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Mars, get ready

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#1 phillip

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:45 AM

Mars is small currently range of 4.5 arc sec. Small for my 8 inch dob reflector, but monthly increases and nearing summer should be getting some good looks. 

 

Early checks a good idea as the polar cap believe is larger then before it reduces in size w/Martian summer.

 

Fall reaches max over 20 arc seconds, but beware least here in midwest plenty of overcast that time of year. 

 

I'll check it as early as March, polar cap suppose to be at a good angle thru the encounter! 

 

XT10

XT8 Dobs, XT8 USE THERMAL READY IN TRUNK..


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#2 phillip

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 01:08 AM

Summer best option, as checking my charts Mars low early mornings, also then it reaches half of max size, big enough for modest telescopes. 

 

Past experience it's a challenge for seeing detail, tho exceptional sky certainly gives rewarding views. 

 

Keeps increasing in size, unless your lucky with less overcast sky as Mars max around Oct, I've nearly  always had ton of cloudy sky then. 

 

Aug 02 AM SYRTIS MAYOR large feature well in View! Also Mars placed abit higher in sky. Planet Will Be a nice plus 14 arc seconds size !

 

Clear Sky!


Edited by phillip, 13 January 2020 - 01:16 AM.


#3 Cotts

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:12 AM

I'll be ready with 12.5" Lockwood Dob, 160mm TEC refractor and 11" Celestron SCT for video lucky imaging...

 

Dave


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#4 phillip

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 05:24 AM

You Certainly Are Ready!

 

Tho I'm into direct observation, with frequent checks, near steady sky can release some beautiful views. 

 

I did mention in older forums, at my work places parking lot. Had an amazing steady sky released unbelieveable detail. Fortunate to share with my co-workers! They asked for more magnification, and images were amazing over 400X with the modest 8 inch Dob. Surprised they caught it as it swept briefly in the narrow field, I edged it for full pass and was able to give over 30 second in the view. 

 

Really hope to repeat that one in coming encounter, Awesome! 


Edited by phillip, 14 January 2020 - 05:25 AM.

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#5 jodemur

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:48 AM

I'm anxious for some good viewing conditions here which doesn't happen that often these days. Maybe summer will be better.

I replaced my 8" Dobs with an 10" Apertura recently.

Last year was full of dismal Mars views with Martian dust storms and atmospheric moisture here.

The old 8" had given me good, well detailed views in the past so I am very excited to collect first Martian light with the 10" light bucket.


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#6 vdog

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:40 AM

I couldn't resist taking a look in the early a.m. a couple of days ago.  Unfortunately, it's not much to look at yet.

 

But I'm ready.  I'll be using the dob, Mak, and Mak + binoviewer combo to see which gives me the best views.



#7 bikerdib

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:15 PM

I hope it isn't obscured by dust again during this opposition.  Since I'm near Houston it should be pretty high in the sky for me but the seeing and transparency can be sketchy.  At least this opposition will peak during Mars autumn so maybe the summer dust storms will have subsided by then.  I'll be using my ES 152mm triplet and Celestron Edge 14" mostly.



#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 01:22 AM

There's a chronology of the 2020 apparition of Mars posted at http://spider.seds.o...s/mars2020.html


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#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 11:54 AM

A comprehensive article on the 2020 apparition can be found at http://www.alpo-astr...h/2020_MARS.htm


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#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 12:01 PM

I hope it isn't obscured by dust again during this opposition.  Since I'm near Houston it should be pretty high in the sky for me but the seeing and transparency can be sketchy.  At least this opposition will peak during Mars autumn so maybe the summer dust storms will have subsided by then.  I'll be using my ES 152mm triplet and Celestron Edge 14" mostly.

Observations of Mars indicate that major dust storms tend to be more frequent when Mars is closest to the Sun – during southern hemisphere spring and summer. While predicting these events is nearly impossible to make our studies show that the Martian dusty season should begin about the third week in July (241° Ls) throughout the first week in September 2018 (270° Ls). The highest probability of dust storms occurring will be on or about August 10, 2020 (255° Ls) and a sensitive area for the development of dust storms is in northwest Hellas.    Massive, planet-encircling storms usually occur in southern hemisphere summer and that will come by the middle of November (315° Ls).  Observers should be alert for dust clouds in the northeast Hellas Basin, the Serpentis-Noachis region, and the Solis Lacus region.

 

http://www.alpo-astr...h/2020_MARS.htm

 

I believe that 2018 in the above is a typo.


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#11 phillip

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:36 AM

Wow, I recall passed obscured views with Martian dust storms. Let's hope we get lucky on upcoming views. 

 

Looks will be abit low here at my northern location few miles south of Rockford Illinois.

 

However one of my best detail was with a steady sky with it not very high, sky was near hazy, but clear detail view was remarkable!

 

Takes Frequent checks as sky conditions vary. Also patient viewing with fleeting moments of clarity, perhaps upto several seconds flash a teasing masterpiece. I've even chased with continual focus movement during average to below average conditions for that brief Peek! Worth the Effort! 

 

Have a novice new in the game. Hope she catches a detail look. 

 

Clear Sky! 



#12 AlaskaIsCold

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:59 AM

Ive been chasing leads on trying to grab a large SCT so that I can try and see Phobos and Demos this time around.

I hear its very difficult. but if I can get high enough in altitude and clear enough desert skies, I might even be able to get a photograph!



#13 bikerdib

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:21 AM

Ive been chasing leads on trying to grab a large SCT so that I can try and see Phobos and Demos this time around.

I hear its very difficult. but if I can get high enough in altitude and clear enough desert skies, I might even be able to get a photograph!

Indeed a large SCT will pull in the dim moons but depending on Earth atmospheric conditions, I sometimes choose my refractor over my 14" because bad seeing is sort of magnified by larger aperture.



#14 Jeff B1

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:23 AM

Observations of Mars indicate that major dust storms tend to be more frequent when Mars is closest to the Sun – during southern hemisphere spring and summer. While predicting these events is nearly impossible to make our studies show that the Martian dusty season should begin about the third week in July (241° Ls) throughout the first week in September 2018 (270° Ls). The highest probability of dust storms occurring will be on or about August 10, 2020 (255° Ls) and a sensitive area for the development of dust storms is in northwest Hellas.    Massive, planet-encircling storms usually occur in southern hemisphere summer and that will come by the middle of November (315° Ls).  Observers should be alert for dust clouds in the northeast Hellas Basin, the Serpentis-Noachis region, and the Solis Lacus region.

 

http://www.alpo-astr...h/2020_MARS.htm

 

I believe that 2018 in the above is a typo.

Dave, that article had a few errors and is no longer valid.  I changed web sites and here is the revised article you mention:  https://dustymars.ne...//2020_MARS.htm

 

The new place for The Mars Observers Café is: https://dustymars.neocities.org/

 

Also, the most recent ALPO Journal has Roger Venable's 2020 pre-apparition report (JALPO62-1-Winter-2020).


Edited by Jeff B1, 17 January 2020 - 10:33 AM.

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#15 Jeff B1

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:34 AM

A great reason to join ALPO is the journal that features apparition reports for each Solar System rock.  Join up yawl:  http://alpo-astronomy.org/index.htm



#16 aa6ww

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:35 AM

I think I remember a few weeks ago Mars will put on its best show after midnight, at least here in Calif. Hopefully this doesn't mater at all to most of us, surly not me.

Looking forward to another awesome year in astronomy.

...Ralph

#17 tchandler

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 03:40 PM

Mars and Earth on October 6, 2020.  

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#18 graffias79

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 01:08 PM

It looks like there will be a nice conjunction of Mars and the moon on September 5th 2020.



#19 phillip

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 05:44 AM

Right now this early morning nearing dawn Mars will be close to bright globular M22. Mars still small for detail but this should be a cool catch. Fingers crossed here in midwest stays clear. Too frequent overcast sky least for me this winter. Dress warm a cool 14 degrees my location!



#20 Illinois

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 07:06 AM

Can’t wait to see Mars with my SW 150 this Fall and winter. Mars is higher in my area than two years ago. Praying for NOT storm that happened two years ago!

#21 Jeff B1

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 07:17 AM

Can’t wait to see Mars with my SW 150 this Fall and winter. Mars is higher in my area than two years ago. Praying for NOT storm that happened two years ago!

If you are thinking dust storms, you can surf through this and find info about dust storms:  https://dustymars.ne...ving_Mars_6.htm

 

Also, a little more info here:  https://dustymars.ne...//2020_MARS.htm

 

Generally, dust storms are rare during the current seasonal period on Mars, 159° Ls or Sept 01 Mars date.  However, Mars is tricky and any old Mars watcher knows not to predict such things because the Red Planet will always fool us.


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#22 phillip

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 02:24 PM

Mars has increadible unpredictability.

 

My location looks like Mars will be abit low but hopefully high enough to catch some appreciable views.

 

My hope is I get some favorable sky conditions, frequent looks helps alot.

 

Caution dont just necessarily wait for its closest approach, take early monthly and weekly checks as well. Even at different times on the same night could improve the visual greatly. 

 

Enjoy the Challenge! 



#23 Cotts

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 03:44 PM

Mars will be 20.8" diameter and will transit at nearly 60º elevation at the beginning of the Okie Tex Star Party.. That's where I will do a majority of my Mars observing/imaging...

 

 

Dave



#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 04:10 PM

Here's the section on Mars from the March 2020 Celestial Calendar.

 

Mars brightens to magnitude +0.8 and increases in angular size to 6.4 arc seconds.  The apparent brightness of Mars exceeds magnitude +1.0 on March 12th.  The waning crescent Moon passes less than one degree south of Mars on March 18th and will occult Mars from some parts of the world.  Mars passes within one degree of Jupiter on March 20th and within one degree of Saturn on March 31st.  The Red Planet lies between the two gas giants on the morning of March 26th.  Mars departs Sagittarius and enters Capricornus on March 30th.

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10016966


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#25 ilovecomets

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 07:18 PM

I must be getting old.  It feels like we just had an opposition!




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