Sigh.................. late night observing report


Mars looked very good Monday night. I was even able to use up to the 1.6mm Vixen eyepiece with the 4 inch in order to get a very fine, sharp, view of the red planet. Mars was very clear around 7 to 9 in the evening. Syrtis Major was sharp and subtle gradations of shading were easily seen even in the 4 inch Televue Genesis. A televue type B filter was employed in very steady seeing. Oddly Mars was only mediocre Saturday night in the fog. Fog usually is an indicator of extremely stable stratified air. Seeing is often excellent if you can keep the optics dry but Saturday night was not really very steady and the transparency steadily dropped as fog rolled in around 8:30 in the evening.

This has been far and away the best Mars apparition I can remember in a few decades of observing. I have observed every apparition now for the past 20 plus years. Two years ago was the worst apparition as a global dust storm blanketed Mars for almost the entire observing period. Then (2018) I only observed perhaps five time in several months as nothing was to be seen at all save Mars was still there. We have made up for it this year though.

The weather men have been absolutely worthless in the prediction department for the past week It has been clear all night now after Accuweather and the National Weather Service [NWS] predicted mostly cloudy. Wavy said mostly clear.  Different weather sites have had totally conflicting predictions for the past several nights. Like the saying:

"A man who has two watches never knows what time it is".

I know what the average age of amateur astronomers is, so I don't have to define what a watch is.

I just finished observing the moon which is a thin crescent. Took forever for it to rise tonight. Rest of the week looks dodgy but who knows?