Mars from downtown San Rafael

by Jane Houston Jones

We lost maybe 20 minutes of prime time Mars viewing to high altitude clouds, but had excellent views, sometimes downright awesome until the last eyeball left the binoviewer at 1:15 a.m. Tonight we had thtree telescopes. 12.5" Strider, the Litebox reflector (which was on the front page of the local paper today), our f/9 AP180EDT, and our friends Norm and Linda Mahan's 11-inch SCT. Estimated 500 people took views. We also had folks set up in Tiboron the past two nights, but not tonight.

San Rafael is shielded by ridges and fed by central valley air going through the Carquinez Straight, so we often have clearer skies when the marine layer threatens other valleys. Yay!