Mars Observation – 17th January 2010

It was another clear night for observing after midnight so I took the new scope out again for a little stargazing again early this morning. I didn’t look for Saturn this time as it was still hidden behind trees, and the Moon was not going to be up until sunrise….. so my target was Mars.

Mars (Click to Enlarge)

When you look at Mars, it is incredibly bright and it is shining an obvious red shade of color. With an apparent magnitude of  -1.13 tonight, Mars is the third brightest planet in the night sky……. Venus the brightest at a mag of  -3.91 followed by Jupiter at -2.05.

Seeing conditions were still not good tonight with a fair bit of light pollution lighting the sky. But looking at Mars through the scope is still an incredible view as the planet draws nearer to the Earth.

I still have to collimate the telescope a little better than it currently is, and once I do that I can then try and get a much closer view of Mars. But I am happy with what I see so far compared to the first time when I tried to observe Mars and was disappointed with what I saw.

Unlike the view of Mars  in the picture above, our view of the planet is a lot better with 99% of the planet’s surface lit. By June, this will have dropped down to 91% of the surface of Mars illuminated.

~ by sydneystargazers on January 18, 2010.

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