Fremont Peak

by Peter Natscher

In a small way, Dennis Beckley's experience reminds me of mine last Thursday night up at Fremont Peak. There were a few hundred visitors for the FPOA's Mars Observing Night at the observatory who stayed well passed midnight so that they all could see Mars through the 30" telescope. All who passed me at Ranger Row on the way to the observatory asked to see Mars through my scope before and after looking through the 30" at the observatory. They all said that the 30" telescope showed Mars to brightly and they couldn't see much of the surface features. They agreed that my smaller aperture scope (10") showed more planetary detail since I was using a binoviewer with filters. I did have observing plans other than looking at Mars the whole night long. I ended up committing my scope to Mars and a few show-piece Messier's for 5 hours until 1 am when the crowd finally diminished. I then had the few remaining am hours to enjoy my own deep sky choices. It was still a very enjoyable evening.