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Mars was looking good this morning . . .

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Old July 25th 03, 12:56 PM
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Default Mars was looking good this morning . . .

A mild cool front moved through NE TN/SW VA/W NC on 7/23, clearing out
the sauna-like humidity that has plagued us for weeks.

This morning, 7/25, was cool and dry -- well, relatively cool and dry
-- temp in NE TN was around 58F with humdity under 70 percent -- not
exactly perfect but conditions were much better than the past few
weeks when viewing was akin to looking through a sauna.

I set up my 8-inch Dob at 0400 and spent an hour examining Mars.
Eyepieces were Nagler 5mm (240X) and an Orion ED 5.1mm (235X) -- I
was comparing the two eyepieces. Used red (23A), orange, yellow, lite
green, and med blue (80A) filters.

Now, I'm a novice at this stuff and do not know all the technical
terms you serious guys use but Mars put on quite a show. I could not
tell any difference between the two eyepieces -- the Nagler seemed to
be brighter while the eye relief on the Orion was somewhat more

The red and orange filters really made the polar ice cap stand out.
The med blue filter knocked out some of the glare but did not
highlight the ice cap as much as the red and orange filters. I'm not
sure what the yellow and green filters did -- the polar cap was still
visible but did not stand out as it does with the red and orange
filters -- orange was my favorite.

During the course of the hour I spent swapping eyepieces and filters,
Mars must have rotated a bit because toward the end of the hour I
observed what must have been surface features -- a dark area coming
into view on the right side of the planet (that's the right side as
viewed through the scope).

On previous mornings, about all I could see was the polar cap and,
because of the high humidity, magnifications above 200X were all but
useless -- today the 235/240X was clear and bright -- on previous
mornings, every piece of glass was covered with dew within a few
minutes, today, even after an hour the only dew was on the grass. In
my excitement at the clear views this morning I never did use my 3.7mm
Orion ED eyepiece (325X) -- weather forecast for next couple of days
is for continued low humidity, so, Saturday I plan to start viewing
around 0200.

Now I just need to do something about the damn security light in the
apartment parking lot.
Old July 25th 03, 11:35 PM
Stephen Astro
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Default Mars was looking good this morning . . .

"Robert Burns" wrote in message ...

say it's better to discuss to discuss using the laser solution with the
security lamps owner. Others say it's easier and a more sure thing to ask
forgiveness rather than to ask permission.

Robert Burns

Of course one should ask permission first assuming, of course, that
they asked YOU for YOUR permission when they decided to flood YOUR
property with light.

Steve O.

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