The Planet Mars on the morning of September 12, 2009
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe
Morning Mars Sketch
I was up very early in the morning observing and sketching the moon. When I finished I noticed the planet Mars was nearby the old crescent moon in the sky and since the atmosphere was producing good seeing I thought I’d have a look.
I was pleasantly surprised I could see a little more than the last time I looked so I decided to make a sketch at high power (362X). When I finished the sketch I later found I was looking at a central meridian on Mars of 36°- 40° longitude. So I was looking at: Mare Erythraeum, Chryse/Xanthe and Mare Acidalium on down to the North polar hood. From my sketch you can tell I was not seeing much detail but Mars is already getting interesting with four months to go until opposition.
At 6.1″ of arc and 229 million kilometers (143 million miles) away Mars remains a small target but soon it will be a regular observing target again.
6″x 8″ sheet of white sketching paper, a set of Crayola colored pencils, clean blending stump, and plastic eraser.
Telescope: 10″ f/5.7 Newtonian on a drive platform with a 4mm orthoscopic eyepiece at 362x
Clear, humid, calm
10:00-11:00 UT 9-12-2009
Oak Forest, Illinois