Mars is now at 14.65″ of arc and 0.64 A.U. from us. 99.6% of the disk is illuminated and shining at visual magnitude -1.3. The central meridian of Mars was centered at about 227° at the time of the sketch.
The north polar cap is small in size and dim in visual brightness. Utopia and Elysium were also visible in the north. To the south Mare Cimmerium was seen in part as was Mare Tyrrhenum. The preceding and following limbs were mostly covered by haze or clouds. Both the wind and earth clouds made sketching very much a challenge.
Before beginning this sketch I spent 20 minutes looking at Mars through red, green and light blue filters to assist with locating low contrast features. On this evening the filters didn’t help much.
This is an eyepiece sketch made with HB graphite pencils, blending stumps, White Pearl eraser on white sketching paper.
Date 3/31/2014 – Time 05:15-05:55 UT
Telescope: 13.1 inch f/5.9 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 218x and a Neodymium filter
Temperature: 7°C (45°F)
Mostly cloudy, windy
Seeing: Antoniadi IV (poor)