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Time to 'fess up. Who's observing Mars already?

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110 replies to this topic

#1 vdog

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Posted 03 February 2022 - 08:32 PM

Yep.  I'm getting up at an ungodly hour to look at a little dot.  That's me.  The question is, is it just me? lol.gif

 

Got some pretty good seeing the other day.  I'd swear I can see the northern polar cap already.


Edited by vdog, 03 February 2022 - 08:35 PM.

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#2 CowTipton

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Posted 03 February 2022 - 09:12 PM

I’ll be waiting until next fall/winter when it’s bigger.

It’s only about 1deg away from M22 now though, that could be a nice view.


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#3 Gridley

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Posted 03 February 2022 - 09:20 PM

I’ll be waiting until next fall/winter when it’s bigger.

It’s only about 1deg away from M22 now though, that could be a nice view.

This is on my list for Saturday morning if the clouds clear out of here!


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#4 vdog

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Posted 03 February 2022 - 10:16 PM

This is on my list for Saturday morning if the clouds clear out of here!

Same here.  But that's a tight window to see the pair for me.  I'll have to wait until they clear my neighbors' trees and houses and M22 might be washed out by then. 



#5 Epick Crom

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Posted 05 February 2022 - 03:02 AM

G'Day Vdog! I'm planning to get up early middle of this month to primarily observe Mercury at greatest western elongation. I plan to view Mars then as well.


Edited by Epick Crom, 05 February 2022 - 03:03 AM.

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#6 vdog

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Posted 05 February 2022 - 10:12 AM

G'Day Vdog! I'm planning to get up early middle of this month to primarily observe Mercury at greatest western elongation. I plan to view Mars then as well.

Enjoy, sir.  So far, I've only been able to get a scope on Mercury one time, and that was in the evening.  I've got a lot of obstacles on my horizon, but maybe I'll get lucky this time.

 

As I predicted, M22 was gone by the time Mars cleared my neighbor's roof.   Whilst I've been watching, the planet has grown from a speck, to a dot, to a larger dot.  I don't know why I'm so fixated on it already.  lol.gif 


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#7 Gridley

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Posted 05 February 2022 - 01:32 PM

I’ll be waiting until next fall/winter when it’s bigger.

It’s only about 1deg away from M22 now though, that could be a nice view.

No joy for me on the close approach to M22.  Clouds didn't clear out in time.  Did anyone get photos?



#8 Epick Crom

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Posted 05 February 2022 - 09:14 PM

Enjoy, sir.  So far, I've only been able to get a scope on Mercury one time, and that was in the evening.  I've got a lot of obstacles on my horizon, but maybe I'll get lucky this time.

 

As I predicted, M22 was gone by the time Mars cleared my neighbor's roof.   Whilst I've been watching, the planet has grown from a speck, to a dot, to a larger dot.  I don't know why I'm so fixated on it already.  lol.gif

Same here mate, like you I've also only seen Mercury once in the evening too. This was about a year ago. Likewise I haven't seen Mars since it's last apparition so I'm eager to see them both soon. I can understand your fixation, I feel the same way toolol.gif


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#9 Cali

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 01:42 AM

We've had good weather so every night/morning I'm out there checking out Venus, and a few degrees to the southwest there's this really small red dot ...

 

- Cal


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#10 jmccown

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 12:06 PM

Enjoy, sir.  So far, I've only been able to get a scope on Mercury one time, and that was in the evening.  I've got a lot of obstacles on my horizon, but maybe I'll get lucky this time.

 

As I predicted, M22 was gone by the time Mars cleared my neighbor's roof.   Whilst I've been watching, the planet has grown from a speck, to a dot, to a larger dot.  I don't know why I'm so fixated on it already.  lol.gif

I haven't had any luck with Mercury for this apparition either. I've got to go to a place with a clear view of the eastern horizon. 

 

Viewing Mars was about like resolving the disk of Uranus. But you're trying to resolve the planet through the boiling soup of the early morning sky. Even Venus had a very unstable image.


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#11 Special Ed

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 02:06 PM

Yep.  I'm getting up at an ungodly hour to look at a little dot.  That's me.  The question is, is it just me? lol.gif

 

Got some pretty good seeing the other day.  I'd swear I can see the northern polar cap already.

I share your enthusiasm for Mars, although it's still too low and small for me to get a good look at.  As far as seeing the North Polar Cap, Mars is currently at Ls 173 which means that it is late summer in the North.  Probably what you saw was the South Polar Cap or the Hood covering it in late winter.  Good catch.


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#12 Jeff B1

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 03:17 PM

I share your enthusiasm for Mars, although it's still too low and small for me to get a good look at.  As far as seeing the North Polar Cap, Mars is currently at Ls 173 which means that it is late summer in the North.  Probably what you saw was the South Polar Cap or the Hood covering it in late winter.  Good catch.

Yes, here's a recent Clyde image:   http://alpo-j.sakura...2/m220207a1.jpg


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#13 vdog

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 04:52 PM

I haven't had any luck with Mercury for this apparition either. I've got to go to a place with a clear view of the eastern horizon. 

 

Viewing Mars was about like resolving the disk of Uranus. But you're trying to resolve the planet through the boiling soup of the early morning sky. Even Venus had a very unstable image.

I use this site to track planetary positions:   https://theskylive.com/planetarium .   Based on what I'm seeing there, I don't see me getting any kind of angle on Mercury this time around.   There's just too much in the way.

 

Looks like some decent seeing in my area tomorrow morning, though.  I think I'll set up for another look at Mars and Venus.


Edited by vdog, 11 February 2022 - 04:52 PM.


#14 vdog

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 05:01 PM

I share your enthusiasm for Mars, although it's still too low and small for me to get a good look at.  As far as seeing the North Polar Cap, Mars is currently at Ls 173 which means that it is late summer in the North.  Probably what you saw was the South Polar Cap or the Hood covering it in late winter.  Good catch.

You're probably right, and I'm not sure if north / south on Mars corresponds to what appears to be "up / down" from our current perspective on the planet anyway.  I'm using a refractor / mirror diagonal combo, so at least I know it's not flipped. 

 

It could also have been just an artifact of some kind that I'm reading more into than what it is. grin.gif  It's hard to tell at this point. 


Edited by vdog, 11 February 2022 - 06:23 PM.


#15 Jeff B1

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 05:09 PM

You're probably right, and I'm not sure if north / south on Mars corresponds to what appears to be "up / down" from our current perspective on the planet anyway.  I'm using a refractor / mirror diagonal combo, so at least I know it's not flipped. 

 

It could also have just an artifact of some kind that I'm reading more into than what it is. grin.gif  It's hard to tell at this point. 

After years of seeing drawings and images of Mars, or other rocks, the orientation really doesn't bother us.  At times arguments of N-S, S-N pops up then fades away as it should.  A refractor minus diagonal is like a Newt where up is south.


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#16 Special Ed

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 06:06 PM

+1 with what Jeff said.  And it's not hard. 

 

Turn off the drive if you have a tracking mount and watch which direction Mars drifts.  That is west.  Through a telescope with an odd number of reflections (like a refractor with a diagonal), north is clockwise 90 degrees from west.

 

Through a telescope with an even number of reflections (like a refractor with no diagonal or a Newtonian reflector), north is 90 degrees counter-clockwise from west.


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#17 vdog

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Posted 11 February 2022 - 07:47 PM

+1 with what Jeff said.  And it's not hard. 

 

Turn off the drive if you have a tracking mount and watch which direction Mars drifts.  That is west.  Through a telescope with an odd number of reflections (like a refractor with a diagonal), north is clockwise 90 degrees from west.

 

Through a telescope with an even number of reflections (like a refractor with no diagonal or a Newtonian reflector), north is 90 degrees counter-clockwise from west.

Good to know.  Thanks. waytogo.gif


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#18 CeeKay

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Posted 12 February 2022 - 12:13 PM

Guilty as charged!  Was up at O-dark-thirty to view it and Venus... little red dot that's doing the shimmy shimmy shake low in the east...

 

OTOH, Venus was a little higher up doing the watusi...


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#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 February 2022 - 03:29 PM

Not yet. It is racing so fast to the east so it will take us a while to get closer. Disk is so small now and still low. By May it will be much better.


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#20 Special Ed

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Posted 12 February 2022 - 05:13 PM

Good to know.  Thanks. waytogo.gif

No problemo.  Orientation of an object in the eyepiece can vary wildly depending on if you have an alt/az mount or a GEM, what type of scope you have, whether you are using a diagonal or not, and how the diagonal is oriented.  The cw/ccw method for getting your cardinal directions works no matter what.



#21 vdog

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Posted 13 February 2022 - 04:28 PM

No problemo.  Orientation of an object in the eyepiece can vary wildly depending on if you have an alt/az mount or a GEM, what type of scope you have, whether you are using a diagonal or not, and how the diagonal is oriented.  The cw/ccw method for getting your cardinal directions works no matter what.

So, using that method, it was definitely the southern pole I was seeing the white glow coming from.   I'll definitely keep this method in mind, especially as the planet comes close later this year and I'm trying to track down certain features in particular.



#22 vdog

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Posted 13 February 2022 - 04:35 PM

Guilty as charged!  Was up at O-dark-thirty to view it and Venus... little red dot that's doing the shimmy shimmy shake low in the east...

 

OTOH, Venus was a little higher up doing the watusi...

I've been out the last two mornings.  This morning I observed Venus from my dark sky property for the first time and it's ridiculous how much brighter it can be when it isn't competing with so much light pollution.  I can't wait to see what Mars looks like from there later this year. 


Edited by vdog, 13 February 2022 - 04:35 PM.

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#23 Tropobob

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 04:21 AM

I looked at it a few times lately. Though, I have to admit that I really was up early for other targets. 


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#24 vdog

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 11:58 AM

I looked at it a few times lately. Though, I have to admit that I really was up early for other targets. 

Oh yeah.  The past few days also did provide a good chance to get a early peek at some summer targets between moonset and sunrise. 



#25 tkay71

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Posted 15 February 2022 - 05:04 PM

I'm almost always up before five. January was a cloud-out and freeze-out around here. February so far has been pretty nice sky-wise, still a bit chilly. This morning I pulled out the scope for Venus, Mars, several doubles (very nice e-lyrae), and many summer favorites (like M7). Mars is pretty low, very murky, but Venus was outstanding.


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