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Bino Mars

Discussion in 'Observing Celestial Objects' started by Mak the Night, Oct 17, 2020.

Bino Mars

Started by Mak the Night on Oct 17, 2020 at 6:11 PM

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  1. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Mars has been pretty good this year, well, compared to 2018 anyway. I'd been viewing Mars occasionally even in May. I'd got a bad case of 'Mars fever' early on.

    H74Sibw.jpg

    As you can see lol. I finally managed to set my EQ5 up and caught Mars at perigee and on the opposition with my 150mm Newtonian. I'd kind of forgotten about my binoviewing plans for Mars. I don't use the bino's much.

    GfQhLsI.jpg

    The plan was to use my 127mm Mak (although now on a Porta II/TL130) and William Optics bino's. I usually use an Amici diagonal with the binoviewer because my Mak's are mostly used for lunar viewing. I needed a conventional diagonal which was light and strong enough to take the weight of the bino unit plus eyepieces. Plus, most importantly, it had to be small enough to fit into my bino case.

    ufHcDPb.jpg

    I eventually settled on a 1.25" Tele Vue Enhanced Aluminum (or aluminium as we say). As these are cast in one piece there is virtually no chance of the combined weight of the BV and eyepieces breaking the diagonal. I've known brazed drawtubes to become detached when using a zoom eyepiece. It's also a possibility that threaded nosepieces can become detached with sufficient weight.

    KNWRf6m.jpg

    So, I was all set on Thursday the 15th to finally try the ensemble out.

    tPGk0um.png

    I had a few filters, as Mars usually needs them.

    iXFEi9n.jpg

    By 23:30 Thursday night the Mak was cooled down and pointing towards Mars. I started off with a Baader Orange Longpass filter, the 20mm SWAN's and a TS Optics nosepiece 2.6x Barlow (200x). I don't know who actually manufactures the TS Barlow but I'm sometimes not totally satisfied with the images mine produces. So I thought I'd swap it for the 2x WO Barlow. I thought.

    8TvRW07.jpg

    I think now that I'd confused the WO Barlows and had replaced the 2.6x with the 1.6x. Mars was small and not moving very quickly. Even so I could see the southern cap quite distinctly. Which impressed me as it has been shrinking with the Martian summer and I'd struggled to see it a couple of nights previously. I upped the magnification by switching the SWAN's for GSO (Altair) 15mm SuperViews, then 12mm GSO Plossls (now with WO barrels).

    QGCnXrt.jpg

    I'm pretty sure this was nearer 200x (205x probably) with the Plossls. I used TV Planetary Bandmate and Baader Contrast Booster filters in succession. Although I thought the Bandmate showed the most detail. I even tried the 10mm SvBony 'plastic fantastic' aspherics for a while, but went back to the 12mm GSO's as I didn't think the seeing was up to it. The Terra Sirenum and Aonia Terra were quite distinct, as was the slight gap around the Solis Planum that appears to divide them. I could see northern polar hood clouds. Eventually though the planet Earth clouds came in. I'd got nearly an hour. It wasn't enough!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
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  2. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I like the "ensemble" concept; you have an orchestra of filters, lol. I'm grabbing every opportunity I get now to observe Mars. I struggle to see Olympus Mons, no matter which filter I use. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it works pretty well, if a tad labour intensive for me, especially with dew heaters. Not sure about Olympus Mons, I thought you needed a lot of aperture with that. My Mars book recommends a Wratten #47 for the rare 'Blue Clearing' event where some features can become clearer. You'd need at least 200mm of aperture because of the transmission though. Transparency is an issue here now as we are in the dew season. I got a decent 300x with my 150mm Newtonian last night though. I didn't need a polarising filter. The southern pole was very bright again. It had been a bit muted for a while. Weird.
     
  4. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right about needing a lot of aperture for Mons. My 180mm gives me a bright enough image but not quite enough resolution to make out craters and such. I had heard about the blue clearing and I'm curious about that also. I've been seeing a bit more of the south polar cap, too. Not sure what's going on up there, lol. Great report by the way :)
     
  5. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    You might get more detail with a camera but I think it's going to be hard to see craters with a backyard scope, even a big one. I don't know much about the 'blue' or 'violet' clearing. It's probably a bit like reported Bigfoot sightings; there are plenty of stories but no empirical evidence lol. I am hoping to catch Dejah Thoris sunbathing though. I might need the 5x Powermate lol.

    2020-10-20 18.59.55 i.pinimg.com 7bd69d66437f.jpg

    The sudden re-brightness of the polar cap is interesting. It's not just us who have noticed it. It may be due to some sort of a nutation or libration effect making it catch the light. More probably polar clouds I should imagine.
     
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  6. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I'd love to see Dejah, too! I bet that 5x Powermate would let you see some amazing detail, GRRRRRR
     
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  7. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    It's rumoured she swims naked in the canals ...
     
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  8. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    It's rumoured she swims naked in the canals ...
     
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  9. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    :D :D :D
     
  10. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Of course, they're only rumours. ;)
     

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