Sunday, March 11, 2012

1504e 2012/03/11–12

1504e 2012/03/11–12 19:10–20:20 EDT Foxmead POD 8 13cmrr

Four planets in eight minutes! I observed Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars between 19:45 and 19:53, using the 8.8mm Meade Ultrawide in the 127mm triplet apo (108x). Mercury was a tiny crescent (9" 19%), Venus a larger slightly gibbous disk (20" 59%), Jupiter a large ovoid (35" 99%), and Mars a tiny disk (14" 100%). Seeing was poor; I'll recheck Mars later when it's higher.

The images in the apo are exquisite: perfectly sharp and with not superfluous colour.

Temperature = 6.0°C

 I wasn't able to resist the temptation for another look at Mars, so I went back out with my 5mm Radian eyepiece (190x) at 20:10. Mars had risen a bit and the seeing had steadied, but unfortunately the "boring side" of Mars was towards Earth. The polar cap was quite distinct, and I could see hints of shadings on the disk, but it wasn't very inspiring. The temperature is dropping really fast!

Temperature = 4.7°C

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