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Time to observe Mars is Now

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#1 phillip

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 05:42 AM

Just out early before twilight. Mars is reaching decent altitude here in northen illinois. 

 

Polar Cap-Hood is a beautiful eliptical shape. Easy target now but when Mars reaches max later this year it will dwindle to out of reach, very reason to observe now.

 

Reached 11 arc seconds, tho still small in modest scopes, largest feature as Syrtis  Major starting to pull into view. Still requires power, 300X and above gives a better size.

 

My modest XT8i 8 inch dob nearly pulled in outline but fell just short today. Still it's shape starting to show, least for me.

 

Had an eyepiece battle for best look. Pentax 7.5mm 160X nearly always works, but pea size tho polar cap easy, details were a squint. Still had a clue on Syrtis  Major rotating in view.

 

Takahashi 6mm ortho improved size was one of the better looks 200X range. Still abit small.

 

Went to the 4.8 Nagler nearing mid 200X size, there nearly getting a clue on outline. Barlowed it but image stayed too soft but pleasing size.

 

Barlowed the Pentax and the Takahashi, perhaps the winners for today's sky. Pentax had a cumbersome correct look thru eyepiece as use to the easier view, just a barlow issue use. Takahashi was nice barlowed, but the lower power look was also nearing stunning.

 

So sharpen your viewing skills, Mars can tax you for the sometimes magic release of details. 

 

So much more on the horizon of views.

 

Strongly suggest start looking now to later catch the fun. 

 

Also note Mars close encounter dates frequent cloudy overcast in fall.

 

Keep Looking!

 

Clear Sky

 

 


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#2 scottinash

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 06:48 AM

Thanks for sharing your observation report!  Motivating to get out in the am before I start work.



#3 geovermont

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 07:42 AM

That's very encouraging. The last couple times that I looked at Mars the seeing was poor and I could not run up the magnification, but I'll get up early next time the sky is clear and try again. I use an undriven 6 inch, f/8 Dobsonian and the high magnifications are a challenge, but I can make it work.



#4 ddegroot

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 07:50 AM

So true! 

Earlier this month, I had the best view of Mars that I've ever experienced, by far. That north polar cap is just stunning during this opposition. 


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#5 phillip

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 11:09 AM

Bet it's easy even in my ETX90, early days one of my first looks at the cap.

 

Recall using filters to enhance.

 

Looking forward to this upcoming and now active Event! 

 

Clear Sky 

 

Note

 

My 8 inch dob was adjusting frequently on high power, issue with barlow reduced field but finally made some encouraging views. I'm use to using high powers but can only imagine the challenges for a Newbie! Keep practicing, myself included, Lol! Persistence pays Off! 


Edited by phillip, 25 June 2020 - 02:12 PM.


#6 vdog

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 02:39 PM

I've already been out a few times this year, enjoying that view of the polar cap.  I want to get out again this week but I'm waiting for some good seeing.


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#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 03:05 PM

I observed Jupiter and Saturn for the first time in quite a while, due to the pandemic, with the 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain at the Naylor Observatory last night under partly to mostly cloudy skies but was too tired to wait until Mars was above the treeline.


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#8 sunnyday

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 03:12 PM

it must be higher than the trees, so I have to wait a little longer. but I can't wait to see it.



#9 phillip

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 05:40 AM

Mars getting nice elevation here in midwest.

 

Left in a hurry seeing the forecast screwed up as sky wasn't very cloudy at all, over 80% clear.

 

Twilight jupiter way too low for much of a look, but Mars well up there here in northern Illinois!

 

Leaving so quickly, we failed to grab my eyepieces, Yikes!

 

But learned to leave some eyepieces in car included a Baader 6mm! Tho cud Use a Barlow! 

 

The polar view is stunning, there it was a patch of Maria Showed Well!

 

Verified later it was indeed Syrtis Major. Likely missed my first resolve without the barlow, but a solid Pattern!

 

Wow hope some are catching things, Mars notorious for huge dust storms taking away Features! 

 

Sky was at decent, had a 430 to 510 watch, Terrific! 

 

Yes was Clear Sky!

 

XT8i, 

Lonely 6mm saved the view!

 

Barlow now added to trunk!


Edited by phillip, 28 June 2020 - 09:10 AM.

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#10 phillip

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 05:26 AM

Wow such cloudy weather lately. 

 

But certainly cleared enough for another morning catch. This time sky below decent, did least a 30 minute view, and few moments of near steady image flashed too quickly, 200X best I cud do with conditions. Change of focus required often, did catch clue of Maria, obvious polar cap wasn't the usual sharp outline, other than the too fleeting near Clarity moments. 

 

Worth the look, always Is! You just never know when the rare exceptional sky occurs, takes loads of Looks! 

 

Been thru this before. I'll never tire the chase for the rewarding views, a w s o m e !!!

 

Clear Sky

 

XT8I

TAKAHASHI 6MM ORTHO, 4MM ON THE WAY! Likely beat the 7.5mm Pentax barlowed, will see !!!

Dang 3mm cud Use that!!!, Lol! 


Edited by phillip, 30 June 2020 - 05:29 AM.


#11 Rajput

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:12 AM

Nice reports.

 

Have been observing it over the past week and it does look pretty impressive. I seem to notice new things every time I look at it. Woke up early today just to watch it. I've been using an XT10 and 240x (10mm plossl + 2x Barlow).

 

Got a good view of the polar ice cap the last couple of times and can make out a somewhat gibbous shape. Thought I saw a couple of dark patches on it today.

 

Looking forward to tracking it over the next few months.  I take it the polar cap isn't always this visible?



#12 phillip

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:01 AM

Polar Cap, excellent topic.

 

Apparently Mars has seasons and as this year progresses the polar cap will shrink, unfortunately October at Max size of Mars, polar cap may not show in medium scopes at All!

 

Big error many wait for max size view, often miss the beautiful polar cap look.

 

Past weeks when sky clear actually get a good outline of the cap, obviously eliptical.

 

Also yes, you do see a gibbous shape of Mars.

 

So again Time to observe Mars is now!!


Edited by phillip, 30 June 2020 - 09:03 AM.

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#13 phillip

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 02:50 AM

Hope someone has made slowly better looks at Mars as its getting closer by the Day!

 

Loads of clouds here lately, but possible clearing next few Days!

 

Did order a 4mm 300X ortho just for Mars attempts. Can barlow near that on my XT8i, but specific eyepieces usually are even Better! Will see! It's a Takahashi 4 element abbe ortho, 6mm ortho works beautifully! Pushing things for required decent sky to use the 4mm! 

 

Fingers crossed get a fun view Early before Twilight! 

 

Mars will challenge you as had enjoyable looks in the past. Takes loads of patience and a ton of views, eventually pays Off!

 

Clear Sky

 

Pentax 7.5mm barlowed works so far, even barlow 6mm ortho when Permitted! 

 

You are using an observor chair, right!!! Required!



#14 phillip

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 08:48 AM

Weather challenging here recently. Just enough cloud cover infact Mars not even visible, tho thinner haze however finally did catch some Mars views this early AM.

 

Anxious on using the 4mm ortho did produce clues of Maria but polar cap keeps putting on the show, stunning outline impossible to Miss! Need the largest feature Syrtis Major will show near end of month along with increased Martian size, Finally! 14 arc seconds should start opening visual doors on our modest scopes. 

 

Don't forget Saturn and Jupiter tho getting low when Mars high b4 dawn, catch them after midnight better placement for detail.

 

For Mars I'll need an unusual steady sky for early detail, but will keep Watching! 

 

Pleased with my added orthos, certainly reasonable costs and impressive performance. Tho my stunner continues with the 7.5mm Pentax, least so far, great barlowed 320X when conditions allow.

 

Don't be discouraged if your not seeing things well, continual checks sharpens your ability, and when it arrives will see increased Detail! 

 

Enjoy!

 

Clear Sky

 

Later July 29 near 4AM Syrtis Major centered and at 14 arc seconds, will be Impressive!

Shows on my SkySafari 

 

Earlier July 23 Sinus centered a favored feature, for me,  requires decent sky but has enough length and cool wider end nodule a positive catch. Early look 13.6 arc seconds but a prize fun detail to see.


Edited by phillip, 04 July 2020 - 09:10 AM.

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#15 Cpk133

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:44 PM

Been going out every morning around 7:30 AM (working from home) and Mars has been fantastic.  I've logged better views than the whole last mars season.  Couple days ago, I had superb seeing that lasted about 15 minutes and morning haze was clearly visible along the following limb and some contrast features within the cap itself were starting to resolve.  I have spots marked out for my trippd legs and everything adjusted so I can "go to" and find it in daylight, my favorite time to observe without any dew or mosquitos to contend with.  Op is right, this is a fantastic time to observe Mars. 


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#16 bikerdib

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 08:51 PM

I would love to get out and observe Jupiter, Saturn and yes of course, Mars.  If only Africa would stop sending its dirt over here.



#17 phillip

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 03:08 AM

Lordy, Io shadow transit this early AM was spectacular.

 

Did glimpse Mars as still rising, pole cap exceptional view, Maria but yet to resolve here.

 

Instead of unsteady and strong haze sky became near Spectacular! Jet Black Shadow was a beauty, Jupiter Red Spot nearly could see into it but unable to detect more. 75 deg temp certainly comfortable for all this going on. Saturn tho showing beginning of closing still cassini division filled the ring. Globe was sharp, hard to look away from such a site. First decent sky in Sometime! Hope others caught This? 

 

Eyepieces 300X didn't quite sharpen, but 200X power was certainly in range in my modest 8 inch setup. Dual of the eyepieces for size of aperture and conditions Pentax always up there 160X range. This time the basic Takahashi 6mm 200X seemed to be the reward look. Did an hour view at such a stunning Event! 

 

Can't wait for Mars to steadily increase size, especially it's larger features certainly coming into visual Range! 

 

A w e s o m e !!

 

XT8i

Pentax 7.5mm, 8mm Clave- nice, modest Takahashi ortho 6mm won this evening, Ecstatic! 

 

Yes

A Clear Sky

 

Can't help but think if temp was abit crisper view would knock the socks off!! 

 

Yes Mars is tricky, but adds to the challenge. Never know when conditions improve drastically-rare times I've viewed such small features was lost in identification-increadible, keep looking! 


Edited by phillip, 07 July 2020 - 06:28 AM.

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#18 Miranda2525

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 04:37 AM

Saw it this morning using my 5mm Pentax XW at 240x. Gibbous phase very apparent and polar cap?  very bright.

 

It "shimmered, rippled and boiled", but I kept on looking.

 

Now is the time to train your eye because Mars is tricky!



#19 phillip

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:34 AM

Now there is a Mars Observor! 

 

Chased the focus and still catching glimpses. 

 

Just imagine what will be seen with improved sky and future larger images.

 

This fellow is ready, Excellent! 

 

Mars is known to be a tuff Target, the view eventually is highly rewarding ! Definitely! 



#20 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 10:05 AM

Just out early before twilight. Mars is reaching decent altitude here in northen illinois. 

 

Polar Cap-Hood is a beautiful eliptical shape. Easy target now but when Mars reaches max later this year it will dwindle to out of reach, very reason to observe now.

 

Reached 11 arc seconds, tho still small in modest scopes, largest feature as Syrtis  Major starting to pull into view. Still requires power, 300X and above gives a better size.

 

My modest XT8i 8 inch dob nearly pulled in outline but fell just short today. Still it's shape starting to show, least for me.

 

Had an eyepiece battle for best look. Pentax 7.5mm 160X nearly always works, but pea size tho polar cap easy, details were a squint. Still had a clue on Syrtis  Major rotating in view.

 

Takahashi 6mm ortho improved size was one of the better looks 200X range. Still abit small.

 

Went to the 4.8 Nagler nearing mid 200X size, there nearly getting a clue on outline. Barlowed it but image stayed too soft but pleasing size.

 

Barlowed the Pentax and the Takahashi, perhaps the winners for today's sky. Pentax had a cumbersome correct look thru eyepiece as use to the easier view, just a barlow issue use. Takahashi was nice barlowed, but the lower power look was also nearing stunning.

 

So sharpen your viewing skills, Mars can tax you for the sometimes magic release of details. 

 

So much more on the horizon of views.

 

Strongly suggest start looking now to later catch the fun. 

 

Also note Mars close encounter dates frequent cloudy overcast in fall.

 

Keep Looking!

 

Clear Sky

bow.gif



#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 12:12 PM

I had my best view of Mars during this apparition on the morning of July 5th. I posted a short report at https://www.cloudyni...020/?p=10313291


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#22 phillip

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 07:01 PM

Dave was using a 17 inch Cassegrain-cool. 

 

Sounds like with issue sky conditions not quite shaped features. 

 

Won't be long as things steadily increase in size. 

 

Any improved sky will be ecstatic! 

 

 

Clouds tomorrow but small chance of clearing, hope to catch a visual, tho still early for the smaller Maria, least for me!

 

XT8i

Pentax 7.5mm, Takahashi orthos 6mm & 4mm



#23 Special Ed

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 07:54 PM

I agree that it's time to start training your eye to observe Mars.  I would add--push the magnification as high as conditions permit--even if that means just moments of good seeing mixed in with the soft.

 

Here's my observation from yesterday morning.

 

2020-07-07--755-MR-CM125.jpg


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#24 laedco58

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:31 AM

Still hiding in the trees from my location. Jupiter and Saturn aren’t observable from my pasture till after 1am. 



#25 Special Ed

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 10:04 PM

Here's an observation I made early Tuesday morning.  I observed Mars in integrated light and using different filters for a couple of hours while I waited for the seeing to improve.  Mars appeared pretty hazy with a bluish mist over parts of it.  The desert regions appeared yellowish instead of reddish-orange.  I could not detect any dull places in the SPC.  The Martian disk only appeared clear with the red filter.

 

Thanks for the likes for my previous sketch, folks.  smile.gif

 

2020-07-14-1000-MR-CM87.jpg


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