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Mars Observation (January 20, 2010)

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#1 CarlosEH

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:59 AM

I observed Mars on January 20, 2010 under average seeing conditions with brief moments of steady seeing (5-7/10). I noted an interesting complex of orographic clouds over Tharsis on the evening (preceding) limb. A cloud was also noted over Elysium.

Date (U.T.) January 20, 2010
Time (U.T.): 03;30-04:30
CM (Degrees West): 176.6-191.3
Ls 040.3* (Mid-Northern Spring/Southern Autumn)
De: 15.8*, Ds 15.7*, Phase 100%, 14.0 arc-seconds
Instrument: 9-inch (23-cm) F/13.5 Maksutov-Cassegrain
Magnification: 295x and 388x
Filters (Wratten): 30 (Magenta) and 80A (Blue)
Seeing (1-10): 5-7, Antoniadi (I-V) III-II
Transparency (1-6): 5

Notes:
03:45 U.T. (CM 180.3*W, Wratten 30 (Magenta)): The North Polar Cap (NPC) was brilliant (10/10) without any detail visible within it. The North Polar Cap (NPC) collar was produced by Lemuria which appeared dark to dusky (3-4/10). The region extending between Trivium Charontis (3-4/10) and the Propontis Complex (3-4/10; also including Azania (6/10), Phlegra (4/10), and Styx (4/10)) appeared mottled but somewhat subdued possibly due the opposition effect ( http://www.absolutea...position_effect ). Elysium is visible following the central meridian (CM) and appeared bright to very bright (7-8/10)with a haze (cloud) over it. Mare Sirenum (3-4/10) was visible preceding and Mare Cimmerium (3-4/10) following the CM. Valhalla was visible a dusky (4/10) streak north and parallel to Mare Sirenum and Mare Cimmerium. Orographic (Mounatin-associared) clouds were visible along the evening (preceding) limb and appeared very bright (8/10).

A digital image produced using Pixelmator.

The best of luck in your observations of Mars.

Regards,
Carlos

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#2 CarlosEH

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:59 AM

04:30 U.T. (CM 191.3*W, Wratten 80A): The North Polar Cap (NPC) appeared brilliant (10/10). A bright to very bright (7-8/10) cloud was visible over Elysium. Orographic (Mountain-associated) clouds were visible over the evening (preceding) limb and appeared very bright (8/10). The preceding (evening)/southern/following (morning) limbs appeared very to extremely bright (8-9/10).

A digital image produced using Pixelmator.

Carlos

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#3 CarlosEH

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:00 AM

A labeled image of my Mars observation identifying the major albedo features noted. I hope that this proves useful.

Carlos

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#4 Sol Robbins

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:41 AM

Fantastic renderings of Mars.

Carlos, after all the years of being exposed to your sketched observations, you've really broken through another glass ceiling.

I'm not into being a cheerleader or some over-baked member of a mutual admiration society, but you're really acheiving a new and very high level of synthesizing observational and rendering abilities.

For folks who are just getting into sketching, the "trick" for planetary sketches is to get to point that a detail can be rendered as soon as its seen over time a sketcher can develop enough skill to do this with some reliability.

Thanks,

#5 JayinUT

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:53 AM

Carlos,

Simply, WOW!!!!! :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :jump: :jump: :jump: :grin: :grin: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

This flies through the ceiling as Sol said and is just incredible. The level of detail is awesome. Thanks for sharing it.

#6 rolandlinda3

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:10 PM

What a report, Carlos. Beautiful.

#7 CarlosEH

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:13 PM

Jay, Roland, and Sol

Thank you all for the compliments on my latest Mars observation. Mars is very exciting to observe as we are able to detect surface and meteorological activity over our ruddy neighbor. I never tire of observing the planet named for the God of War.

Sol- I greatly appreciate your acknowledgement of any talent that I may have to render the planets. You have great talent yourself as many on the forum have been fortunate to have seen your outstanding observations. I, as we all strive for, am always trying to improve my abilities to render what I observe in the eyepiece. I feel that digital media (e.g. software) allows me to more accurately depict what is being noted during my observing sessions. This does not imply that other media such as graphite (which you so admirably show talent for) is not useful for rendering the planets (or other objects). These are all tools that we employ and it is not a contest between the various media used by individuals. It is exciting to use new tools in rendering what we observe over the heavens.

The best of luck in your own observations of Mars.

Carlos

#8 Tommy5

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 06:23 PM

Wow stunning sketch of Mars on its "boring" side.

#9 frank5817

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:31 PM

Carlos,

I just checked the the names of the crew on board the International Space Station. Carlos, I can't believe it but you must be down here on earth too.
All kidding aside I'll say this is at the very top of 'as good as it gets'. :bow:

Frank :)

#10 CarlosEH

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:41 AM

Frank,

I do not recall ending up as a passenger on the International Space Station (ISS). The trick , or actually requirement, when observing the Moon and planets is patience for steady seeing. Many amateurs look into an eyepiece and if the seeing is not steady they condemn their instrument or planetary observing in general. I have stared into an eyepiece for hours waiting for a few seconds or minutes of steady seeing. That is planetary observing! (at least for an obsessive-compulsive planetary observer)

The best of luck in your own observations.

Carlos

#11 frank5817

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:11 AM

Carlos,

Well put. Tommy5 and I in Chicagoland are hoping we get at least one more chance to see Mars before its disk shrinks away. Every day is a carbon copy of the previous cloudy 24/7.
Thanks Carlos!

Frank :)

#12 NUNKY

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:43 PM

Tes dessins de Mars sont toujours aussi beaux !
Félicitations.

#13 CarlosEH

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 01:51 AM

Christian,

Merci! Thank you very much for the compliment on my Mars observation. Your observations are excellent as well.

Carlos






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