Observation Log 10/30/05

Mars!

Mars is currently at opposition (Mars and the Sun are at opposite sides of the Earth), and is closer than it will be until 2018. So, I got the Celestron 8i out and took a peek with every eyepiece I have. The seeing was good but not very good, and some high-level clouds did drift through near the end of the session. I did get to see Mars as a light red ball, with a dark detail in mid-circle that looked like an ‘L’ on its back. Dust storms began kicking up on the Red Planet several days ago, and I’ve been trying to find out if they’ve spread. I was expecting much more detail at the higher magnifications, but I didn’t get it. I checked collimation on Capella, and it looked OK.

Since last night, I found a site with some pictures that resembled my view. See the October 30 (what a coincidence!) shots–that’s pretty much what I saw, but with less detail.

In the end, dew became too bad, and I called it a night. I’ll give it another go or two, to see other sides of Mars. It was fun. Jan even came out for a peek!

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