Author Topic: really bummed observing mars at its closest...  (Read 428 times)

renjaysunsdis

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really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« on: December 24, 2017, 05:27:59 AM »
I had hoped for a lot more... the very first night 3 days ago, a bright tropical blob of snot - could as well have been a streetlight.   Seeing the past 2 days was today a round somewhat fuzzy circle but without a significance with or without filters.  It almost looked like a large star.

Its clouded over again - so I might not get more opportunities, I popped till mars was high up in the sky... I simply wanted to view it like perhaps jupiter using a inexpensive scope, with a hint of detail/colors

I started at 24 mm and worked my way up to 4.8 eyepieces - where did I go wrong?



Johnny Jeep

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 06:05:09 AM »
Last night just before midnight I was able to make out one elongated dark patch with hints of two other lighter patches on Mars. The seeiing was not very good as usual. My best views were at 88x (in a 25").

Chad Shepard

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 11:46:20 AM »
Link to an image of Mars in the Solar System Imaging & Processing Forum.

Going by that image I also saw a polar cap and some clouds appearing as smeared limb brightenings.

Randy Ott

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 09:58:18 PM »
I have been seeing some good detail on Mars with my SW 120ED scope. Last nite was good and could see the polar caps with some surface detail also. Wish you were in Florida with me viewing, its good being farther south maybe.

Rollo

flasattecof

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 06:21:23 PM »
I was wondering where you were observing from - Monroe WA? If so, it's possible that the atmospheric heat boiling from the large metropolis south of you is creating very poor seeing conditions. Maybe try getting up early and try viewing Mars when he's more westerly and not above a large city, or after the city has lost most of its daytime heat build up.

Try de-focusing a bit when looking at the planet - you can see the shimmer of the thermals and their effects on your viewing, if that's the cause of your poor seeing.

I have had the same issues trying to view Mars, even though my "city" ain't so big.

Cheers!

Rasheed Grayson

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 09:22:24 AM »
I have been trying to get in some Mars AP for the last month but the marine layer has been coming in early every night. I got short sessions in 5/22,5/26/5/27. Got my best images todatebut they are not that good given the atmospheric conditions. I take what I can get but wish the seeing was better. I went out about 15 minutes ago to see a dense marine layer that won't clear until mid morning tomorrow.

Wishing everyone clearing skies.

George

Jorge Herbert

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 01:33:26 PM »
Quote
I had hoped for so much more... the first night 3 days ago, a bright watery blob of snot - may as well have been a streetlight.  seeing the last 2 days was better, now a round somewhat fuzzy circle but absolutely no definition with or without filters. it almost looked like a large star.

its clouded over again - so i may not get more chances, i waited up till mars was high up in the sky... i simply wanted to see it like perhaps jupiter with a cheap scope, with a hint of detail/colors

I started at 24 mm and worked my way up to 4.8 eyepieces - where did i go wrong?


First:

There is a lot of time left to observer Mars this time around. Currently Mars is 18.6 arcseconds in diameter, on July 1 it will be 16.3 arcseconds and on July 31st, it will be 13.0 arc-seconds, that means there is more than an other month of viewing Mars.

As far as what you are doing wrong. Probably nothing. Mars is low on the horizon for observers in the Northern Hemisphere this time around, for me, it's not so bad, it reaches nearly 36 degrees above the horizon and I have had some very good views of Mars on nights where the seeing is stable. But you are about 15 degrees north of me so for you, Mars is never more than 20 degrees above the horizon. When an object is so low on the horizon, you are looking through a long column of air which means most likely the seeing will be poor.

There is not much one can do about seeing except to try to eliminate potential issues. Make sure you have a clear horizon and try to avoid looking over buildings and trees. Mostly one has to be prepared and wait with fingers crossed for a good night. The AR-127 is a relatively fast achromat, you probably want to try color filters or filter designed to address the chromatic aberration. Dave Russell reports good results the Baader 495 LongPass filter. It basically eliminates the blue and purple wave lengths so the remaining colors can be better focused.

Mars is low contrast object, the details are subtle, it may take a while of looking to see some of the features.

Jon

fewithciten

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 02:45:39 AM »
thanks for the replies..... i can now sleep at night LOL knowing it's not me ( so much) comforting to know i will be dead the next time it gets this close ( think i read 70 years?)

propdiagairil

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 04:05:06 AM »
Quote
thanks for the replies..... i can now sleep at night LOL knowing it's not me ( so much) comforting to know i will be dead the next time it gets this close ( think i read 70 years?)


In 2 years on July 26, 2018 it will be close again. According to the Heavens Above website. It will be lower in the southern sky down in Capricornus.

Jason Pederes

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 11:41:06 PM »
It's round...that's about it so far.

smarhurtfranoth

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 06:42:52 AM »
in about 26 months mars will be at opposition again> July 31, 2018 size 24.3. It will nearly be as large as the opposition as 2003 which was 25.1

Jesse Kaine

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 10:17:18 AM »
I was hoping to get some definition or surface colors when I viewed it as well with no luck as well. Tried a few different filters with my 8" SCT at about 200x power but it was still an orange ball. Seeing was decent but I blame it mostly on still being kinda low in the sky.Regardless, it was still amazing how big it was in my eyepiece. Never seen it so up close like this before.....awesome. I'll keep trying.

Bobby Javier

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 12:37:23 AM »
Yeah, if it's any comfort, I had the same experience on Monday, our only clear night sky here in about 2 months. It was my first time to try and view Mars since getting my 102mm scope. I was hoping for (not expecting) better. Big red blob is all I got. I kinda knew what to expect... I have been told that Mars is HARD, hardest of all the naked eye planets to get a good view of... very sensitive to seeing conditions, plus it's a low contrast mess... they weren't kidding!

Good luck next time out!

CB

isveheartle

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 04:14:20 AM »
Is unfortunate Mars is low for better obsevation. Easiest as already mentioned to catch the larger features. Enjoy the SkySafari Plus as displays exactly what's facing at time of observation.

Frequent sessions at the scope should eventually release some more details.

Sky conditions vary tremendously and with luck might catch things under better than average sky.

When Mars was much smalier weeks back could make out largest feature in just a 4SE.

Plenty of time, hang in there.

4SE
XT8I, XT10
Lightbridge 12
Clave10MM, Nagler4.8MM Eyepieces

Tim Jauregui

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Re: really bummed observing mars at its closest...
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 12:54:49 PM »
Last night I managed the polar cap with it's melt line, clouds almost the entire length of the western limb, and vague,possibly imaginaryhints of surface detail. I don't how it manages, but every time I have good seeing and no overcast, I get the Arcadia and Tharsis.