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Observing Mars

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#1 Richard Bell

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:54 AM

Here you go - Your guide to observing Mars during the Fall of 2020. A global dust storm spoiled the 2018 opposition, so let’s hope the Martian skies remain clear this Fall. Take advantage now. Do not wait until 2035! May your skies be steady and clear.

Click here to view the article
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#2 csphere.d

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:38 PM

Thanks for this resource! 


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#3 wavefront

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:52 PM

Thank you for this well written article. I had no idea there were so many different filters you could use. I have an orange one that I might try. It was made for use on a camera so it's an oldie. It might work just fine. I'm stuck with a 4.5" EQ reflector for now but I reworked the optics. What an amazing difference. Thanks again. ...... Alan


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#4 Starman1

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 03:03 PM

Thank you for this well written article. I had no idea there were so many different filters you could use. I have an orange one that I might try. It was made for use on a camera so it's an oldie. It might work just fine. I'm stuck with a 4.5" EQ reflector for now but I reworked the optics. What an amazing difference. Thanks again. ...... Alan

It's worse than his article suggests.

Mars observers have used color filters for years to enhance details:

82A light blue to enhance limb clouds, ice caps, light features

80A blue--same as 82A but a darker image for larger apertures

38A dark blue--same as the 82A except for very large apertures

47 violet--for the violet clearing that rarely occurs in Mars' atmosphere

8 light yellow--gentle enhancement of all details

12 yellow--enhancement of light features and dust storms

15 dark yellow--same as 12 for larger apertures

21 orange--enhancement of dust storms in all scopes and dark features in small apertures

11 yellow-green--enhancement of light features and storms

56 green--??

58 dark green-??

23A red-orange--strong enhancement of dark features and markings

25 Red--same as 23A but for larger apertures

29 dark red--same as 23A for very large apertures.

30 magenta--enhances dark markings and clouds at the same time

 

But, after all those, there are two modern filters that pretty much do it all and keep the planet a normal color (unlike the color filters)

Baader Moon & Sky Glow filter--excellent sharpening of the planet and reveals all the details in the color filters.  Imparts a slight light blue tint.

Baader Contrast Booster--excellent sharpening of the planet and reveals all the details of the color filters.  Coloration similar to photos of Mars.  A bit more contrast sharpening than the Moon & Sky Glow filter.


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#5 wavefront

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

But I have an orange one that's free  lol.gif


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#6 OIC

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:39 PM

I'm crushed that my telescope has sacrificed contrast. And I'm not allowed to  focused on Mars' features.



#7 caussade

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 02:44 PM

Thanks, Richard.  I enjoyed this article, and particularly the "Top Sights to See" section.  Well done!


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#8 Starman1

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:15 PM

Every Mars observer should use this:

https://skyandtelesc...ide-is-visible/


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#9 ewave

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 08:32 PM

Thanks for this article.  I remembered viewing the polar cap several years ago and it being much larger than it is now.  Thanks for pointing out that we are seeing the southern polar cap at this time, not the northern cap. A few days ago the SPC appeared as a brilliant thick white dot in my 8"  SCT.  The seeing barely allowed other details to come out but it was spectacular.  Clear and steady skies!  Sean


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#10 james7ca

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 01:52 AM

That's a very nice report with lots of detail. Thanks.


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#11 string

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 06:34 PM

Fantastic report... especially for a beginner like me. Thank you.


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#12 desertstars

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 07:16 PM

Well done, indeed. waytogo.gif


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#13 Cometman

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:56 AM

The Observers Notebook Podcast discusses Observing Mars this year:

 

https://soundcloud.c...ebook-mars-2020



#14 Eppur si muove

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 02:11 PM

I´m already enjoying Mars. Here is Mars South Polar Cap, Syrtis Major and Hellas last night!

 

https://www.cloudyni...jor-and-hellas/



#15 Scrounger1

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 05:42 AM

Thank you!  Just went out to take a look at Mars through bins.  


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#16 gspeed

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 05:25 AM

Thanks for the article! Really useful and ot the point for who's starting to focus on mars.

 

PS: One item drove me crazy, when comparing my visual experience with the kasonline map: the map is great but I got confused since hellas does not appear in the map thumbnails as it should (below the  white SP cap).



#17 Eppur si muove

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 03:13 PM

Thanks for the article! Really useful and ot the point for who's starting to focus on mars.

 

PS: One item drove me crazy, when comparing my visual experience with the kasonline map: the map is great but I got confused since hellas does not appear in the map thumbnails as it should (below the  white SP cap).

Sure it does! The map is up side down in relation to the Earth´s south.



#18 gspeed

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 03:57 PM

Sure it does! The map is up side down in relation to the Earth´s south.

Sure? Hellas lies between syrtis major and spc



#19 Starman1

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 04:37 PM

Sure? Hellas lies between syrtis major and spc

South is up on that map.  South Polar cap is at the top.

This is an earlier image by Damian Peach, showing the SPC, Hellas, and Syrtis Major with north up.

https://cosmicpursui...e-mars-in-2020/

Here is a map of Mars you can interact with to see what will be visible at the time you observe (south up):

https://skyandtelesc...ide-is-visible/



#20 gspeed

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 08:56 AM

@Starman1 great photo thanks for sharing

 

My comment is about the author's map, where hellas does not appear in the thumbnails at the bottom

 

http://cloudynights....es/image013.jpg



#21 LIVE LONG

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:52 AM

   A great article! I got my first perfect view of Mars, four nights ago. Now I am just waiting for the next clear night.

   Your article really helped to inspire me. Thank You!


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#22 Starman1

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:00 AM

@Starman1 great photo thanks for sharing

 

My comment is about the author's map, where hellas does not appear in the thumbnails at the bottom

 

http://cloudynights....es/image013.jpg

I don't understand your comment.  Hellas is properly placed.  That map has south up.

It is between Syrtis Major and the SPC.  Hellas does appear on the thumbnails below as a large white spot.

what is missing is the polar cap in the thumbnails.



#23 gspeed

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 04:21 AM

I guess you're right - I thought the white spot was the spc, too white and well defined to be hellas, at the eyepiece as well!

Edited by gspeed, 07 October 2020 - 04:41 AM.


#24 David Gray

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 09:15 AM

Depending on the Martian season Hellas can indeed be very white/bright -

filled with cloud/mist - and has fooled many into thinking it was the SPC.



#25 Eppur si muove

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 10:33 AM

Here is Mars’ south polar cap, Syrtis Major and Hellas

 

 

https://www.cloudyni...jor-and-hellas/

 

And here is Mars’ Olympus Mons and the Grand Canyon Valle Marineris

 

 

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10564661

 

Both pics on a  Nexstar 6” SE + Neximage 10


Edited by Eppur si muove, 08 October 2020 - 10:37 AM.



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