LtE in CMO #277

FromDonald R BATES

. . . . . . . .Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2003 1:17 AM

Subject: Bates Image 08/08/2003 - Good results




Please find my image enclosed from 08/08/2003. I believe this may be the best image I have taken this far. The local seeing condition has been average at best, but the large size of the planet's disc is a big help in seeing small detail.


Overall, Mars seems to have picked up a slight yellow haze, which has reduced the contrast of the albedo features. I tried to capture the softer appearance in my image. Comments are welcomed. I hope you have getting a good view from your side of the world.


My best wishes to all Japanese Mars observers.


. . . . . . . .Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2003 5:20 AM

Subject: Image 08/23/2003 - Bates


Dear Friends:


I hope the long awaited close approach of Mars has found you in good health, and with clear, steady skies. Thunderstorm activity has picked up here lately, with hit or miss opportunities to image the Red Planet. This morning I was able to grab a few decent frames, but did not have enough to provide a good SNR. In the eyepiece, the planet requires a good red filter to reduce glare and increase contrast. I tried my 3.7" Televue Ranger last night in addition to the trusty 10" Newt, and was disappointed in how little detail I could see. Only the SPC was clearly visible. Despite all the media hype, Mars does not give up its secrets easily despite being 25" in size. But, of course, that is what makes it such a fun challenge. Best to all as we enter the "prime time" of Mars observation 2003!


Don BATES (Houston TX USA)


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