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Mars Attempt #2

I just came from my second crack at Mars. I'm under gorgeous dark skies, and even a couple of nearby streetlights do little to annoy me. My nemesis tonight was dew. I could get focused images of Mars at 240x, with some shimmer from the atmosphere, but my optics were definitely fogging up; even the telescope tube was showing the humidity. This didn't stop me from looking though, and I was rewarded with the icy glow of the Southern Polar Cap, shining like a diamond (or a National Guitar). Absolutely gorgeous. I was also aware of a large dark feature in the center of the disk, but the fogging was too severe to make out its outline. Now if we could just get some dry air ...

Update: The dark region, not surprisingly, was Syrtis Major. I learned this from Sky & Telescope's handy Mars Profiler.


Sounds like a beautiful sight. May the air be Saharan tonight.

Thanks! I think I'm going to have to find a dew remover--a small heat gun (like a hairdryer) with a DC power supply. These are readily available via mailorder but I'm going to see if I can track one down in person ...

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