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Mars - November/December 2020

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#51 Rutilus

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 06:15 AM

I find it interesting that the extending part of the dust storm appears almost straight like on its edges, like it is

being channeled along a structure.  Is the dust storm being channeled along the Valles Marineris? and is that

what we are seeing. If so have I just seen my first dust canal on Mars lol.gif or should it be canyon of dust. 


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#52 Tyson M

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:43 PM

Mars was looking not bad last night in the 130mm apo.  Below average moments of transparency issues would occasionally spoil the view but I could clearly see dark continent details bisecting the planet.  Syrtis Major was at the top, Mare Tyrrhenum in the middle and Mare Cimmerium on the bottom edge.

 

Seeing didn't support the 3.5 Delos, but the 6.5 Morpheus and highest setting of the diascope zoom (virtually identical views and exit pupil/fov) looked amazing.

 

I tried the Lumicon dark red filter and settled on using it with the diascope zoom, as the convenience of changing magnifications was helpful when the conditions took a dive again.


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#53 csphere.d

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:16 PM

11-22-20  0100-0200 UT   Seeing was decent tonight just after local sunset but quickly dropped off.  I was able to make out Mare Sirenium and Mare Cimmerium along with the very small and at times faint SPC.  The waning gibbous phase of the now 94% illuminated disk was easily detected.  There was limb brightening along the entire preceding limb with a bulging accumulation towards the middle with maybe a hint of brightening along the NPH region.

 

I am rooting for the dust storm to persist for another 7 to 10 days so I might catch a glimpse of it here in Arizona!  grin.gif


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#54 Special Ed

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:23 PM

attachicon.gifPB201527a.jpg

 

Here's a drawing taken 2 days ago at x160 with an 8'' sct in so-so, below average seeing.

 

David

Nice sketch, David.  Looks like you caught the dust storm. smile.gif


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#55 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:51 PM

I find it interesting that the extending part of the dust storm appears almost straight like on its edges, like it is
being channeled along a structure. Is the dust storm being channeled along the Valles Marineris? and is that
what we are seeing. If so have I just seen my first dust canal on Mars lol.gif or should it be canyon of dust.

Photos are showing Vallis Marineris completely filled and bright with dust. Some CN members are putting together some daily increment animations showing the spread seemingly centered around the great canyon. Your fortunate to have seen the canyon with your eyes! Weather is not allowing me a chance to see this feature yet.
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#56 davidc135

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:41 AM

We're well placed on this side of the Atlantic to follow the dust storm, but for all the overcast conditions forecast. Hopefully there'll be a few breaks.

 

David


Edited by davidc135, 22 November 2020 - 05:33 AM.

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#57 Sheol

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 07:18 PM

           I have my new 'Scope. Assuming I can get it assembled, right now Old Man Weather is not cooperating. Well, we definitely need the blasted rain, so I am not going to whine about that. The curse is always lurking though, right? LOL I'd love though to see that streak, meaning I saw part of Mariner Valley system. The only REAL canal. cool.gif. Well, maybe next week will be better.

 

    Clear Skies,

        Matt.


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#58 JOEinCO

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 05:27 AM

November 24, 2020 :: 6:00-8:00pm MDT/0100-0300 UT Nov25

102mm f/9 Fluorite @ 210X & 255X

Seeing 2/5

Mars Apparent Diameter 15.6" - Distance 56,000,000 miles

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

Got my first look at Mars in almost 2 weeks. Our quick winter storm had pushed through and it was a clear, fairly steady night with extended moments of 2/5 seeing. Mars has shrunk noticeably to me since my last session, and as others have said, the gibbous phase is now quite obvious as we pull ahead and look back at Mars.

 

The tiny speck of the SPC is hanging in there. The area of Mare Sirenum was the dominate feature, but I was unable to discern any sharp details or edges to the dark albedo feature. The northern hemisphere was relatively barren, with only hints of a variation in shading. There was some obvious clouds/limb brightening as well along the terminator.

 

The God Of War is diminishing, but at 15+ arc-seconds, we still have some time left for wringing some detail of of the red guy. Get out there, friends! Since I missed it earlier, I'm hoping to catch the dust storm as it comes around for Mountain Time Zone viewing again.


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#59 Special Ed

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 03:22 PM

I took a look at Mars Saturday night (Sunday 29 Nov. UT)  with my C14 @ 244x and 326x.  A front had just pushed through and even though it was clear, the seeing was below average (3-4/10 Pickering) and it was cold--32F/0C.

 

Solis Lacus was on the preceding limb with M. Sirenum on the CM and M. Cimmerium  starting to rotate into view on the following limb.  SL was hard to see because of its proximity to the p. limb and maybe because the contrast was affected by dust but Sirenum and Cimmerium were both dark.  I could not see the SPC remnant due to the poor seeing.  The slightly shaded terminator on the f. limb gave away the beginning of the gibbous phase.  There was a broad, bright limb arc encircling the disk with the 23A (red) filter which was a tell for dust in the atmosphere.

 

The Martian disk was small at 14.9 arcseconds.  Seeing was too poor for sketching.


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#60 davidc135

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:28 AM

PC011449a.jpg

 

Deteriorating contrast and detail over the last two weeks in spite of seeing being mostly fair. I couldn't even reliably see the SPC on the 30th.

 

David


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#61 csphere.d

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 10:28 PM

Sounds like several of us are having the same bout with the seeing.  I have tried the last few nights with poor results.  I did catch a short period right after dusk tonight when the seeing was decent.  I was able to make out the gibbous phase of the 92% illuminated disk.  The SPC was visible for a few brief moments and Mare Sirenum was a darker undefined smear across the southern hemisphere.  The 14.2 arcsec disk was a pale orange in color with limb brightening along the preceding limb.  Equipment used:  102mm f/7 refractor at 204x.

 

Hoping for some better seeing this weekend!  waytogo.gif


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#62 E_Look

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 01:35 AM

The other night, I wanted to view Mars, but it was easier for me to catch later in the evening, so I started out, after having to run an errand, with Jupiter and Saturn.  I should have quit... rather, not even brought out my telescope because by the time I got back, and those two set earlier and earlier each succeeding night, all I saw were house thermals and lower atmosphere turbulence.  To top it off, because of the haziness around here, the sky was too bright and low in transparency.  Now, the four Galileans showed beautifully even if the GRS was almost unidentifiable, especially being on the limb, just about, but when I got to Saturn, even Titan was barely visible.  At a couple of moments, it was only visible by averted vision!  I suspect more than a few of us had this issue.  I went in for dinner.  When I came out, Mars was dimly seen behind a layer of cloud.  I really only saw a bright dot... yeah, I could see it was gibbous, but like davidc135, I only glimpsed that dot of a polar cap for a moment and it was gone.  The surface features otherwise were diffuse and nebulous.  After messing with different magnifcations for a few minutes, I packed it in.  I really couldn't see much on any planet that night.  I might have fared better on τ-Ceti III.  :p


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#63 mikemarotta

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 04:09 PM

I ran through all of the filters. ES-102 First Light refractor with 17mm ocular and 2x Barlow with Celestron filter kit.

 

01 Dec Mars w Filters.jpeg

I have been viewing earlier in the evening, as soon as Mars clears my neighbor's tree. Last night, as I was taking things down and hauling them in, I took a last look, and being closer to the meridian, the view was observably better. Tonight, I will wait before viewing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by mikemarotta, 02 December 2020 - 04:12 PM.

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#64 csphere.d

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 10:50 PM

December 5, 2020   6-7pm local time.  I was actually able to catch some really good seeing tonight right after sunset.  Mars is now at 13.8 arcsec in apparent diameter and just under 92% illuminated.  Even with the good seeing, details were difficult.  At times, I was just able to detect the SPC remnant.  The albedo features were dark but not well defined.  The pale orange disk itself was very sharp and clear.  The terminator was sharp along the following limb of the gibbous disk.

 

Still several weeks of good viewing left with the Red Planet if the seeing allows!  waytogo.gif


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#65 davidc135

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 04:32 AM

Some better seeing yesterday(7th) at 18.30 UT and the 'bow-tie' of Syrtis major through to Sinus meridiani was well defined on both north and south. The SPC showed fleetingly and the planet is still well worth a look if conditions are helpful.  David


Edited by davidc135, 08 December 2020 - 04:33 AM.

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#66 Rutilus

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 12:23 PM

After days and days of rubbish weather I got a look at Mars last night. The sky was very misty and cold,

seeing conditions were average. What really struck me at first was that Mars looked very much like how

a watery total Lunar eclipse appears. Also in the bino-viewers it had a 3D  appearance. Mars was giving very steady 

views, the only time it flickered was when a heat plume from the next door house would drift across the view.

 

Syrtis Major was well placed, along with the Hellas basin. The SPC was very difficult to see, during the observing session.

I only observed it a couple of times, but when I did I could see that it was very small and had a dark collar running around 

its outer edge. Very noticeable bright haze/cloud was seen running all the way down the preceding limb. Bright north

polar hood was observed as well.  All in all, a very lovely view of a now shrinking Mars.

 

Filters used were #12,#21,Baader semi-apo and contrast booster. Best filter on the night was the yellow #12.

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#67 csphere.d

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Posted 19 December 2020 - 10:13 PM

December 19, 2020  6pm local time.  I had good seeing right after sunset tonight so I thought I would get caught with the Red Planet.  At 204x in my 102mm f/7, the 11.8 arcsec disk was sharp and pale orange in color.  The terminator was also sharp as it showed the 90% illuminated disk clearly in its gibbous phase.  Syrtis Major was front and center as it appeared in its familiar "Y" shape.  I was unable to detect the SPC, probably would need more aperture for that at this point. 

 

Fun night with the planets!  waytogo.gif  


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#68 jmccown

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 09:03 PM

I had another look at Mars tonight, after enjoying the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction. I was amazed at how much detail I could still see at 11.5 seconds of angle, even with my 80 mm refractor.

 

Syrtis Major, SPC, north polar hood, clouds along the preceding limb. 

 

Mars would be my favorite planet if it would just stay close a bit longer.


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#69 JOEinCO

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 03:02 AM

December 21, 2020 :: 6:00-6:45pm MDT/0100-0145 UT Dec22

C6 @ 150X-225X w/Zoom Eyepiece

Seeing 2/5

Mars Apparent Diameter 11.5" - Distance 75,900,000 miles

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

Turned the scope on Mars after enjoying the Jupiter-Saturn show. The tiny disc offered some good overall detail, though it's size is making subtle markings tough. Syrtis Major was front and center, with it's triangle shape obvious, but my seeing conditions made it difficult to push the power much past 180X productively. Never really resolved any finer edge details of Syrtis Major. 

 

The gibbous shape is now very obvious as we've pulled well ahead of Mars. Limb brightening was quite strong. Saw hints of the SPC, but nothing compared to the bright expanse of the limb brightening. 

 

All in all, a nice night after several days of broken clouds at best. Mars 2020 is winding down, but it's certainly not completely over yet. waytogo.gif 


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#70 nibiru711

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 11:52 PM

Disc has gotten a lot smaller could see some detail with 4 inch skywatcher mak but not much. I could see more detail a few months ago with a orion 70mm refractor than either my 6 inch dob or 4 inch mak cass. it was good while it lasted, however. 



#71 Rutilus

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 06:51 AM

Observed Mars on the evening of the 20th December. Seeing conditions were average but Mars was giving

a steady view.  Mare Sirenum and Cimmerium were the main features. Mare Chronium was seen well.

The SPC was not visible at all with my scope. Large north polar hood was visible with a dark band running

along the edge. Several bright cloud/haze regions observed on the preceding limb.

Filter used was a #12.

 

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#72 payner

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 12:46 PM

I had a good view of  Mars yesterday evening (12/23 00:30 UT) in a 6-inch apo at 163x. Syrtis Major and SPC were clearly visible with no filters used. Again, this was not my main target list, but a 15 minute peek.


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#73 nibiru711

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 09:11 PM

I have noticed that Mars is a little bit of a different color in my maksutov than it is in my 6 inch dobsonian. I have a new tripod to put the mak on now but it arrives today and it's clouded up after a good night last night. I couldn't use my 5mm astr tech ed  with old camera tripod I was using last because the extra weight made sink every time.



#74 nibiru711

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Posted 29 December 2020 - 02:25 PM

I still found that using a svbony moon filter(the light pink/red one) on Mars helps see the detail better even with a maksutov cassegrain  4 inch even though less glare with it than 6 inch f8 reflector.



#75 Rutilus

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Posted 30 December 2020 - 07:57 AM

Average seeing conditions last night. Inspite of its small size Mars was showing some nice features.

Mare Sirenum and Aurorae Sinus were visible.What surprised me was that some extentions were visible

heading northward out of the top of Aurorae Sinus.  In the area of the SPC, I could see a bright irregular shaped 

area, this I took to be the SPC.  The north polar hood was visible, having a bluish white tint to it. Some whitish cloud

features were observed on the pereceding limb. 

Filter used was a #12.

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