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Thursday Night Mars: February 11, 2010

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#1 frank5817

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:59 PM

Finally we are beginning to see the night sky beyond the clouds in the Chicago area. Conditions were not the best for sketching but tolerable if the sessions are kept brief. The air column above me was reasonably steady but the temperature fell from -6° C to -12° C during the hour of my observation and sketch. As a result the primary mirror of the Newtonian scope was playing catch-up during the entire session.
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.


Sketching:
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
Transparency 3/5
Seeing: Antoniadi IV

Frank McCabe :)

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#2 JayinUT

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:04 PM

Frank,

Another terrific sketch of the red planet. I enjoy seeing the difference between the graphite and the color sketch.

#3 frank5817

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 02:07 AM

Jay,

Thank you much for your comment.:thanx:

The sky again was clear Friday night and the seeing was improved to Antoniadi III. So using the same scope, eyepiece and starting a little later in the evening to get a similar central meridian position I sketched Mars again.

Frank :)

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#4 S1mas

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:08 AM

Very nice and natural, thanks :)

#5 Kris.

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 10:02 AM

impressive sketches Frank :waytogo:

#6 Tommy5

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 11:13 AM

Very good mars sketches, perhaps i will get a chance to sketch mars tonight,good catch on Sinus Meridiani. i see that Syrtis Major is rolling into view.

#7 rerun

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:37 PM

Hallo Frank,

you are lucky,to have two days of Mars observing.That are again very good sketches of Mars you made.It's a good Idea to make them in b/w and colour,I like it.
Here it is snowing the last days and no chance of clear skies.

CS

Markus

#8 frank5817

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:11 PM

S1mas, Kris, T5, Markus,

Thank you all so much for your comments. :thanx:
This time around I have been very pleased with the views I have seen and all the sketchers posting here.

Frank :)

T5- The sky should be good tonight. Don't forget to look at Saturn too.

#9 mikesemmler

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:03 AM

Hallo Frank,


Here it is snowing the last days and no chance of clear skies.

CS

Markus


Hallo Markus!
Bei uns in Österreich haben wir das selbe Trauerspiel
(Here in Austria we have the same weather)

Michael

#10 dweller25

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:19 AM

Your picking up some great detail there Frank, well done.

#11 frank5817

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:14 AM

Mike and Markus,

I hope your skies clear soon so you can continue viewing the show Mars is putting on.
-----

dweller, thank you, you also are capturing some great detail on the tough side of Mars.

Frank :)

#12 frank5817

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:19 AM

Mars again, this time from Sunday night.

Frank :)

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#13 Tommy5

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:53 AM

Wow, great mars frank, your larger aperture was able to get a few more details in Mars's southern hemisphere, our magnificaton 220x, 218x was about the same,this is going to be our best view of Mars for quite some time.

#14 CarlosEH

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:37 AM

Frank,

Excellent observations of Mars showing much detail. The original monochrome observations are good but the colorized versions are even better. I have labeled the major albedo features recorded. Thank you for sharing them with us all.

I will try to observe Mars soon myself.

Carlos

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#15 CarlosEH

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:40 AM

Below is your February 12th with labels. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

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#16 niteskystargazer

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:49 AM

Frank,

:waytogo:, nice sketch :cool:,

:thanx:,

Tom

#17 frank5817

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:51 AM

Carlos,

Once again thank you for the labels and your kind words.:thanx:
I hope you get more observing time in soon as we slip past the red planet.

Frank :)

#18 frank5817

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:53 AM

Tom,

Thank you. Have you been as surpised as I have with the clear or partly clear nights lately?

Frank :)

#19 CarlosEH

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:01 PM

Frank,

You are welcome. I have added labels to your excellent Valentine's Day Mars observation (February 14). You noted a good amount of detail. Thank you for sharing it with us all. I hope to get a look at Mars soon.

Carlos

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#20 BillP

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:05 PM

You caught lots of great details!! :waytogo:

#21 markseibold

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 04:49 PM

Frank

Excellent sketches of Mars! Excellent information and report :bow: :bow: :bow:

I wish I could see the details you are recording. Your sketches are really inspiring as we are finally seeing clearing again here in Portland. Did I miss what medium you used to colorize your later work? Is it colored pencils or pastel chalks? I'd like to hear about your use of the colored medium that you used here.

Thanks again for posting and sharing your excellent sketch work.

Also thanks to Carlos for the well labeled information again.

Mark
www.markseibold.com

#22 frank5817

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:51 PM

Carlos, Bill and Mark,

Thank you all for your remarks about my sketch. And Carlos thank you once again for your superb labeling of the major features.
Mark - To answer your question, I sharpened orange,light brown, yellow and light blue color pencils and then using a sharp knife I shaved measured amounts of each on to an index card blending and adding more shavings until I got the color mixture I wanted. I applied this mixture with my index finger to the paper and then sketched in the albedo features using a HB graphite pencil and a blending stump.
I cannot use color pencils directly and get an even blend but this way I used seems to work for me.
I know many sketchers like to use colored pastel pencils but my experience with colored pastels is so far very limited.

Frank :)






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