Countdown to blastoff.
X minus 5, 4, 3, 2, . . .
|ZWO ASI224MC + Shorty Barlow and NexImage 5|
From my latitude, at 3am, Mars is only about 20 degrees above the horizon. That means there is an awful lot of atmospheric murk to peer through.
Usually, I'll take images as soon as I see Mars and then periodically as time passes during the observation session. Perhaps I'll be lucky and stumble across a stable column of air between me and Mars. This also provides a little bit of insurance if the viewing conditions go completely to heck.
So, this is what I captured at 0348 on May 11th, 2018:
|Mars, May 11th, 2018 at 0348|
Features are starting to be visible across the entire face of Mars!
I'm especially encouraged by this screen capture from the Virtual Planet Atlas showing its prediction of Mars for my viewing session capture!
|Mars, from the Virtual Planet Atlas for May 11th, 2018 at 0348.|
There is remarkable consistency between the the Atlas' model and my image.
It will only get better between now and the end of July.
More to come!