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  #1  
Old 10-14-2020, 03:12 AM
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Mars is at Opposition

October 13th. 2020. Mars is at opposition tonight. In other words closest it'll be to Earth until 2035. I have been observing it with our little 4.5 inch Orion Dob. Best viewing conditions I've ever had in Phoenix. Almost totally clear and steady and only 75 degrees!

No polar caps visible unfortunately, but Syrtis Major is clearly visible. The best I've ever seen it. Truly awesome to be able to finally view one of our closest neighbors in the solar system from my back yard.

- Peter.

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2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2020, 10:53 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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I've been noticing two very bright planets shortly after sundown here the last few weeks. Makes me wish for a decent telescope.
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2020, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
I've been noticing two very bright planets shortly after sundown here the last few weeks. Makes me wish for a decent telescope.
That's Jupiter and Saturn. Mars rises much later and is currently almost at Zenith around midnight. Venus is up with the crescent moon in the morning.

You can get a good Orion Dob for 500 or less. Mine cost about 250.

- Peter.
__________________
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
1981 240D 4spd stick. 347000 miles. Deceased Feb 14 2021
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles.
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2020, 05:37 PM
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I'm west of Savannah, Ga about 90 miles. Is that what looked like a red planet in the western sky this morning around 630 am?
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2020, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by engatwork View Post
I'm west of Savannah, Ga about 90 miles. Is that what looked like a red planet in the western sky this morning around 630 am?
Mars might be visible still low in the west at that time. I didn't see it this morning when I woke up but I didn't look in the west and it's possible that it has not set by that time.

- Peter.
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2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
1981 240D 4spd stick. 347000 miles. Deceased Feb 14 2021
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles.
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2020, 09:17 PM
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I saw it last night at around 1030 in Charleston SC. Really bright. My telescope is in storage though.
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2020, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dubyagee View Post
I saw it last night at around 1030 in Charleston SC. Really bright. My telescope is in storage though.
I'll be at it again tonight. Hopefully the viewing conditions will be as good. I have three scopes in storage, two in pieces in my garage and one that I can acutally use. I need to try and get some of the other operational.

- Peter.
__________________
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
1981 240D 4spd stick. 347000 miles. Deceased Feb 14 2021
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles.
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2020, 01:08 PM
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My favorite astronomy website for years now....

https://www.heavens-above.com/
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2020, 09:01 AM
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Three nights ago, very easy to see in the sky. Last night it appeared VERY close and very easy to see.

BTW, more people get sick and die the last quarter of the year. Also, October through December is not the best time to make big decisions or schedule surgery. As my father used to tell us, this is the time of year to PAY ATTENTION!!
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2020, 03:47 PM
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I got a polar cap in both my 10” reflector and 8” SCT.

For the past week, seeing has been surreal so I haven’t tried much. Mars looked like jiggly amber Jell-o.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2020, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
I got a polar cap in both my 10” reflector and 8” SCT.

For the past week, seeing has been surreal so I haven’t tried much. Mars looked like jiggly amber Jell-o.
I've been sketching it in my 4.5 Dob each night for the past week. I've managed to use a 6mm eyepiece which gives 152X magnification. I even used the 2X barlow one night but that tends to be too much and the image is just not clear enough.

However. We have a massive fire north east of Phoenix. The Crown King fire which has burned over 9K acres so far and it's messing up the sky something awful. Gives it a noticeably degraded view most nights thru the scope.

I saw one of the caps years ago with this scope but nothing visible now. Even when using various filters. My sketches are done using a red filter.

- Peter.


- Peter.
__________________
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
1981 240D 4spd stick. 347000 miles. Deceased Feb 14 2021
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles.
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2020, 10:40 PM
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Last night was better than Jell-O shots but still far from perfect. No polar cap but there was an apparent hemisphere difference in tone.

Clarity was even poor above 45 deg altitude. I got Andromeda galaxy nucleus but not much more. Even the Double Cluster was dim. Maybe we are catching ash from out west? Dunno.
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2020, 12:01 PM
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I hope my next reincarnation in the universe, is a astropaloetologist. hope thats right.
As I'm curious about these carbonaceous asteroids. Seems to me they may be part of Thea, a Mars sized planet that crashed into ours creating the moon.
What I think is maybe Thea too had life on it too, for there to be so much carbon.

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