The Skies had been cloudy for weeks on end. Afternoon saw some clearer conditions but with high haze. By 10.45pm the haze was dimming the stars but creating very steady seeing.
I set-up the Celestron C8 for some Mars viewing and was amazed to finally see clearly the Martian Polar Ice Cap.
There were also dark surface features visible. In all previous views Mars has simply appeared as a bright blob perhaps
with just a hint of shading. This time I was clearly viewing a planet with features.
I kept looking back at Mars thinking it was like watching Discovery Channel.
I tried various powers and briefly ventured up to 723x using an Antares 4.5mm W70 eyepiece and 1.6x (2") Barlow,
but settled back on a sharper view at 452X. I also enjoyed the view at 150x and 250x with a
Celestron 2" Ultima LX 13mm Eyepiece and Antares 2" 1.6x Barlow.
The images below were captured by pointing a pocket digital camera into the eyepiece.
Short video clips were captured then split and stacked in Registax V5. The images were balanced
and sharpened in PhotoShop Elements V2.