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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Anyone else observing Mars?
      #6166653 - 10/30/13 03:26 PM

I know Mars is still far away and appears small, and is up in the early pre-dawn hours to boot. Probably not many observers want to bother with it right now. However, I wake up early anyway and what better way to have my morning coffee than observing planets. The rainy season makes it difficult to observe in the evenings, but the morning conditions have been nothing short of stunning down here.

Anyway, I have been observing Mars since it was just visible over the roofs and trees in my line of sight. I thought it pretty neat to see it morph from a tiny star-like object to what is now an unmistakeable planetary disk. When it was star-like I observed diffraction rings, which seemed to slowly vanish as Mars approached 4.5" apparent diameter. I also thought it neat to observe the color and intensity as it subtly changes as the planet gets nearer.

Of course, I'm keeping notes and a few sketches of my observations. I'm looking forward to the mornings I start to observe definitive features on the planet.

So, is anyone else out there doing anything similar?

Ed D


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Astrojensen
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Ed D]
      #6166704 - 10/30/13 03:50 PM

I occasionally hear about seeing diffraction rings around planets, but I've never seen them. Two years ago, I observed Mars long before opposition and I was able to see markings on the surface even at just 5" diameter, with my 6" f/8 achromat, stopped down to 125mm f/9.6, which took me completely by surprise.

Must give it another go, if I can get the opportunity.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6167376 - 10/30/13 09:41 PM

Yea, Ed, Mars is still too low and too early for me. And it's still rainy season here, too, so I grab any clear night that presents itself and usually cannot stay out till dawn.

As for diffraction rings, I believe if the object is about the size of the Airy disc you can see them but they are on the verge of dissipating. I see them on Jovian moons when the seeing is good, more washed out on Ganymede which is about the size of a 6" Airy disc.


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buddyjesus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6167466 - 10/30/13 10:48 PM

I find it to be at a very observable elevation at about 6am round these parts. I normally am up til 4am even when not doing astronomy, but I check about that time to see if it is clear out. I have only gotten a couple views so far this season though. It has been too cloudy.

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mak17
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 02/08/11

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #6167551 - 10/30/13 11:46 PM

I took a peak at Mars a few nights ago. It was very low but the polar cap was clearly seen.

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Nick Anderson
super member


Reged: 04/21/13

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: mak17]
      #6167617 - 10/31/13 12:46 AM

I caught Mars on the 26th in my 8-inch Dob. At 192x unfiltered, the north polar cap could seen with concentration, along with possibly an adjoining sea on the western limb (could have been Utopia Planitia).

-Nick Anderson


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Nick Anderson]
      #6167795 - 10/31/13 06:01 AM

Yesterday morning while observing Mars a brownish feature appeared faintly several times below the NPC, very likely Utopia. I have also been observing the NPC for the last few weeks, at first coming in and out of view, but now pretty much a steadily observable feature.

I'm hoping that with the change to standard time this weekend the sky will remain dark enough so I can continue observing Mars while having my morning coffee.

Ed D


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aatt
sage


Reged: 07/26/12

Loc: CT
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Ed D]
      #6168326 - 10/31/13 11:59 AM

I was up until almost 4 last night winding up the session on Jupiter, but I could not even see Mars through the trees.Incidentally, speaking of transient observations, I think I saw a cloud feature on Uranus (around x287) coming in and out of view. Can't say if it was my brain or reality as it was so threshold and seeing was iffy. Oberon was right there intermittently, but definitively.

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mark8888
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: aatt]
      #6168364 - 10/31/13 12:18 PM

I observed Mars 3-4 weeks ago. It was small and very jumbled-up looking, showing no detail, but clearly a planet and not a star. Thoroughly looking forward to more and more Mars.

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Chopin
Canis Insanus
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Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: mark8888]
      #6168914 - 10/31/13 05:10 PM

Gave Mars a go two weeks ago. The seeing here in CT is so horrific all I could make out was a blurry two-toned copper dot. I'm hoping the seasonal change of fronts this November isn't drawn out.

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starcrafter
super member
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Reged: 08/06/13

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Chopin]
      #6195449 - 11/14/13 08:37 PM

I've never had any real luck observing Mars. I have an 8' dob, and everytime I've looked at Mars it's just a small red dot with no definition whatsoever. Granted, on the times I've observed, Mars was relatively low in the horizon, so that may well have something to do with it.

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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: starcrafter]
      #6195505 - 11/14/13 09:08 PM

Yeah that did it. Typically you want at least 35 degrees elevation and 45 or better is ideal. The good news is its riding high in the ecliptic so it won't be in the soup as it were. On a decent night though with your 8" so long as its over 10 arc sec in apparent size all the goodies should show - polar cap, Maria and clouds/hazes. Its a quirky object - poor seeing will turn it bald of details - you'll think a global dust storm is underway - but in good seeing with a good 8" its a veritable network of contrasts.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (11/14/13 09:09 PM)


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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6195523 - 11/14/13 09:16 PM

Mars? Whats that? Is that the thing in the sky between the 2 comets? I will wait until closer to opposition to do my Mars viewing when the image size is greater.

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dcornelis
member


Reged: 10/09/12

Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: djeber2]
      #6196840 - 11/15/13 04:55 PM

Mars 15/11 C14 in rough seeing :

https://picasaweb.google.com/dcornelis/C147#5946607572285109362


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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: dcornelis]
      #6196929 - 11/15/13 06:05 PM

I've had a couple of goes in the last week. This morning using a 127mm f/17.7 Achromat, I was able to see the
polar cap with a dark band running along its southern edge.Also got a good view of the mare Acidilium, not bad at all
giving the small size of the planet.
Also viewed Jupiter with the same scope and the belt detail was stunning this morning.


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urassner
sage
*****

Reged: 07/08/12

Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #6198539 - 11/16/13 05:26 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Last weekend I tried for the first time to image Mars. Seeing was not the greatest, however some features were maybe imaginable.
Images were taken with a Starfire 152 and ASI 120 MC camera. Best 6000 out of 30000 frames, Stacked with Autostakkert and wavelets with Registax 6.


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Rutilus
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/17/10

Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: urassner]
      #6198573 - 11/16/13 05:45 PM

Good image. Your image is very much like what I am seeing visually. The NPC and dark band is very easy to see,
while the rest of Mars shows fainter markings.


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urassner
sage
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Reged: 07/08/12

Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: Rutilus]
      #6198584 - 11/16/13 05:50 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

I did a little more post processing and put a picture of what Skysafari showed me at that time.
I am looking forward to the spring when Mars is a lot closer.


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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: urassner]
      #6198598 - 11/16/13 05:55 PM

I find the word Mars and the tick marks require 10/10 seeing.

Pete


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Anyone else observing Mars? new [Re: urassner]
      #6198600 - 11/16/13 05:55 PM

I looked about a week ago, but all I could get was a soft fuzzy blob.

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