Choosing A Telescope
Telescope Aperture Considerations
Introduction to Planetary Sketching
Refractor Dobsonian Style Mounts
The Bonds: Pioneers of American Astronomy
Saturn's Encke Minima and Encke Division
Nature and Travel Photography
Recommended Astronomy Books
October 22nd, 2005, 6:05 - 6:30 UT, seeing very good (7-8, on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being best, or II on Antoniadi's scale), transparency 5.0. Central Meridian 21.04° degrees, Declination of Earth: -12.75. P.A. of axis: 321.80, Diameter: 19.93", Phase: 0.9838%, magnitude: -2.13.
TMB 7" f/8 refractor on Astro-Physics 800 mount. Magnification 396x with Baader binocular viewer. Filters used: none, Baader Red, Yellow, Neodymium Moon & Skyglow. The Moon & Skyglow filter is similar to a Magenta (W30, W32) filter in that it enhances both the surface and atmospheric detail.
In this sketch south is at the top, north at the bottom, following on the right (east), preceding on the left (west), with the planet rotating from right to left.
The dust storm that began on Mars in the Chryse region on October 17th moved south and filled the Valles Marineris canyon and then southward over Mare Erythraeum. In the sketch above the dust (shown as a darker shade of orange) has divided the northern portion of Mare Erythraeum from the southern portion. The finer detail in Mare Erythraeum appears to be subdued by the dust storm. The dust was visible also towards the Bosporos Planum and the following limb, where it hooks back around towards the preceding limb and into the Argyre Planitia basin. Mare Australe is visible in the South Polar Region as is a small South Polar Cap (SPC).
Limb clouds were visible along the following limb, while on the preceding limb Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani were prominent. Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani did not appear subdued as Mare Erythraeum did perhaps indicating that there was no dust over these features.
In the northern portion of the globe portions of Mare Acidalium were visible. The North Polar Hood (NPH) was blue in color, and appeared to have a small semi-circular feature in it. It reminded me of an oval in Jupiter's atmosphere.
I observed Mars again between 8:30 - 9:00 UT and noted that the dust cloud appeared to be spreading further to the spreading West of Solis Lacus as well as North towards the NPH than when I observed Mars a couple of nights before. This seems to suggest that the dust storm is still expanding. Also the small semi-circular feature in the NPH was in a different location than when I observed it earlier so it may be rotating with the NPH clouds. Most likely this was an opening in the NPH clouds that was showing part of Mare Acidalium beneath.