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Mars, January 4-11

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#1 Quinnipiac Monster

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 10:46 AM

Here's my latest observation of Mars, on the evening of the 10th (12th UT). I thought I would show it side by side with that of Jan. 4th, to show the evolution of the polar veils. The blue morning cloud in the southern polar region was very evident on the 4th, but I could not see any such thing on the 11th. Instead, there seemed to be a much fainter white/grayish curly wisp that ended in slightly brighter circular spot over the pole. The seeing was so bad, and the disk so small (9.4") that I had a hard time recognizing the main albedo spots so I may well have been wrong.

 

I have a couple of images from those nights (though different times) taken with an ASI 120. They are quite bad and the blue channel, especially, is always catastrophic but I thought it would be interesting to compare them to the drawings. The Jan. 4 image was taken in the worse conditions, with clouds coming and going but it still shows the blue polar cloud no problem. Nothing to see on the 11th, but the grayish wisp was a delicate feature which is greatly enhanced in the drawing, and the shape was also a bit different. I'm just no Chris nor David frown.gif

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20210105-20210111_dalp_small.png

Edited by Quinnipiac Monster, 13 January 2021 - 11:44 AM.

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#2 frank5817

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 12:03 PM

Ivano,

 

Nice sketching. Nobody here is a Chris or David. I think they have actually been to Mars and back. smile.gif

 

Frank


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#3 mdowns

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 01:37 PM

Ivano,

 Nice sketches of an increasingly difficult target and a nice idea to post them with the accompanying images.Well done.


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#4 chrisrnuttall

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 04:53 PM

Ivano

I think you're doing a great job on Mars! your sketches hold up very well against those images, and you're right the disc is now getting so small that unless the conditions are good it can be a struggle just to see the main features well.

I agree with you that the south polar region mist veils have thinned and pretty much disappeared over the last 10 days, so noting their absence is an accurate and positive observation.

I have also seen the same grey curly whisps in the south at the morning terminator over recent weeks. It's always right to draw what you see.

 

How long have you been observing and drawing the planets?

I started in 1999, so it's a while for me, and I found that in the first few years of posting my drawings on line I made massive improvements with the help and encouragement of others, and also comparing my work to theirs to see what I could do better at. I think it just made me try and try and try again to keep improving.

Then just a few years ago I joined the BAA and started sending my drawings to them, and I have seen another degree of improvement since. I get expert feedback on each one, and I am even more motivated to get out and observe. 

It is the collaboration which has driven me to be better.

 

Before I posted them on line my drawings were honestly not very good. 

Here's an early Mars. Admittedly it was only 14" diameter and 21° above the horizon and I was using an ETX125, but you can see it's no masterpiece!

North is up because that's how that scope displayed its image, Syrtis Major is on the disc, but there's no sign of Sinus Sabaeus, it appears to have merged with Pandorae Fretum...

I did at least get the NPH, the SPC, and Hellas looking very bright, so not too bad.

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  • Mars 2003-11-7 small.JPG

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#5 Quinnipiac Monster

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 08:48 PM

Ivano

I think you're doing a great job on Mars! your sketches hold up very well against those images

That's because those images are awful :) The originals were simpy too small, there are a few changes I need to make to my telescope before I can work with longer focal ratios. 

 

I began to observe planets in 1994/95 with an aphelic apparition of Mars, so I've been in the business for a while. I started since day one within an observing program, and for a few years I even managed the Saturn section.

 

At the time visual observations were still the backbone of the program so there was a lot of emphasis on the production of useful data: general monitoring of the atmospheres, color and intensity estimates with different filters, timing of transits, and so on. A good-looking sketch was a bonus, not a requirement so I rarely did colors and never at the eyepiece.

 

Then in the early 2000s life got in the way and I had to start over a couple of times after years-long gaps. This is the first apparition I've been able to follow since 2014. I think I still have a good eye and judgement for fine details in spite of the **** floaters, putting them down on paper is the hard part. I am not getting any younger, and re-learn whatever skill I had acquired and lost gets harder every time. 


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#6 niteskystargazer

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 02:55 PM

Ivano,

 

Very good sketches of Mars, (On January 4-11) smile.gif .

 

CS,KLU,

 

thanx.gif ,

 

Tom




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