Early Mars Viewing

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David Frydman
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by David Frydman »

Once I saw Mars with unaided eyes in daylight at magnitude minus 0.9 by placing it on top of tree.

I have seen Jupiter many times in daylight with unaided eyes.

Mars is not particularly difficult in daylight with a 10x25 binocular.

I still have not seen Mercury in daylight without optical aid, although an American lady has.

I am still awaiting a confirmed night view of Neptune with unaided eyes.

Regards,
B,
nigeljoslin
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by nigeljoslin »

Amazing! Your experience is showing, David.

I shall be pleased if I am able to see Jupiter and Mars in daylight with a telescope . I made the comment about Uranus tongue in cheek, but your mention of Neptune got me intrigued, so I looked on the internet with regard to Uranus to read this statement "You'll be best able to view it with binoculars or a telescope, but under excellent "seeing" conditions (dark sky, little atmospheric disturbance) it may be just visible with the unaided eye. Uranus is shining at magnitude 5.7, at the threshold of unaided-eye visibility."

I am astonished if this is true, but perhaps I should heed the old adage that many a true word is spoken in jest!
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
David Frydman
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by David Frydman »

Hi Nigel,

For planets in daytime without optical aid it is essential to know the position exactly.
Central vision is used and this is less than 2 degrees
Also the faint planet must be exactly in focus with glasses if necessary, but I did not need these when younger.
The air must be clean and transparent without much water vapour.
Actually for Jupiter and Mars the Sun's elevation should be less than 10 degrees if viewing at sea level.
In Switzerland at 10,000ft I have seen much better skies.
Mars at mag minus 0.9 was seen from town with the Sun up, unaided eyes. I just followed it after sunrise until I got fed up with seeing it.

I have seen Uranus many times with unaided eyes.
I found it easy in dark skies.
I saw mag 6.7 stars in Lyme Regis with the street lights on in the harbour.

I also saw M33 without optical aid about 100 times in half an hour while standing directly under a lit street light in Margate.
I found this fascinating. This was with averted vision.


On La Palma at 7,800ft, M33 was seen with direct vision on a not so good night with Saharan dust in the air.
My zenithal limiting magnitude was 7.2. Magnitude 6.8 stars were easily seen at 30 degree elevation.
Numerous faint meteors with short trails near the zenith.

Nowadays in town my limiting magnitude is about 3.5 at say 30 degrees elevation on a good night.
The lights are brighter than the full moon.
Sometimes almost no stars are visible from here, so bad is the light pollution.

Regards,
David
nigeljoslin
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by nigeljoslin »

Thanks for this, David. I do have good sky from the top of my garden, from where I can see quite a few deep sky objects (M31 plus clusters) with the unaided eye and lovely Milky Way structure, but I may try going into the nearby Galloway Forest later in the year for some unaided-eye planetary viewing. And indeed some unaided eye deep-sky viewing.

In 2009, I was involved in an amateur capacity in the accreditation bid for the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. We went into various spots in the forest with a SQM and fish-eye-lensed camera and compiled the necessary `evidence'. And I do recall at one spot, just discerning M33. So at least on a good night, I have the sky. And my sixty year old eyes aren't bad with my glasses!

As you say, knowing the position is important!

Looking forward to this, now; thanks for inspiring me.

Best wishes,

Nigel
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
nigeljoslin
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by nigeljoslin »

I was back to observing last night following a break due to a holiday down in England. Despite the humidity, the conditions were fabulous, crystal clear with much structure in the Milky Way, and I enjoyed revisiting some deep sky objects with the 14 inch, including the Veil Nebula in Cygnus, which was visible without a filter and beautiful with the OIII.

By 10.30 BST, Mars had reached a decent elevation. I observed it at magnifications of 200x, 275x 330x and 400x and saw much detail including Lowell’s Ring fringing the now very small south polar ice cap. At the north of the planet, there was general hazy whiteness, and in the more temperate regions was a wealth of detail. The W56 (greeny yellow) filter improved this detail, as to be expected. I also used W21 orange to inspect the maria to greatest effect.

I then attached a W80A blue filter (my first time with this), as I had read that this may show up any atmospheric clouds at the expense of surface details. I didn’t see any clouds but the surface detail was still clear. I also remembered reading of a little-understood phenomenon called `violet clearing’, which occurs for brief periods lasting up to several days. It is described in Sky and Telescope as follows:

Normally the surface features of Mars appear vague through a light blue filter, such as the Wratten 80A. ... When a little-understood phenomenon known as the "blue clearing" occurs, however, Martian surface features can be seen and photographed in blue and violet light for several days.

I don’t know if this was `beginners luck’ or if the description `appears vague’ is itself subject to vagueness, but the surface details were certainly still clear! I shall investigate this by seeing if the phenomenon endures over the coming weeks.

Any experience of this, anyone?

Happy observing,

Nigel
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
michael feist
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by michael feist »

17th September 2020 Managed my third observation of 'MARS in DAYLIGHT'. Clear sky before sunrise and followed MARS from 0620 to 0715 BST, using Acuter spotter 65a [x15] from the down-stairs window. BY 0720 the Sun was glinting through the trees, and there-after followed MARS at 0725 - 0730 BST. After that it was lost in the murk. regards mike [the watcher]
David Frydman
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by David Frydman »

Saw Mars as a disc at 25x in Opticron MM2 52mm spotting scope.
No detail seen.
2020 Sept 17 02.10UT.

Hand held against window glass.

Regards,
David
nigeljoslin
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by nigeljoslin »

Had a look this morning at around 7 o'clock BST, using my binoculars. It was an `alas' though... :?

Also observed the planet using the big Dob last night, between 23:00 and 23:30 BST. Much easier than in daylight with binoculars! The seeing was superb; I settled on an optimal 400x, having tried magnifications from 200x to 660x. I daren't use below 200x; it's blinding, even with a filter!

I think that the surface detail was hazy with W80A blue filter this time, but that said the south pole was still crisply detailed. I was thrilled to see a sizeable, dark cloud in the southern hemisphere...this filter works!

Best wishes,

Nigel
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
Kay Burton
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by Kay Burton »

Unfortunately, my equipment does not allow me to view the planets in such detail. The moon is out, but I think if the telescope was more powerful, it would be more interesting.
Brian
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by Brian »

Hi Kay,

what telescope do you have then? :)

regards,
Brian
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nigeljoslin
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by nigeljoslin »

Yes, what telescope do you have, Kay?
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
nigeljoslin
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by nigeljoslin »

Observed the Red Planet again last night, from 10:35 to 11.00 BST.

Conditions weren't quite as good as during my last two observations, thanks to an earlier viewing time (planet lower in sky) and a change in wind direction bringing in humid south-western air. However, I was still able to see plenty of detail at 275x during moments of stability.

The large brown region of Syrtis Major was very apparent, dipping down alongside the horizontal Sinus Meridiani region. As was, of course, the tight little south polar cap.

Surface detail was again hazy with W80A blue filter, so I can only assume that when I first used it on 16th September, `violet clearing’ was present. Interesting.

I didn't see Deimos this time.

Happy observing,

Nigel
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
RMSteele
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Re: Early Mars Viewing

Post by RMSteele »

Mars, 90mm refractor x114 and x165, Leeds, seeing Ant III, 2245 UT on 2020 Sept 21. A very crisp view. The south polar spot was very distinct within some haze, and a further condensation (Hellas?) was visible close to the gibbous limb in the south using a W80A blue filter. A W15 yellow filter revealed surface features stretching clearly and extensively across the disc which I took to be Mare Erythraeum to the Sinus Sabaeus. Note: I have not checked the identity of the features named at the time of posting this obs. Regards, Bob
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