Sunday, October 25, 2009

SKETCH OF MARS



This sketch was done on October 25th 2009 between 4:41 UT and 4:47 UT using SCT 8" f/10. Magnification: 340x. Colour Filters used: orange and green. Transparency: 4/5, Cloudy skies Seeing: 7/10.

Early this morning I was surprised how high currently Mars is compared to its position last August. At first I did not trust the auto goto function of the scope and tried to manually direct the scope towards the brightest red celestial lower down towards the south. Only then I realised that the goto function of the scope was correct from the beginning.

The seeing was perfect, although clouds were scattered and dawn was within reach. I had to setup the scope quickly and get to the sketching business straightaway.
The promontary of Syrtis major was the most striking. Arena , L. viridis and Crocea areas were darker than their surroundings.

The large polar cap was also evident as the brightest patch on the surface. Adjacent to it was the conspicuously contrasting darker Utopia region.

To me the region of Aeria seemed to be slightly darker than the Libya region on the other side of the promontary. The bright Hellas region was also evident.

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