef De Wit

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:55 PM

Sol

Beautiful done!

At first I thought "this sketch looks a lot like the technique used to draw Mars in the book Astronomical Sketching". Then I looked to the author of the chapter about sketching planets... I guess you know the rest of the story :)

#4 Sol Robbins

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:55 PM

Dweller and Jeff,

Thanks.

I think the CM was roughly at 263.

#5 frank5817

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:57 PM

Sol,

Very nice to see one of your beautiful detailed sketches of Mars. Always a pleasure and great amounts of faint subtle features. :bow: :rainbow: :cool:

Frank :)

#6 Tommy5

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:49 PM

Great Mars sketch, the hellas basin looks bright,lots of detail in Syrtis Major, thanks for posting nice to see you sketching again.

#7 CarlosEH

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:36 PM

Sol,

An outstanding observation of Mars showing a wealth of detail over the Martian disk. It makes it even more impressive when this observation was made using a moderate-aperture instrument (I have always stated that such a moderate aperture, quality instrument is very useful in the hands of a dedicated observer). The amount of albedo features noted is difficult to list but I have labelled the majority of the ones rendered. I hope that you like it. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

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#8 Sol Robbins

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:24 PM

Thanks to all for the compliments.

Carlos: Is that a joke? I mean is that all real?

All kidding aside, thanks for taking the time for putting that together.

Best,

#9 CarlosEH

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:33 PM

Sol,

I am glad that you like the labelled image. To be honest with you I ran out of room to place more albedo features noted. There exists levels of nomenclature for the same regions of Mars. Unfortunately most of these are stuck in my brain! I look forward to your future observations.

Carlos

#10 cildarith

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:39 PM

Beautiful sketch of Mars, Sol - it's good to see you here! :)

#11 JayinUT

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:45 AM

Sol,

I really like your capture of Mars in your sketch with the various shades. It reminds me of my views from Sunday night.

#12 Sol Robbins

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:15 AM

Many thanks Eric and Jay.

#13 ericj

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:28 PM

Hi Sol,

It has been a couple of years since I posted here but I would like to compliment you on a wonderful sketch and observation of Mars. They are always impressive to look at.

I did not realize you had purchased and RV-6. How long have you had it? How do you feel it compares to your 6” refractor?

The optics on the RV-6 scopes were quite good. I bought one back in 1975 and it was one of the best telescopes I ever owned. Unfortunately I sold it in the late 1970's but I wish I had kept it. In fact out of almost 30 telescopes I have owned over the years it is in my top 6.

For some historical perspective this is a link to original ad in Astronomy Magazine that I ordered my RV-6 from in an article I wrote on Choosing a Telescope:

Criterion RV-6 f/8 reflector

I look forward to your future observations.

Clear Skies,

Eric Jamison

#14 Sol Robbins

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:00 PM

Eric,

Happy New Year! Its very good to hear from you.

I must have gotten this RV-6 in the late 60's-early 70's. Its got to be 35 to 40 years old. I remember cutting a lot lawns to finance it.

When I went to college I had it stored at a relative's garage and then it went to my brother's place when he got married. Now its back. Refractor images are cleaner, no diffraction spikes, but all in all the RV-6 seems to be very good. Its mechanics shows its age but everything works solidly and as it should. Right now I switched all the screws, washers and bolts to stainless steel, painted the tube, made a tube extention so I don't see heat coming of me into the FOV and center spotted the mirror. I guess a mirror recoat is in order sometime in the future, but there's no rush.

I didn't take the mount as its very heavy and I remember it being shaky as well. The OTA works great on my CG5 GOTO mount and is half the weight of my refractor.

For the sketch I used it Dob-style. Much more comfortable to use that way. Cool down time is always a consideration for me as I live in the northeast US. The RV-6's cool down time is very short without a fan.

It held Mars very well at 300x to 400x so I guess that's all I need to know about its optics. Star colors were great. I also had a bunch of Criterion and Celestron silver top circle V eyepieces with all them in like new condition.

That said, my 6" refractor with Chromacor II currently is still my all time favorite scope. For visual, images are more pure in an Apochromat but detail is basically the same.

Again, great hear from you!

#15 gustymars

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:10 PM

Very nice drawing Sol. I hope that my 16" still works after years of neglect and if it warms up Thursday I will give Mars an evening tryout.

Eric, does you Dad still observe? Haven't heard of him in years.

#16 Sol Robbins

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:38 AM

Gustymars,

Thanks for the compliment. I hope your scope still serves you well.

#17 markseibold

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 04:53 AM

Sol

Very nice sketch of Mars with great details! :bow: :bow: :bow:

Carlos made a very fine labeling of features to append your work.

I wish I could see detail like that; I would be out sketching too. I took a look the other night in a brief break in the weather. I could barely make out the north polar cap through my 10.1" f/4.5 Newtonian with low power in poor seeing. I did not bother to 'up the power' with unstable air. Interesting to note your filters used. I only ever use an old early version of the Orion Sky Glow filter that hardly imparts any color change but only darkens the grey-green albedo features a little.

It's good to see you back here again,

Mark

#18 mike bacanin

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:48 PM

Sol,

I have very much enjoyed checking out your observation,very impressive sketching style with great detail.I'm waiting for an opportunity to get out and sketch Mars!

Mike

#19 Sol Robbins

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:46 PM

Mark & Mike,

Thanks very much. Carlos' Labeling of features is a real boon for all of us. Many thanks for that.

Mark: Over last couiple of years I had been involved with and come to prefer interference filters over colored glass types. For me Mars usually benefits from filters that block yellow light. Just a rule thumb type of thing.

Hope the weather for both of you improves. Mars appears small this time around, but at least its pretty high in the sky for better views.

Best,

#20 ericj

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:33 PM

Sol,

Thanks for the kind words and a belated happy new year to you as well!

Glad to hear your RV-6 has seen the light again :jump:.

To finance my telescope purchases back then I had a paper route and later was a golf caddy. On a good day as a caddy I could make ~$36.00 ~$38.00 a day for two rounds of 18 holes which was a lot of money back then. That income plus selling the Edmund 4.25" f/10 reflector allowed me to buy the RV-6.

One of the most memorable observations of Saturn I ever had was with the RV-6. In February 1977 Saturn was at opposition. It was one of those frigid nights with no wind where the cold just seemed to penetrate through every layer of clothing. Still the seeing was perfect, and Saturn was striking. While making a sketch I decided to experiment and pushed the magnification as high as I could. I finally maxed out over 100x per inch of aperture. I was surprised how well the image held up as it was still showed good sharpness and contrast. The RV-6 spoiled me for years when it came to observing the planets :D.

Clear Skies,

Eric

#21 niteskystargazer

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 10:57 AM

Sol,

:waytogo:, Nice sketch :).

:thanx:,

Tom

#22 Sol Robbins

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 11:16 AM

Thanks very much.

From what I understand the RV-6 varied alot in terms of focal length. My mirror has some writing on it which could either be a focal length variation so the tube cutter can know where to make cuts, or maybe the primary mirror's wave front error. Its hard to say. That said, I'm satisfied, I'm satisfied with its optical quality.

Thanks again,






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