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#1 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 03:24 PM

Greetings all,

Please find attached my first observation of Mars for the current apparition. Alas it does not show much, a small disk size of 4.1" combined with the planet being low down in the dawn sky meant that fine details were never going to be seen! Nonetheless, the brilliant NPC could be made out, and a dark streak on the proc. side of the planet which (with the help of WINJUPOS) I have identified as Sinus Sabeus.

How nice it is to have the Red Planet back in our skies!

Best wishes,
-Paul

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#2 buddyjesus

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 04:54 PM

YAY! thanks for the Mars fix. I have been hit with Mars fever early this time and haven't gotten a view yet this apparition.

as an aside, what does IL stand for eh?

#3 PeterDob

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:07 PM

Conditions may have been bad and Mars still far away, but you still caught some very nice detail, Paul. Lovely sketch!

Peter

#4 WadeVC

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:05 PM

Planets are always awesome to look at, and even better to sketch. Very nice sketch of the Red Planet my friend.

#5 Special Ed

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:18 AM

Paul,

Thanks for helping us scratch our Mars itch. At 4 arcsecs Mars must have been tiny in the ep even at 312x.

The Ls of Mars is 19° which means northern hemisphere spring has just recently begun. As Mars slowly grows in apparent diameter, we'll be watching the brilliant North Polar Hood dissipate and the North Polar Cap shrink. Should be fun. :)

#6 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:16 PM

Thanks all. Indeed I couldn't wait any longer and as the planet was visible form my observatory i decided to make a start. It will be an interesting apparition, another aphelic opposition but Mars will get to 15.1" rather than 14" of last time (some 9% larger). Don't forget we will pass into the Martian dust storm season by August of next year, and the disk size should be around 7.3" which is still more than adequate for visual work with apertures of 203mm or larger.

@buddyjesus 'IL' stands for 'Integrated Light' in other words, white light with no filters used.

Best wishes,
-Paul

#7 niteskystargazer

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:53 PM

Paul,

Very good sketch of Mars :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#8 Special Ed

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:09 AM

Thanks all. Indeed I couldn't wait any longer and as the planet was visible form my observatory i decided to make a start. It will be an interesting apparition, another aphelic opposition but Mars will get to 15.1" rather than 14" of last time (some 9% larger). Don't forget we will pass into the Martian dust storm season by August of next year, and the disk size should be around 7.3" which is still more than adequate for visual work with apertures of 203mm or larger.

@buddyjesus 'IL' stands for 'Integrated Light' in other words, white light with no filters used.

Best wishes,
-Paul


Yes, it's hard to wait to begin observing Mars when it's so long between apparitions. Also, it's good to start early and begin to train the eye.

My personal record for an early start was in 2009 with Mars at an apparent diameter of 5.9 arcsecs. See sketch below. :)

Attached Files



#9 Asbytec

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:16 AM

Yea, it's shaping up to be a good observing season, again. The clouds will break in a month or so...can't wait.

#10 Paul G. Abel

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

@specialEd: it is indeed hard, and I'd much rather make a start ASAP. Before I would only observe the planet when the disk size exceeded 6", however these days, after spending much time studying Uranus, I thought I might as well study Mars when it exceeds 4"! Of course not much can be seen but it does greatly extend coverage!

#11 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:59 PM

Paul,

I didn't need WinJupos for Sinus Sabaeus/Meridiani, Margaritifer Sinus, and Mare Acidalium to jump right out at me. Great sketch, so early in the apparition!

#12 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 10:32 PM

I got a peek at Mars this morning, (Sept/17/2013), and just saw the gibbous phase with a tiny bit of dark and lighter colors. The sky was rippling heavily and not stable enough to see much. My main goal in the morning was to have a good look at M-42 and Jupiter, but I saw Mars below and had a look.

It was worth a try though. I'll be looking at it a lot more to get ready for the 2014 opposition!

#13 Tommy5

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:07 PM

wow a Mars sketch this early in the season, great job getting some albedo features from such a tiny disk. Sp.Ed great sketch from 09, hope we are all around to see and sketch Mars when the next close opposition comes again.

#14 Kris.

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:02 AM

And another early Mars sketch!
this one makes me even more unpatient to go have a look myself, nice one Paul!






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