From David GRAY
® . . . . . . . . . . Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 18:10:34 -0000
Subject: Greetings from David Gray
Just a word of regret that I have failed to send any Mars observations for this apparition.
For much of the most favourable weeks I was heavily involved in reconstructing the observatory roof which had become increasingly awkward to operate. Unfortunately the best weather opportunity to do this coincided with the closest approach. What views I had were often in rather poor seeing however. Prior to that I had the planet just becoming high enough to observe at the time of departure to work (03h. UT); when I had the frustrating experience of watching it with the naked eye on the bicycle ride to the bakery!
All is not lost though as I have some colour drawings I hope to send you in due course. A lot of the planetary work I am doing now involves judging colours of features and attempting to simulate these on the computer (Corel Draw/PhotoPaint 9). These are saved with the aim of applying the hues onto the usual pencil drawings, which are scanned into Corel Draw/PhotoPaint.
In the meantime there is some final calibrating of the printer before I am satisfied that what comes out matches as close as possible what the monitor shows.
Hopefully some good seeing will allow me further observations in the coming weeks.
May I wish you and the OAA a very happy Christmas and clear skies, with good seeing, for 2004.