Re: Mars observations



I am surprised to learn that the seeing is not so good where you are.  I have always envisioned Arizona and New Mexico as the ultimate in observing places.  Do the dark skies not make up for the seeing difficulties?

On October 8, 2020 11:00 AM Ted Forte <tedforte511@...> wrote:

Nice job Ron, and excellent detail in an 8-inch!

Last night was my 7th night in a row viewing Mars.  Tuesday night was perhaps the best view I’ve had of Mars – maybe ever.  I was using the 18-inch.

Seeing is generally pretty poor (compared to say, Coinjock)  here in my “valley”.  The laminar flow off the surrounding mountains appears to be the culprit.  While I’m at 4160 feet, I’m surrounded by “sky Islands” that are thousands of feet higher.  What we call “average” seeing here I used to call “movie night” back east. About 2 arc seconds is considered good here, 1 arc second is almost unheard of and sub-arcsecond is a fantasy.

But Tuesday night was exceptional  and I had a magnificent view of my favorite planet!  It was a very similar face to what you sketched .  Last night wasn’t bad either, not as good but still above average.  We are so lucky this opposition, Mars is not only a decent angular size but its altitude is about perfect.  On top of that, we’ve had a good stretch of clear skies here in southern Arizona and the air is pretty much clear of the smoke that mostly ruined things in September.  


BBAA west

(With Chuck possibly opening a BBAA West chapter soon, I may have to start calling myself BBAA Southwest)

From: <> On Behalf Of Ron Robisch
Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2020 7:15 AM
Subject: Re: [BackBayAstro] Mars observations

Here's a sketch I drew of Mars from 2 nights ago.  I _think_ I've identified a few of the features accurately.  Viewed with my 8" SCT, so the image seen is mirror reversed.


George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
Outreach Coordinator

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