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Observation Report On Mars And ...

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Posted by Esteve on August 28, 2003 14:51:45 UTC

Hi everybody !

Despite the bad conditions we had yesterday, we couldn’t resist the Mars’ “attraction” and here it is the report.

Date : 2003-08-27
Time : from 21:00 till 23:00 UT

Environmental conditions :
No Moon
Medium light pollution
Warm wind and high humidity
Limit magnitude achieved at 20 degrees from the zenith : 11.4

Telescope : 203mm SCT

**************************

At first, for time spending purposes, we targeted two objects visually close to Sagitta constellation.

We got OCL 113 (a 40-star open cluster) and NGC 6853 (a planetary nebula). The weather conditions weren’t the best ones but we viewed both objects without trouble.

Afterwards, we focused on the main target of that night, Mars. We disassembled the LPR filter to preserve its colour balance and we prepared a set of Ultima series eyepieces and filters.

We started with a medium magnification factor (x163) and a neutral filter to reduce Mars’ brightness. We got a nice view and could even notice some dark areas.

We went up to x271 and then to x406, in both cases with the neutral filter. We must say that we achieved the best results with the x271 factor and the neutral filter.

We had no need to use colour filters to enhance Mars’ features. Despite the poor weather conditions and our viewing position (close to Barcelona) we had an impressive view : a red-orange surface and two dark curved lines configuring two semicircles forming a flat and curved X. Just below (we were using a star diagonal), an extensive dark area was visible. This area clearly outlined the white spot of one of its poles.

Concerning Mars’ satellites, we didnīt get Phobos (too close to Mars at that time) but perhaps we viewed Deimos. Honestly, we cannot confirm it. We knew its exact position and probably it was an optic effect.

Well, that’s all !!!

Clear skies and Best Regards,

Esteve

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