Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mars Mars and Mars again....plus Ladder Astronomy

"It was a most clear and frosty night, enough to make Mark haul out the telescope... and it was so worth it. 
He saw the dales and vales and snow caps of Mars..... " 
From the journal of Mrs Pembs  25th January 2010


I make no apology for droning on about Mars...now is the time to drag out those telescopes and feast your eyes on the wonderful world we call Mars...

Observing Mars has dominated all my astronomy spare time of late, and for good reason.

The planet Mars is currently at opposition, and as such it will allow us our best chance of viewing Mars for the next 40 or so days...after that time...as far as good viewing is concerned, Mars and our planet Earth say goodbye to each other for another 2 years .

My attempts at photography:  What can I say  !!!!!


As you can see from these photos, my Martian photography skills leave a lot to be desired... :0)

I tried to connect our Nikon D50 via a x3 Barlow to the eyepiece holder of the Tal.....

It didn't take me long to realise why so many people use webcams and Registax software...


No way was I going to capture a Martian photo...Time to rethink....!!

I quickly decided to have a go at sketching.....


This is infinitely more interesting....  I simply use the Tal combined with the x3 Barlow and the 15mm Tal Kellner.

So far over the last couple of weeks I have only been able to sketch a few drawings....  

I then scan these initial drawings into PaintShop Pro and go to work on them digitally until I arrive at a fair representation of what I've seen..

Then I try to make it all look presentable...  :0)


So far this is the sum of my Martian observing.....







Ladder Astronomy.


Here in Simpson Cross many of the good observations of Mercury have been lost to me because of all the neighbouring houses getting in the way......

Last night I had a brainwave...!!!!  Use the ladder and climb up above the roof tops.........

It worked  :0)  

From the top of our ladder I could plainly see Mercury......  along with brilliant Jupiter and Venus..


Because of the neighbour's roof tops getting in the way, I reckon I haven't seen Mercury for at least the last three years.

Thanks to a bit of "Ladder Astronomy"  that's no longer a problem..