Edited by android69, 20 September 2020 - 10:04 PM.
Mars Viewing Expectations
Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:03 PM
Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:19 PM
Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:20 PM
Moderator: this topic should be moved to the Beginners Forum or Solar System Observing Forum.
You were trying to observe Mars while still low in the sky which definitely hurt what you could see. You are looking through too much of the earth’s atmosphere. Wait until Mars is much higher in the sky. Pay attention to sky conditions. Look at how much stars around it are twinkling. The more twinkling the more turbulence in the the air the worse the seeing. An 8 inch scope should show quite a bit of detail. Mars is low contrast and quite bright. You will need to stay at the eyepiece and allow your eye to adjust. Patience is needed to catch those fleeting moments when the air gets really still and let’s Mars’ image crisp up. With Mars high in the sky and with good seeing conditions your scope is capable of quite a bit of detail.
Edited by Napp, 20 September 2020 - 10:26 PM.
Posted 20 September 2020 - 10:26 PM
I can’t really speak for the 8” of aperture but, I can say Mars is rather hard to observe visually as it lacks contrast, especially if you’re currently having issues with the California smoke. It’s best to use color filters to increase contrast (try red and blue first). Also, being so low to the horizon makes it prone to atmospheric dispersion, an ADC may improve that but, to be honest I would just wait for it to get higher, although that means staying up late or waking up real early
and finally, You could try a 10mm eyepiece, if seeing allows you could even go to 5mm (or use a barlow).
Posted 21 September 2020 - 10:53 AM
This post appears mis-placed. This is an IMAGING forum.
Not entirely sure where it DOES belong, though!
Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:12 PM
For me mars you need to be patient with. Mars is very small, even at opposition. On an average night you might only get few seconds of really good seeing a minute, so just keep your eye on it and you will occasionally see things like polar caps. I haven't checked out Mars yet this year (hopefully will be soon). But last opposition I remember seeing the polar cap(s) on occasion, and I would describe it as looking like a white pixel which you could see every so often. And colour filters may help, the blue will probably help with seeing the polar caps.
Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:20 AM
Posted 23 September 2020 - 03:07 PM
Got around to observing Mars last night, and actually got some pretty good views, despite it being a pretty windy night. I was able to see some terrain detail and a polar cap fairly regularly. I was using an eyepiece which gives me about 240X magnification, which seemed to work pretty well, and CA was minimal. If my math is right, your 15mm will give you about 135X magnification. Maybe try adding a barlow to that, or getting an eyepiece somewhere around 10mm which would give you about 200X.