Mars Observation 9-30 to 10-1-2020


Tony Mascolo
 

Hello Folks,

Hope you are all well.

Finally was able to observe Mars.  Been so rainy and cloudy and smoky lately.

Observed with my Skywatcher 8" f/6 collapsible newtonian dob.  Quite impressive.  I was able to see one of the polar caps and quite a bit of detail on the globe itself.  Was very surprised how bright the polar cap was, and the features were very visible even without the red filter.

Last time I tried Mars it was covered in a dust storm, just an orange blob back in 2018.

Was observing most of the time with a 5mm Zhumell Planetary eyepiece for 240x, 6.4mm Siebert Star Splitter for 187.5x, and an Antares 9mm Ortho for 133x.  Exit pupils at .83mm, 1.06mm, and 1.5mm respectively for the eyepieces used.

The 5mm Zhumell is a finicky eyepiece with eye placement.  I need to get a better 5mm, even though it is the eyepiece I used the most in this session.  The 6.4mm Siebert Star Splitter is sharp and has a wonderfully distinct field stop around the view, the Zhumell does not.  The Antares 9mm Ortho is one of my favorite eyepieces, wonderfully sharp with a well defined field stop, too bad they don't make them anymore.

I switched in and out a Lumicon 23A light red filter which really made the ice cap and dark features very visible.  This filter on my small refractor is useless, cuts out too much light.  On the 8" it is very useful.  Mirror on this Skywatcher appears to be pretty good.

Took a quick look at the Pleiades, then blinded myself with a little moon observation with the red filter...blood red moon...quite an interesting effect. 

I have a street lamp right in front of my house, which does not help with contrast at all, as you can imagine.  I did flock the inside of the newt to help a bit with that street lamp and contrast in general.

I really wish I had splurged on the Go-To version, I really prefer viewing with the refractor on it's Go-To mount so I can just sit and observe a planet.  However the 8" is so much better with the resolution and larger exit pupils for higher power without the floaters.  Maybe I will just get an EQ platform for it.  I know it would have made this session much more enjoyable.  This mounts motions at 240x aren't exactly Obsession smooth.....lol.

Well, enough blabbing.

Have a great night.

Sincerely,

Tony Mascolo
tsmascolo@...

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