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Mars observation 27 and 31 Jan

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#1 astroducky


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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:54 PM

I did a couple of observing of Mars these days with my 12.5" Obsession dob. I do notice that the North Polar Cap is shrinking in size, thawing and less white. I could observe that the cap was breaking up to, and getting 'freckled'.

Attached are links to two simple sketches (actually it is my third and fourth time drawing Mars in my entire 10 years of observing) I drawn on 27 Jan and on 31 Jan. The real image seen through the scope was more detailed than my sketches and was like a very good planetary photograph seen in real time. I did not observe with any filters. It was pretty amazing sight of Mars and at 320x it was razor sharp. 400x was no problem and retained the sharpness majority of the time, demonstrating the atmosphere was good.


Do comment on the sketches and tell me how to improve on it. :)

#2 Uwe Pilz

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:33 AM

Great sketches! Interesting to see what ist possible in b/w.
I tried to see details in the NPC but failed. You saw quite a lot!

#3 Jeff Young

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:03 AM

Excellent observation, Yang!

I'm given to understand from a recent BAA circular that the border you saw in the NPC is where the ice cap is thinning over the permanent dunes which mark the extent of the cap in the summer.

-- Jeff.

#4 mikesemmler



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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:15 AM

a good job, simple but very informative


#5 CarlosEH


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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:34 AM


Excellent observation of Mars. You have recorded several albedo features at different longitudes. As the Martian season progresses to Northern Summer (Ls 90*) the North Polar Cap (NPC) is sublimating and we are observing the dune fields at the edge of the cap (and within it as well). Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#6 frank5817



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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:53 AM


Mars looks wonderful in these sketches. The key to good sketching is that the sketcher be pleased with his (her) own sketches.

Frank :)

#7 astroducky


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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:15 AM

Thanks guys for your encouragements. :)

Wow, I did not know that those were called dunes! There is so much for me to learn about the Mars seasons and features on Mars. Frankly, I am just a beginner in observing Mars.

#8 markseibold


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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:47 AM


Beautiful sketch work! :bow: :bow: :bow: You have captured quite a bit of detail of Mars albedo features and the subtleties of the polar caps.

Could you indicate the size of your sketches?

Thanks for posting,

My CN Gallery

#9 mathteacher



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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:37 PM

Yang, you saw a lot of detail. That is a nice rendering in pencil.

#10 astroducky


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Posted 03 February 2010 - 08:02 AM

Hi Mark,

The diameter of Mars was 19mm on the sketch book. I scanned it and shrank the image. There was no image processing done after scanning.

#11 Rick Woods

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:46 AM

Great sketches, especially with you being so new to it. You have a good eye.

I like the name of your telescope. My wife named mine "Telly".

#12 Jef De Wit

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 05:19 AM

Hi Rick

My wife did the same, but I don't like the name! Is it common that wifes give names to the telescope of their husband?

#13 phxbird


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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:28 AM

I really like your "old school" approach! When I was around 12 I made a series of drawings of Mars with my60mm refractor. The major features were the polar caps and Syrtis Major but they were done with a #2 pencil on notebook paper! This simple style of sketching was what serious scientists did for several hundred years. When you use this technique you are joining a long line of very distinguished astronomers! I will look forward to seeing more of your work. I have also found that high quality watercolor pencils or colored pencils can add the element of color without compromising the detail you see. Might be worth a try!

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