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Thread: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

  1. #1
    Don Kittrell's Avatar
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    Default Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13



    Working an evening job I don't get home until 12:30am during the week, so nearly all of my observing is done on the weekends. But sometimes that's just too long of a wait so occasionally I'll do a mid-week session. I've been wanting to get in some views of Mars and since it rises in the late evening by the time I got home this AM it had risen to 27 degrees altitude. I had left my StarBlast out on the back porch while I was at work so it would be acclimated by the time I got home. My back porch is screened in and open to the outside air. Now in 3 years of owning a scope I've actually observed Mars very little and I've never had an overly impressive view of it. Well, this morning wasn't much different. Even at 10 arc-seconds it was just an orange disk with a vague impression of dark mottling here and there. I certainly knew I was looking at a planet, but other than that it was definitely disappointing. I understand that Mars can be a difficult object and due to its orbit is not always placed well for us to see well, but still I had expected more. Maybe as it gets closer to opposition and increases in size there will be some improvement.

    Jupiter on the other hand was shining brightly in the West and the GRS was at mid transit. At 103x it was a very nice view. There was good definition of the GRS as well as 4 bands. As I've stated in a few other posts this has been a great apparition for my observations of Jupiter. I've caught several views of the GRS, a couple of great shadow transits and the planet just exhibits great definition and clarity every time. Simply put, Jupiter knows how to put on a show!

    Seeing was below average and the Moon's brightness certainly put a damper on things. It even had an effect on Jupter's contrast as the bands and GRS didn't quite stand out as they normally do. But, still a very fine view.
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    Default Re: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

    Ditto on Mars. I haven't really connected with it yet either. Like you, I've seen it but no detail. It seems too low in the sky to get a good view. We'll see how it goes in a couple of months.

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    Default Re: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

    Same here on Mars. Hoping it does look better when in opposition. I think I should stay up one night (or at least wake up) to see the GRS on Jupiter. All I ever see are bands sans GRS! Thanks for sharing your experience.
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    Default Re: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

    Hi Don. Congratulations on the great Jupiter views. This is always a treat when the skies are good, and the moon isn't so darn close. But, don't give up on Mars just yet. By this April, it should be at opposition, and it should look much better then. Thanks for your fun read observing report Don, and best of regards.
    - Marshall

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    Default Re: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

    Never saw the GRS myself until about three weekends ago, when I finally detected a tiny oval shape within the largest cloud band. I used my C90Mak at 138X. This was after midnight, when the seeing was good. Gave me a thrill. Even though Mars was tiny, the polar ice cap was clearly visible.

    The last time Mars was at opposition last year, dark shadings on the planet were clearly visible.
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    Default Re: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

    I've never seen the GRS on Jupiter but I've caught a couple of shadow transits. The bands were looking sharp last night. I am wanting to try Mars again but haven't seen it so far. Glad you had such a good view of Jupiter. It's always changing surface adds a lot of interest to viewing it.
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    Default Re: Mars and Jupiter after Midnight 2/13

    Great report, Don. Thanks for sharing. I got my first good look at Mars last night, and while I did not see much detail, I was captivated by the way it seemed to be blazing against the sky. Great viewing on Jupiter. It is always such an active part of the sky, and I love checking in whenever I go out.

    JH
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