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Musings over Mars
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Musings over Mars
By Tim Versteegen
Braved the first frosty forecast of the season Tuesday evening GMT for a couple of hours at the eyepiece under clear South London skies to have a go at sketching the Red Planet before the distance becomes too great.
Although clear, there was a fair amount of high turbulence and sharp focusing was a challenge, but the view was still wonderful to behold through my Mewlon 210 which had a couple of hours outside chilling to ambient before observing.
Swapped between 5mm Pentax XW and 7.5mm Tak eyepieces as seeing allowed, between 2120 - 2245 as Mars hovered around its highest, well clear of terraced roofs and chimney pots in the South. A Baader contrast booster filter was screwed into the barrel.
Of course it’s just my perception, amateur art over pure science, but it's satisfying to see a couple of obvious details I interpreted (Syrtis / Hellas) vaguely matching the maps with East to the Right.
Apparently we were around 44.8 million miles apart and receding as I sat observing and doodling in the soft glow of a moon a few days past full.
In these unsettling times the usual traffic, sirens and domestic clamour of our outer city suburb seem suffocated.
I have no idea what kind, but a bird somewhere in the low branches kept me company with an occasional lilting chirruping song.
This hobby never ceases to surprise me with such profoundly peaceful, morale and soul-enriching moments - gazing at the features of Mars was a bonus.
One drawback - my daughter reckons I’ve ruined her prized, erasable Crayola colour pencils… oh well... that’s one Christmas present sorted...
Wishing all Clear Skies and Good Health.
- John Miele, John Huntley, M Schnittker and 11 others like this