Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Clouds held off, so saw Mars, M36, 37 and 38

Probably the best views of Mars yet. Didn't bother with filters, just kept staring and occasionally the air would hold steady enough to see not only the polar cap, but a dark area toward the other pole, shaped like Africa. Also darker halo around the ice cap. Colour was pretty too.

While I was waiting for the scope to cool and the wind to die down I had a good look around Auriga, and a good long stare at M36, M38 and M37, the latter being by far the most impressive. A rich cluster of evenly bright stars. Also found the very variable Epsilon Auriga, at about mag 4.

Finished the night with a quick look at Saturn. Although low in the sky, the rings looked great and could see their shadow cast on the planet surface. Nice.

Posted via email from Graham's posterous

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