Mars at FP

by Bob Jardine

Mark Wagner wrote:



I'll second that. The seeing varied only a little bit, from very good to excellent all night. Those who stayed past the various waves of clouds and other yuck were well rewarded as Mars climbed higher and higher. (I stayed only until 3:30...possibly others got even more of this later.)

It started out with a good omen: very easy to split the Dbl Dbl just after sunset, as soon as Vega was visible. We also found both Jupiter and Mercury, visible with the nekked eye, close together low in the west. The seeing was so good that I pushed the power up quite high (just over 500X) on Nu Scorpii and got a refractor-like split with four perfect star images with dark space between.

This was with TOBY, my 10" f/6 CPT with a Royce primary; see /reports/2003.07.20.3.html

After several hours of Globs and Doubles, and showing some eye candy to the many visitors, most of us spent a lot of time on Mars. Around midnight, the S. Polar cap had a much brighter spot on its Northern edge, just slightly West of center. And just West of that was a little notch taken out of the edge. I was using a Tak LE 5mm (around 300X) for most of my Mars viewing.

Eventually, much more detail emerged in the albedo features near the equator, at first on the West half, then all across the disk. And several of us suspected seeing a little bit of the N. polar cap as well.

I observed in a group with Mark W., Kevin R., Richard N., Jim B., and Rashad (who needs no last initial). A fun night with a great group of people. Thanks.

As Jamie D. has said, "more of this" ... please.