Mars Map 2009-2010

Mars Map 2010
Mars Map 2009-2010
Sketch and Details by Kris Smet


i’d like to submit the mars map from the opposition 09/10 made from various observations through my 8″ & 12″ dobsons (both f/5 which is not really ideal for planetary observing) from my backyard in belgium.

mars regularly got high enough (up to 60+ degrees) to compensate for the mostly mediocre seeing here. there were a few nights of good seeing though, especially the evening of 01 march showed some very good to excellent seeing! i’ve attached that sketch too.

i only use orthoscopic eyepieces (university optics, 4,5,6,7,9,12.5mm) wich yield up to 250x and 375x magnification in the 8″ & 12″ scopes. i find them to provide a noticeably clearer and crisper image than various standard plossl’s, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg!

To increase more i use them in combination with a televue 2,5x powermate which has the additional benefit of sharpening the edge of the fov (a normal barlow does the same as well) which is very useful when using a dobsonian telescope. i can mount the 8″ scope on a tracking mount, but not my 12″ scope.
when seeing is poor, use is made of an apodizing mask which improves seeing drastically in my experience, but dims the view a bit, but that’s hardly a problem with a target as bright as mars through a 12″ scope!


i’ve made around 20 separate sketches from which i put together the map. i started sketching mars from june 30 2009, altough i observed the tiny 4,7″ disk during the morning twilight one month earlier. observing and sketching during winter can be hard as temperatures dropped to about -14°C (from where you live this may not sound very cold though) and you need to try to keep your head as still as possible looking through the eyepiece.

a rough outdoor sketch is redone and coloured with standard colour pencils inside, where it’s warm, on a template between 3 and 8 cm depending on the actual size of the planet’s disk. then it’s scanned, sometimes brightness and contrast need to be adjusted a little, and for the individual sketches a glowing background is added representing my view through the scope.



2 thoughts on “Mars Map 2009-2010”

  1. You’ve done a fantastic job on Mars!

    The sketches are a perfect rendering of what I see in my 12″ dob, the map is really a great job and by the way the long time dedicated too.

    Simply all perfect!


  2. Kris,

    Your work is always and has always been remarkable.
    Keep sketching and posting and others will follow.

    Frank 🙂

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply