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Mars Obs Feb. 2nd, 2010

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#1 Special Ed

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:12 PM

Hello Everyone,

I was fortunate to make an observation of the Red Planet under good seeing conditions this morning. It's been a long dry spell--my previous observation was Nov. 21st, when Mars was only 9 arcseconds in angular diameter.

In the interim, I've been in survival mode, trying to get through the worst winter in several years here in my corner of the world. I can count the number of clear nights in the past two months on one hand.

Mars did not disappoint--the North Polar Cap was brilliant and the atmospheric features fascinating. There was no dust that I could detect. Notes are with the sketch.

Under overcast skies, I have been tracking the Mars observations posted here and elsewhere on the Web and my hat is off to the many observers posting their work here.

Happy Groundhog Day and best regards to all,

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#2 frank5817



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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:22 AM


Excellent to see your Mars sketch. I suspected poor weather was blocking you out. I am glad you were able to catch a break in the weather to give us this excellent report and sketch.
Wonderful Michael!

Frank :)

#3 Tommy5



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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:38 AM

wow great sketch micheal, i was thinking about you the other day as we have been getting quite a bit of skecthers doing mars this season, i have only seen mars a couple of times and saw a similar mars a few nights ago brillant polar cap dark collar and lighter albedo features blinking in and out in the southern hemisphere, glad to see you were able to get a sketch done on mars.

#4 Jef De Wit

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

Glad you could observe Mars after a long time! You see Mars more brown (than orange) than most of the other sketches here. Interesting.

How do you sketch the limbhaze?

#5 S1mas


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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:24 PM

Nice and informative, Thanks.

#6 CarlosEH


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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:28 PM


An excellent observation of Mars. I am sorry that your Winter has been so severe. I am glad that you are able to observe once again. We have missed your observations on the forum. I have labeled the major albedo features you observed. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


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#7 Special Ed

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 09:34 PM

Thanks to all for the kind words. I missed talking with everyone and hope to participate more than I have been lately.

Frank, Tommy--I don't think the weather in Chicagoland has been so great either--although I have seen some fine drawings of Mars posted by Frank.

Jef, Mars didn't appear as bright to me because I was observing through a high cloud cover which acted as a natural filter. To render the limbhaze, I leave that part of the white sketch paper I use untouched. The black background is added digitally.

Carlos, thanks for the annotated version of my sketch--your expertise is always appreciated. I have seen the observational drawings you have been posting on the Web and they are superbly done and beautifully presented.

Regards to all,

#8 dweller25


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Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:56 AM

Very realistic drawing, thanks for posting it.

#9 markseibold


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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:46 AM


Excellent observation of Mars and detailed rendering with notes! :bow: :bow: :bow:

Thanks for sharing and thatnks again to Carlos for the informative annotations.


#10 Special Ed

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:57 AM

dweller and Mark, thank you very much.

I'm glad so many folks are observing and sketching (and imaging) Mars so I can keep up with what is happening--we are back in the grip of winter with a major storm and no relief in the forecast. :p

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