Monday, 5 December 2011

Dreaming of Barsoom

"As Mars is once again upon us, I thought I would post one of my log entries that I made back in January 2010......" Pembs Astronomer 

23rd January 2010  Observation of Mars....

I set up the telescope in the front garden and decided to have a good long look at Mars.
It's nearly at it's closest at the moment, shining brighter than Betelgeuse, and slightly dimmer than Sirius.

At first the red planet revealed nothing just the usual blank expressionless ruddy red, no detail, no imagination not a hint of any possible Martian detail.

But persistence I am told will reward, and definitely tonight persistence paid off.

Tonight Mars opened up and allowed a glimpse of its often hidden beauty.

The dust storms on the planet were obviously having a good well deserved rest, and I saw for the first time in over six years the Martian surface with it's tell tale mottled patterns.

This dreamer once again was transported to the  Mars of  H.G. Wells and Percival Lowell. The Mars of vegetation and wonderful canals, and possible highly intelligent creatures living on a dying planet.

I spent several minutes at the eyepiece and slowly but surely an image appeared, the more I looked the more was a 3D magic holographic picture.

And like one of those magic holographic pictures ...suddenly I saw it, the white tell tale spot..!!

Percival Lowell Canal system.
As I looked at the Martian disk a snow cap was visible at the 5 O'clock position.

The snow cap stood out....  a sight not seen by my eyes since the August opposition in 2003.

Even though Earth probes have visited Mars, not one creature from our beautiful blue world has ever set foot on Mars......NOT YET!

Several probes have landed on Mars, relaying valuable information and data. But only in the realms of fantasy and imagination have we touched the lands of this red planet of Barsoom.

The Viking 1 Lander 
The view through my telescope was breathtaking...

Slowly I wandered off to thoughts of poetry....yet unwritten..

I was here....
Tonight I sit upon Barsoom.
I think of a time when the Earth was my home.

What matters now is the Martian dust reflecting in my human eyes.

And starlight falls... but not a photon do I detect 
I gaze only at the Martian soil and reflect..

Poem by Pembs Astronomer, sat on a park bench just outside Mars City - 5th December 2089AD.  :0)


 Post Script  
Last night I looked out towards the east and noticed Regulus hovering just above my neighbour's rooftop. 

Sadly Mars which is in the vicinity of Regulus was obscured by a slowly moving rather large gloomy cloud. 

It was too cold outside last night, and I have a bad case of the man flu at the moment, so back to the warmth of the fire for me..

I haven't as yet had a decent look at Mars since I wrote the above entry in my observation book, back in January of  2010..


  1. Oh my once again Pemb's waxes poetic! You certainly captured the main symptoms of Mars Fever with this post: awe, wonder, scifi, hidden beauty, lore & myth.

    Mars has a way of affecting us like no other world can. I know in my own experience I have had only a handful of really quality Mars observations - over the course of many years. There are times when it is in our sky and I do not even bother to look at it if the viewing conditions and its size are not favorable! Those few quality views spoiled me for good!

    This small world requires total dedication and persistence but when you get a good view........the poetry will flow!

    By the way the Lunar Eclipse was awesome from my USA western location. Wish others like yourself could have seen it!

  2. Hi SUG, how are you, hope all is well... :0)

    Yes dedication is the key word for Barsoom, like yourself often I don't bother get the scope out for Mars viewing, better to just grab a sci fi book and dream.

    I hadn't thought of it but yes your right, over the years I've only had a handful of successful Mars telescope observations...perhaps I should move to Flagstaff :0)

    Hey SUG nice Lunar Eclipse photos, looks like you had an excellent observing session. The Moon here in Pembrokeshire came up at about 4.00pm already with most of the eclipse over. Not that we got to see anything ...completely clouded out!!!! so annoying :0(

    The colour in your main photo reminded me of the beautiful total eclipse we had back on the 9th December 1992, the most magical red I have seen in any lunar eclipse.
    The Pembrokeshire skies were kind that night :0)

    Not much observing done here over the last month or so, to much wind to, much rain and a large dose of flu to round it all off.

    Thankfully the flu is no more...

    Nice to here from you SUG....catch you soon

    Pembs.... :0)