Observing report and resource guides - Mars nears opposition July 2003

by Jane Houston Jones

I've been observing Mars alot lately. Usually when I should be sleeping. :-) I set up the telescope on the back deck before I go to bed, set the alarm for 3:30 a.m. and observe for an hour or so on clear mornings as Mars transits the meridian and clears the neighbors' Monterey pines and my own roof. Mars is 38 degrees above the horizon at this time of the morning. The telescope I've been using for Mars observing is our Astro-Physics 105mm f/6 Traveler refractor with an AP barcon barlow (magnifies the eyepiece view 2.4x ) and 4mm - 10mm Zeiss Abbe Orthoscopics. This particular combo results in a magnification range of 376x for the 4mm ZAO to 151x with the 10mm ZAO. The 4mm + barlow is what I use for all sketches.

For those of you interested in seeing my sketches and observing reports of Mars as it nears opposition, here they are: http://www.whiteoaks.com/sketches/mars2003.html

I also have a Mars resource guide with activities, posters, and stuff you can download. It is geared more for the general public than for astronomers, but some of you might know teachers or parents who might like some of the material. Some of you are teachers and parents, and maybe you'll use some of the material yourselves! And for those looking for public viewing opportunities to tell people about, I am collecting as many bay area public Mars viewing events as I can and posting them on this page. http://www.whiteoaks.com/jane/Mars/

Bill Arnett's The Nine Planets website offers plenty of Mars information too. http://www.nineplanets.org/

And last but not least, Akkana Peck has also put together a Mars pages on her Shallow Sky webpage here: http://www.shallowsky.com/shallow-sky.html Click on Akkana's Mars FAQ for tons of good Mars stuff, including maps and globes and more.