Another cloudy weekend.
Friday morning looked good, however. I took yet another vacation day from work so I could take a long post-astronomy nap after staying out all night with the telescope.
Mars rise was actually just a few minutes after midnight. By the time I had all of the equipment outside and set up, Mars was already high enough in the sky that I could start observing.
Its southern polar ice cap was visible and so brilliantly white through my eyepiece that my jaw dropped. I quickly put the imager on and captured a few tens of thousands of frames for insurance's sake; I wanted images of Mars, but I'd rather have them when Mars is higher in the sky -- less atmospheric murk through which to peer.
While the Astrospheric forecast said that seeing was going to get better as dawn approached, if I'd waited and the clouds rolled in, I'd be really unhappy.
Mars was to cross the meridian shortly before 0500 and that would probably be optimum for imaging.
So, I bided my time by exploring the neighborhood around Mars.
Well, at least the neighborhood of Mars from our perspective here on Earth. Mars is currently in the constellation, Capricornus.
There are some interesting things to see around Capricornus. Some images to follow after the jump break and, of course, the latest image of Mars!