November 5, 2011

Six Am Trek: Marvelous Mars And What's That Star?

Punctuation, grammer and propper writting people .. duck! your about to be clobbered! No other way to write how I am feeling right now, at this moment.

COLOSSAL WOW!  Just came in (7:38am)  from an hours worth of  observing!!! MARS IS SPECTACULAR RIGHT NOW!  So exciting, observing is  SOOO  amazing!  OBSERVING IS AN EPIC LIFE!   I got up at 6 am  for Sophy's doggie mother nature call and  yikes I could not stop looking up. Too the right in the south west  Orion is absolutely  magnificently placed for observing with it's vivid bright stars. Too my left Leo was roaring along with Mars too the right and above Regulas. Wow what a show! There is a very vivid white star poping up in the early morning, it is being affected by the rising atmosphere and it moves  so rapidly it glitters. Catch it if you get a chance in your scope. Leo triple galaxy was a nice treat also this morning.  Very nice objects to hunt and capture in my scope.

After rolling out my 12 inch dobsonian 'Ambrosia'  I moved it too Regulas, wow what a sight. Then to Mars and wow what a planet to observe in this size of scope, Ambrosia was doing a beautiful job showing me that planet. I started out getting it   in my finderscope using my 26mm eyepiece, then I threw on my Antares 2x Barlow, then moved in just a little with my 25mm.

After that I decided to play with my filters and eyepieces. My eyepieces I used were my  Meade 9.7mm and Orion 10mm eyepieces. Then my planetary filters. Mars isn't quite close enough to really dig into the landscape as great as you can with Jupiter (pm planet right now) but the filters provided some cool contrasts. As the dawn's light started to grow I just threw on my Anteres ND25  Moon filter and that darkens the background sky.

Now,  onto the mystery star.  I could not figure out what that star is. I know the skies, i've been observing it for 12 years and I should know, ever puzzling. Venus is up at dusk, rule that out. Saturn is up at dawn but it is a twinkling white star. Rule that planet out too. The only logical reasoning is a star but it is unclear to me because my experience and observing books, maps and Starry Night program tells me Arcturus could be the only star big enough to be it. But the star is orange.  So after some research it is Arcturus.

Why the unclearness? Atmospheric turbulance is affecting it.  When it is close to the horizon  atmospherics will  interfere with your view of it, happens to even the best telescopes. According to star catalogues  Arcturus is classified as orange whitish. The atmpsheric conditions can make any star appear white. So I'm going to keep an eye out on it as the weeks progressed.

So I had quite the learning and adventurous time trying to figure that out, in my observing experience I have not had that happen. So it was really fun, and puzzling trying to figure it out. If your out early before dawn take a look at it, very interesting.  But yet .. it's SO WHITE so i'm still 5% puzzled.

This morning was a fun observation session and you can bet I will be under the stars tomorow morning enjoying them all over again. What a great way too start a day!


Morgan F said...

This was beautiful to read, impressive observing! Isn't it nice that there can still be mystery out there for us no matter how long we've been watching and knowing the skies or how much we know?

I think so!

Stargeezer Jake said...


Kyle said...

Good one morgan

Awesome Niteskygirl, I love your videos added, cool COOOL cool to actually see it!!

John Kramer said...

Great read! I need to set my alarm clock for early A.M. to catch is Mars and Regulus myself. Can't wait for Mars opposition next March.

John Kramer said...

Great read! I'll be setting my alarm clock early to catch Mars myself, and can't wait for next opposition in March 2012.

Sidewalk Universe said...

This was a great observe! Simple, profound, and fulfilling. Nothing like conjunctions of stars, planets and our moon. Always worth getting up for!

Nice story NSG!"After rolling out Ambrosia"! I like that for some reason!

Yea Mars is tough right now even with a larger scope. But seeing large scale surface markings of another world is a treat!

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Ron Knight said...

I love that kind of observing report, :) Makes nyou feel you are there with her observing :D

Ron Knight said...

I love that kind of observing report, :) Makes nyou feel you are there with her observing :D

Bob Abraham said...

Getting out the scope and eyepiece filters, Maybe see that polar cap.