Mars is now 13.6" of arc and 0.69 A.U. from us. 99% of the disk is illuminated and shining at visual magnitude -1.1. The central meridian of Mars was centered on 314° at the time of the sketch. The north polar cap is clearly diminishing and also decreasing in visual brightness. Cecropia and Utopia were both visible as a dark rim to the NPC. The eastern portion of Syrtis Major was visible near the preceding limb along with some limb haze. I was having some difficulty visually holding onto Iapygia Viridis, Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani toward the following limb. At the following limb bluish white clouds and haze were creating a large arc blocking the view to most of Niliacus Lacus and Mare Acidalium.
The eyepiece sketch is the one on top in graphite pencil. The second color sketch was made indoors.
White sketching paper 8" x 11"; HB graphite pencil, blending stump for blending orange, brown, yellow and blue Crayola pencil shavings. -1 brightness adjustment was needed after scanning to get the scan image to closely match the real sketch.
Date 2/12/2010 – Time 2:45-3:10 UT
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/5.9 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 218x
Temperature: -6°C to -12°C (21°F- 11°F)
partly cloudy, slight winds
Seeing: Antoniadi IV