Monday, September 3, 2018

Mars and Guatemala Antigua

Best Mars image, yet!

At least for this opposition, anyway.

The astronomy forecast wasn't great, but I went outside to check the sky regardless.  I'm kind of a Luddite that way; Rather than trust what that little phone screen is telling me, sometimes I take a peek for myself.

I'm glad I did.  It was a dark clear sky.  Mars was beckoning brightly with steady intensity.

The number one problem was that I didn't plan for an astronomy session.  I didn't have the equipment staged and ready to go out the door and I was dead tired from the day's activity.  I didn't even get a chance to nap . . . 

Tired?  That was easily taken care of with a pot of my favorite coffee.  This is my preferred astronomy coffee!
Guatemala Antigua, Astronomer's Choice!
I dragged the equipment outside in a piecemeal fashion, got the telescope aligned, and focused on Mars!

Five weeks or so post opposition and the volcanoes on Mars haven't ever been so clearly evident in one of my Mars images.  I counted four of them.  And, I think that I can make out the Valles Marineris system of canyons

The southern polar ice cap is nicely visible, too!

Mars, September 3, 2018 at 0153 UTC
Here is the Virtual Planet Atlas model of Mars for the observation time.

Mars, Virtual Planet Atlas Model
Next week?  More Mars.



  1. So many things about September are exciting, with the new moon just a week or so away, ai am hoping for MANY clear nights!! Go Charles!

    1. Time to stock up on chemical hand and toe warmers in anticipation of Winter astronomy!

  2. The southern ice cap is positively glowing! Nice photo!

    1. We should make our reservations at the Southern Polar Cap ski resort soon. I'll stick to the Martian bunny slopes. ;-)


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