Mars 2010

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.

Mars - Feb 18th, 2010

Feb 8th, 2010

Mars - Feb 14th, 2010


Celestron 8" SCT -

Eyepiece projection at 250X

Using Ultima LX 13mm E.P.

Antares 2" 1.6x Barlow

Pentax Optio E30

Sketches of Mars

from same session

Debra's Sketch of Mars

Mars - Jan 22nd, 2010

The North Polar Ice Cap and dark band (utopia) running under it werevisible through the scope. 

From my local time I estimate Mars' Longitude 200 degrees was on the Central Meridian

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