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Just found the perfect Mars filter

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 09:47 PM

Mars Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon were really blazing here about 30 minutes ago, so I decided to get out my 90 ETX. I was looking at Mars, could see some detail all over the planet, very impressed. But all of a sudden, the detail really jumped out, got much darker than it was, the detail was getting so good. I then looked at Mars without the scope, and I could not see it at all. A thin layer of clouds had rushed in, enough to stop naked eye viewing of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. But that thin cloud layer really made the detail pop out on Mars, like I have never seen it before. But I could not see Mars at all with the naked eye. But in about another minute or two, the cloud cover got too thick, and the image disappeared in the scope also. The clouds must have cut down the brightness of Mars just the right amount to make the detail just jump out at me, wish I had a video of those several minutes, unbelievable how much it improved the dark areas.


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#2 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 10:00 PM

I viewed Mars in similar conditions 3 weeks ago and noticed the same thing. Mars was hardly visible by eye but in the telescope I saw tons of detail, better than with just my baader neo m&s filter. Those clouds steadied the sky and filtered the light perfectly. Syrtis Major and Meridiani were popping better than I've ever seen although admittedly I am a relative newbie to Mars as this is my first apparition of it since getting a telescope. Haven't seen the details pop as well as they did on that night, since. I was using an 8" f6 dob operating at about 275× that night.
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#3 deepwoods1

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 10:27 PM

Just came in from a similar situation. I was testing collimation and the clouds rolled right in. Mars was low but still visible so that’s where the scope headed. Certainly the clouds acted like a ND filter, but they did indeed increase the steadiness as well. I was surprised at the view!


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#4 grif 678

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 12:23 PM

I am goad that some others have had this same experience, because I was thinking that some may have thought I was just seeing things. I see above where they worked better than your baader filters. It would seem that the filter manufacturers could make a filter which works just like the clouds did.


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#5 Jetfuel

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 10:23 PM

I pulled out my trusty (not-so-planetary) 120ST on Mars and had the same results.  I stopped it down to 80mm, 60mm, cheap colour filters #8, #11, #21, #80A, #82A, ND25, moon and 495LP and combination there of. Nice thin cloud was the answer. 

 

The scope really had difficulty with CA on Mars.  I had fleeting moments where I did get a slight view of surface colouring and a polar cap with a 5mm (120x).


Edited by Jetfuel, 29 September 2020 - 10:24 PM.


#6 Mike Lynch

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 10:34 PM

Mars Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon were really blazing here about 30 minutes ago, so I decided to get out my 90 ETX. I was looking at Mars, could see some detail all over the planet, very impressed. But all of a sudden, the detail really jumped out, got much darker than it was, the detail was getting so good. I then looked at Mars without the scope, and I could not see it at all. A thin layer of clouds had rushed in, enough to stop naked eye viewing of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. But that thin cloud layer really made the detail pop out on Mars, like I have never seen it before. But I could not see Mars at all with the naked eye. But in about another minute or two, the cloud cover got too thick, and the image disappeared in the scope also. The clouds must have cut down the brightness of Mars just the right amount to make the detail just jump out at me, wish I had a video of those several minutes, unbelievable how much it improved the dark areas.

   This evening, Oct. 7, I had a very similar and positive experience, but with simply a thin sheen of cloud covering the sky and dimming planets and stars just a bit.

 

   I, too, had my ETX 90 out in my back yard, and the view of Mars was very detailed, using a 10mm Baader Classic Ortho eyepiece (125x), plus orange and blue filters (separately, of course).

 

   The orange filter highlighted the darker markings on Mars' surface (and there were plenty of them!), while the blue filter helped me barely catch what I believe was the disappearing south polar cap and possibly the north polar hood.

 

    It's not very often that I welcome clouds when observing the sky, but the high thin clouds tonight made for a great view of Mars!

 

Mike 


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#7 sanbai

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 10:51 PM

Same here. Tonight is cloudy, with an overall haze. The seeing though is good. I could observe comfortably with my C8edge using from a 13mm down to a 5.5 mm. Other days I was forced to use the 5.5 mm to decrease the luminosity. The seeing was good enough to hold this magnification, but 11 - 9 mm give crispier views. Without clouds the brightness would be to much for such exit pupil.

I'm using a Baader semi apo filter. It helps, but nothing outstanding. The good is that it preserves the natural looking. A dark red filter made the large dark areas very visible, but actual fine detail was gone (plus the unnatural bloody color...), So the red is good for the wow factor, but not for a long accurate observation.
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#8 chrysalis

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 04:24 AM

After my last session with Mars and finding the 23A Red filter effective, it suddenly occurred to ne that perhaps the DGM NPB filter and its ability to pass cyan and red wavelengths - and the pinkish cast it provides to stars -  might be a superb Mars filter.

 

Has anyone tried this?


Edited by chrysalis, 08 October 2020 - 10:57 AM.


#9 sanbai

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 09:27 AM

After my last session with Mars and findiong the 23A Red filter effective, it suddenly occurred to ne that perhaps the DGM NPB filter and its ability to pass cyan and red wavelengths - and the pinkish cast it provides to stars - might be a superb Mars filter.

Has anyone tried this?

I have the filter, but I haven't tried. I see one main problem and is the tendency to show double images off axis (one for the H-b & OIII channel and another for the red). Thus, I guess it will show lower level of detail.
This is not a problem for nebulas, but for off axis stars the double points are a bit puzzling.

Edited by sanbai, 08 October 2020 - 09:27 AM.


#10 Jeff B1

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 03:59 PM

Mars Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon were really blazing here about 30 minutes ago, so I decided to get out my 90 ETX. I was looking at Mars, could see some detail all over the planet, very impressed. But all of a sudden, the detail really jumped out, got much darker than it was, the detail was getting so good. I then looked at Mars without the scope, and I could not see it at all. A thin layer of clouds had rushed in, enough to stop naked eye viewing of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. But that thin cloud layer really made the detail pop out on Mars, like I have never seen it before. But I could not see Mars at all with the naked eye. But in about another minute or two, the cloud cover got too thick, and the image disappeared in the scope also. The clouds must have cut down the brightness of Mars just the right amount to make the detail just jump out at me, wish I had a video of those several minutes, unbelievable how much it improved the dark areas.

While it is a little late in the apparition to view Mars after Sunrise the next apparition you may wish to observe Mars after Sunrise and find the details appear more defined as though a cloud hides it. 



#11 Marcus Roman

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 10:12 PM

I am goad that some others have had this same experience, because I was thinking that some may have thought I was just seeing things. I see above where they worked better than your baader filters. It would seem that the filter manufacturers could make a filter which works just like the clouds did.

Had the same experience half an hour ago! Vixen fluorite FL80s with BBHS Baader diagonal,TMB monocentric eyepieces and.....thin clouds moving slowly in front of Mars!


Edited by Marcus Roman, 10 October 2020 - 07:38 AM.


#12 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 10:25 PM

After my last session with Mars and finding the 23A Red filter effective, it suddenly occurred to ne that perhaps the DGM NPB filter and its ability to pass cyan and red wavelengths - and the pinkish cast it provides to stars - might be a superb Mars filter.

Has anyone tried this?

I will give it a shot tonight if skies cooperate.
If only they could manufacture a filter that steadies the atmosphere like thin clouds...
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#13 jeffmac

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 09:12 AM

I've had the same experience quite a few times. Thin clouds that seemed to steady the seeing and detail really popped. Sometimes however, light cloud cover can cause the seeing to turn bad, until the clouds depart. Then the seeing becomes good again.



#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 05:06 PM

One night a number of years ago I observed Mars through a thin layer of clouds, which did indeed function quite well as a Mars filter.



#15 jeffmac

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:04 PM

When the clouds come over and dim the view in the eyepiece, I call it a natural density filter. smile.gif

#16 BGazing

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:23 PM

Thin clouds work for Jupiter, too. :)



#17 REC

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:36 PM

After my last session with Mars and finding the 23A Red filter effective, it suddenly occurred to ne that perhaps the DGM NPB filter and its ability to pass cyan and red wavelengths - and the pinkish cast it provides to stars -  might be a superb Mars filter.

 

Has anyone tried this?

Also try light blue such as 80a ect.


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#18 chrysalis

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 02:32 PM

Also try light blue such as 80a ect.

I've used the Blue 80A to some but not spectacular effect. I like the improved contrast in the reds.

 

I did get to try the DGM NPB and OIII, both of which yield pinkish views of things in white light. The OIII was too aggressive. The NPB was OK and di achieve somewhat the desired effect but I thought the Red 23A was still superior. Was a good experiment though!

 

Would be interesting to hear from others who try the DGM NPB or OIII and their impressions.



#19 chrysalis

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 02:39 PM

I've used the Blue 80A to some but not spectacular effect. I like the improved contrast in the reds.

 

I did get to try the DGM NPB and OIII, both of which yield pinkish views of things in white light. The OIII was too aggressive. The NPB was OK and di achieve somewhat the desired effect but I thought the Red 23A was still superior. Was a good experiment though!

 

Would be interesting to hear from others who try the DGM NPB or OIII and their impressions.

80A (from 9-30-2005, 12" f/4.9) - one native, one slightly balnaced (the lighter of the two)

DSC08678.JPG  DSC08678a.JPG

 

Red 25A (from 9-30-2005, 12" f/4.9)

9-30-05 Mars Red 25A filter.JPG

 

Hmmm....I don't seem to have any images with a Red 23A!




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