by Michael Huster
Viewing improved as Mars rose. By 11:00 most of the public had left, leaving us "hard-core" observers. We were treated to views of Mars that wavered in and out of focus, but we were able to make out the southern maria and some northern, smaller maria also. A blue filter, like a 80A seemed to bring out the ice cap the best, but the best views of the maria were with an orange filter. I have a 21, but Roger's deeper orange 25 gave even more contrast. I spent most of the time looking at Mars and trying different filters, eyepieces and my Teleview 2.5X. I took some photos with a Nikon CoolPic4300, also.
Later, the "bino rhino" viewers came out as Tom, Eric and Roger played "Who can get the best view" with M13 and the double cluster in Perseus. Bob Thompson ajudicated.
So... Eric Maynes will be in the parking lot at the foot of the trail to the peak of Mount Lassen for a "Mars Party" on Wednesday, August 27th. I plan on being there, too. It is probably easiest to get there by taking 36 from Red Bluff to the south entrance of the park. The parking lot is about 1.5 miles past the Bumpass Hell parking lot. There is a $10 entrance fee, but if you are local, you may want to get the $20 one year pass that is good for both Lassen and Whiskeytown Lake. So if you want to join us, come on up!
BTW, I will bring the fixings for Ibarra hot chocolate!