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Have you tried to Observe Olympus Mons?

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:07 PM

Now seems to be the right time to look for Olympus Mons. I wonder if any out here have tried to observe it, successfully or otherwise. If so, what was the situation like? What scope and eyepieces did you use, what was the seeing and transparancy like, what magnification did you use, .. etc. What did you see, clouds or the actual volcano?

Mars rotates slightly slower (correction) then Earth on its axis, so does anyone know of a site that calculates Olympus Mons transit times? Normally Id check Stellarium for when Olympus Mons is visible but I wonder if there is an online calculator for Olympus Mons Transit times.

I'll be trying with my C11 on the next clear night.

 

...Ralph


Edited by aa6ww, 28 September 2020 - 06:31 PM.


#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:19 PM

Mars rotates slightly slower than Earth.

1 Mars rotation = 24 hours 37 minutes

1 Earth rotation = 23 hours 56 minutes

Mars takes longer, so it is slower.



#3 aa6ww

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:32 PM

On Stellarium, Mars shows enough surface details so it should be easy to predict when it comes around again.

 

...Ralph



#4 balticsensor

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 01:24 AM

Maybe it's just an error in my installation (multiple installations), but apart from the Moon and moon transits, Stellarium has never accurately predicated planetary rotation.



#5 Redbetter

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 01:39 AM

I've seen the orographic clouds a few times on it and the southern Tharsis volcano. Each shows up as a small whitish patch.  It is more obvious with a blue filter, but then can be noticed without, or even with a red filter.  The cloud cover seems to vary considerably--this doesn't correlate with the seeing alone.  

 

Now is not a good time for the volcano from this longitude, at least not until it starts rotating around decently at about 4 AM.  A week or so ago was more favorable.  [See the image at this link as a match for the orientation at the time I observed the two, both are visible, but they looked whiter/brighter as confirmed with the blue filter at the time.]  Right now it will be seen more on the limb, only had hints of it Sunday night even though I had much better seeing.  I have a harder time sorting it out from any limb haze brightening.

 

I typically have used 278x in the 20" for this recently, but historically used about ~245 to 310x with the 8" SCT.  


Edited by Redbetter, 29 September 2020 - 01:52 AM.


#6 Redbetter

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 01:47 AM

Maybe it's just an error in my installation (multiple installations), but apart from the Moon and moon transits, Stellarium has never accurately predicated planetary rotation.

My installation seems to work for Mars, the rotation matches WinJupos from what I can tell, but I am not looking for photographic levels of accuracy.  

 

If you are noticing the GRS is way off, that is something you have to manually tune each year in the program settings.  The GRS moves over time.  So early each opposition I adjust it until I get a match for it.



#7 Rutilus

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 05:29 AM

I've observed the whitish clouds around Olympus Mons back in 2007/8. 



#8 phillip

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 07:18 AM

As mentioned it's a lighter area as shows in my Xt8I and XT10 Dobs. Rather obvious with decent sky. Do see a pattern but yet to see more detail, tho Mars getting closer just might catch more. Exciting observations, w/good sky tho SPC polar cap now small, sky steadied with near unbelieveable  detail, even more than just a groved cap, was absolutely Stunning! 

 

Make sure those scopes are aligned, tho not a filter fan had improved looks with 80-82 blue filter on the cap, & moon skyglow did Wonders! Fantastic views now with any steady Sky! 

 

XT10 Dob

Pentax 7mm, Takahashi Abbe 4mm, & 5 & 6mm orthos are Stunning!  Planets! 

 

Clear Sky



#9 Eppur si muove

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 08:24 AM

This is the face of mars as of last night. It will take some more days before you can see Olimpus Mons. It´s right on the other side.

 

On the second pic you can see a blob on the surface. Is Olympus Mons.

 

Nexstar 6¨SE - Neximage 10 barlow 2x - processed with Pipp, Autostakkert, Registax and Gimp.

Attached Thumbnails

  • mars 20-09-28 22-17-04.jpg
  • mars 20-09-08 23-43-40 Olimpus Mons.jpg


#10 Redbetter

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 03:34 PM

This is the face of mars as of last night. It will take some more days before you can see Olimpus Mons. It´s right on the other side.

 

On the second pic you can see a blob on the surface. Is Olympus Mons.

 

Nexstar 6¨SE - Neximage 10 barlow 2x - processed with Pipp, Autostakkert, Registax and Gimp.

Not sure where you are, but that first pic is not the orientation that the OP would have seen last night, at least not after it cleared the horizon.  It would have been below the horizon at the time the image was made.  Image looks like about 4-5 hours in advance of Sacramento.  You need to factor in your longitude when considering Mars' rotation.

 

The second image shows Olympus Mons (barely) as a small albedo brightening on the upper right near the limb.  The clouds on the right of the limb are in the general vicinity of the southern Tharsis volcano (Arsia) but I can't quite tell where. 



#11 Redbetter

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 03:44 PM

I had some decent seeing last night again, due to the fire smoke keeping temps lower in the day and blanketing somewhat at night...combined with still jet stream.  With the 20" I was not seeing the orographic clouds as I had a week or so ago.  Valles Marineris was revealing thinner/smaller details all the way to Noctis Labyrinthus. When Olympus was finally rotated around enough at about 3 AM I was able to catch it mostly in averted vision with a red 25 filter at 417x.  It was not showing up through the blue filter, but could be seen as an albedo feature in red when seeing sharpened.  I had no convincing sightings of the other volcanoes last night.


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