Friday, 13 June 2014

Barsoom is slipping away.

 It's now obvious that Mars is moving away from us. The red planets gibbous phase is now plain to see.

Due to the present size of Mars the polar cap wasn't distinct, and the whole planet seemed shrouded in a veil of salmon coloured mist.

So long Barsoom see you again in about two years time.

Saturn on the other hand was much better placed.....

The Cassini division stood out really well, along with five of the satellites, Titan Rhea, Dione, Iapetus (with averted vision)  and near the limb either Tethys or Enceladus  not sure which one it was.

Over then to M57 looked good in the 20mm erfle eyepiece bluish grey.

Epsilon Lyrae the double double of Epilon Lyrae in 9mm ortho split but shimmering.

Through the 40mm Kellner Albireo stood out a lovely complimentary yellow and blue.

I was really pleased with the Schmidt tonight.... no dew shield needed. 

Outside in the garden it was T-shirt weather, though a chill could be felt from about 23h30m onwards..... The clouds then slowly gathered  from the North West.

 Clear Skies


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Dreaming of Barsoom's Clouds

June 4th 2014  - 21h 30m UT  - Schmidt C8 Celestron x220 - A:III

Outside observing tonight at 10h 20m BST. Still not quiet dark, plenty of fast moving clouds, though with enough gaps to have a decent look at Mars, Arcturus, the Moon and Jupiter.

Mars is now noticeably much smaller, though the north polar cap is still evident and bright.

A white misty patch in the seven oclock position..... I wonder if it's a dust cloud formation?.

"CLOUDS!  imagine that   :0) .... yes maybe its a cloud bank"  my mind started wandering at this point....BARSOOM !!!

Jupiter next ..... washed out and watery, hovering as it did over Gilberts' house.

There have been many times when the neighbouring roof tops have thrown my planetary viewing into turmoil, tonight was one of them. Poor old Jupiter had an attack of the wobbles.

This year I have managed my fair share of sketches of Jupiter, so I can't really complain about this evenings wobbly Jovian dance..

It's by now 11.30pm and a cool breeze whispers its arrival.... I need to grab a jumper and wooly hat! .......maybe it's time to pack up Schmidt, and head back into the warmth of the house.

Tonight I spent about an hour circling Arcturus, Mars and Jupiter...  the time flew by quickly ...though I did  spend a fair bit of that hour Dreaming of Barsoom..

Haiku time......

the clouds of Barsoom
high above the martian soil
glinting in sunlight.

Clear Skies