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Observations made in the constellation Aquarius:

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.8, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Sep 7 03:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 878

This Evening, I observed Mars at 133X and 200X. Syrtis Major really stands out. I was not able to see the blue cloud of Syrtis Major. Limb haze is very obvious both on the morning and evening sides of Mars. The south polar ice cap is quite small now and the north polar cap still has a polar hood over it. Last night, my friend Joe Cseh and I Saw the whiteness of the Hellas Basin. We also observed two other smaller white cloud areas.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.9, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Mon Sep 1 03:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 875

This evening, I observed Mars at 133X and 200X. It looks like the polar hood, which was covering the north pole, has faded away. At times of good seeing, I think I am glimpsing a tiny white dot on the north pole. This cap should continue to grow as winter begins in the Martian northern hemishere. The southern cap is still shrinking. Syrtis Major was on the evening side of Mars, while Sinus Sabaeus was at meridian. The Hellas Basin looked cloud free tonight compared to a few nights ago.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.9, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 90-mm refractor   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Fri Aug 29 02:40:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 873

My frind, Joe Cseh, had me over to his house to observe Mars with his refracter. Using a green filter, we observed a bright area on the evening limb of Mars. I believe this was the Hellas Basin. There was also a white area just north of Sinus Sabeus and Sinus Meridiani. Since both of these areas were white with a green filter on the eyepiece, I am assuming they were clouds. It looks like the polar hood over the north pole may be fading away. We may have seen a small white dot on the north pole indicating the beginning of a growing ice cap on Mars' north pole. This is very iffy so more observations will be needed. Earlier in the evening, we also obsereved a -7 mag. irridiam flare.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.9, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Aug 26 04:15:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 870

The last two evenings, I was joined by my brother, who was in from New York City, to observe Mars. He agreed the north polar hood was clearly blue. He was also able to see the small dark patch that is abutting the south polar cap. This area may be a mountain range that is supposed to be next to the polar ice cap. Limb haze now seems to be on both the morning and evening sides of the planet. The land areas we observed may have been Sinus Sabaeus, Sinus Meridiani, Aurorae Sinus and Mare Sirenium.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.9, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 12-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Milford, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Aug 24 02:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 869

At a local star party, my friends and I showed the general public Mars through a 12" dob. The ice cap and land features were easily seen by the general public. About half the people were also able to see the polar hood over the north pole. The big surprise was how one of my friends was able to pick out Deimos. It moved considerably in just 10 minutes. We also saw two bright meteors. One was bluish looking and the other one was deep yellow. The big disappointment was my my futile attempt to collect a $10 fee from each person looking through the scope. Every one simply laughed in my face.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.8, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Fri Aug 22 03:50:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 867

Tonight, I put my overworked Orion 6" dob back on Mars. The evening side of Mars now has significant limb haze. The land features on Mars are now very easy to see. The south polar ice cap looks smaller each day. The polar hood, over the north pole, remains in place. Also, Mars shows a very nice disc in 10X50 binoculars.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.8, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Aug 21 04:05:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 865

For the last two evenings, I have been observing Mars at 200X. Using a green filter, I was able to see some limb haze on the evening side of Mars for the first time. There was only a little limb haze on the northern hemisphere's morning side. It still seems to tail off from the polar hood, which is covering the north pole. The south polar ice cap is melting faster than a tasty vanilla ice cream cone on a hot humid day.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 14.5-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: none   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Tue Aug 19 07:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 868

While observing from the Tuscarora State Forest on Tuesday morning (2003/8/19) I had my all-time best view of Solis Lacus, the Eye of Mars, through my friend Tony Donnangelo's 14.5" Starmaster Sky Tracker Dob and homemade apodizing mask using magnifications up to 610x (Tele Vue Nagler zoom at 3mm) and a variety of color and nebula(r) filters. We tried Tony's H-beta filter with good results but I wasn't as impressed with it as I expected to be based on recent reports.The seeing wasn't quite as good at a different dark site (near Halifax) on Wednesday morning but did support 352x (5.2mm Pentax SMC XL) with ease and the Eye of Mars was again portrayed magnificently, especially with a Wratten #23A filter. The Starmaster's Zambuto mirror once again did its thing admirably. And on Thursday morning I spent some time at the ASH Naylor Observatory using the 17" classical Cassegrain at a maximum of 259x (25mm Celestron orthoscopic) due to the poorer seeing. I stopped down the scope to 14" and briefly to an unobstructed 6". Appropriately enough a Wratten #25 red filter did a nice job on the Red Planet.An observing report on another forum likened Solis Lacus to the CBS logo. I can't think of a better description.Ed Grafton's image - http://www.ghg.net/egrafton/m8-21-03.jpg - portrays Solis Lacus rather dramatically.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Aug 19 03:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 864

Last night, I observed Mars at 133X and 200X. I noticed the limb haze on the morning side was only visible in the northern hemishere. It seemed to link up with the polar hood which is now over the Martian north pole. Land features were easily seen over the southern hemisphere. I believe I observed Mare Sirenium again. The south polar cap, although it is shrinking, is still outstanding. Dark melt lines, abutting the ice cap are still visible.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 90-mm refractor   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sat Aug 16 03:15:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 860

This evening, after I returned home from the salt mines, my friend, Joe Cseh, called me up to go over his house to observe Mars. We put his 7.4 mm teleview eyepiece into his refractor. The darkest land feature we saw was Mare Sirenium, which is located near the shrinking south polar cap. The polar hood covering the north pole is still there. I thought the polar hood had a blue tinge to it but Joe said it looked only white to him. After we traded insults about each others eyesight, we both observed what looked like a pencil line right along the south polar cap. This may or may not be a mountain range that is supposed to be located there. The limb haze is still only on the morning side of Mars as far as I can tell.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 17-inch equatorial reflector   Location: Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Sat Aug 16 02:45:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 862

Maura Smith and I had some great views of Mars from the Naylor Observatory. We used a variety of filters (an Orion SkyGlow filter, an Orion variable polarizing filter, a neutral density filter, and Wratten #21, 23, 30, and 80A color filters) sometimes stacked (the SkyGlow and Wratten #30 was a great combination), and 3 aperture masks of various diameters (6, 10, and 14 inches). Magnifications of 202, 231, 249, and 259x were employed. We captured a few good afocal photos of Mars with Maura's Sony digital camera as well. During the session the CM advanced from 116 degrees to 164. The Eye of Mars (Solis Lacus) was visible as was Mare Sirenum and some morning limb clouds.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: severe   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Fri Aug 15 03:10:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 858

On Thurday night my significant other and I did a little sidewalk astronomy for some of her neighbors using her 6" f/8 Orion XT6, 8-24mm Tele Vue zoom eyepiece, 2x Orion Shorty Barlow lens, and my 8mm Tele Vue Radian. No color filters were used. Mars looked surprisingly good through the little Dob at magnifications up to 304x. Mare Sirenum and other surface features were prominently displayed. Folks were excited when Maura explained what the SPC was. We also spent some time showing the waning gibbous Moon to the onlookers.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.6, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Aug 14 04:05:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 856

After two weeks of cloudy skies, I was finally able to observe Mars at 200X. Dark features are now easily seen were the south polar cap is melting. There is a mountain range along the area were the south polar cap is melting and I am assuming the melt line I see is the mountain range. The polar hood over the north polar region is now an aqua blue color. The polar hood connects with the limb haze on the morning side of Mars. The land features on mars were readily visable.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.6, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 17-cm equatorial reflector   Location: Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: poor   Seeing: good
Time: Tue Aug 12 03:05:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 857

After the August ASH meeting a few members stayed to observe Mars using the 17" f/17 classical Cassegrain at 218 and 324x with Wratten #21 and #30 filters. Mare Sirenum and the shrinking SPC were prominent.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.6, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 17-cm equatorial reflector   Location: Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: poor   Seeing: good
Time: Mon Aug 11 04:25:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 855

After a well-attended public observing session at the Naylor Observatory - see http://www.astrohbg.org - came to an end a few of us stayed to observe Mars with our 17" f/15 classical Cassegrain. The weather had been mostly poor earlier in the evening and hadn't improved much in the meantime but Mars was nicely visible nevertheless through occasional thin clouds. The seeing was rather good for the most part, perhaps in partial compensation by the weather gods for the poor transparency. We were able to view Mars until a bit after 05:20 UT when the presence of lightning in the distance suggested that closing the dome might be a wise decision.At 04:25 UT the CM was 199 degrees. The SPC was noticeably smaller than the last time I had seen it (2003/7/31 UT). Mare Sirenum, Mare Cimmerium, Hesperia, and a trace of Mare Tyrrhenum I believe collectively resembled a wishbone spanning the planet, running horizontally across the field of view. A bright Hellas was apparently making it presence known on the following (eastern) limb.Magnifications of 231, 249, 259, 324, and 404x were used along with a number of color filters including Wratten #21, #25, #30, and #80A.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.3, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Jul 31 05:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 850

This morning, I observed Mars at 200X. With the south polar cap contining to shrink, I am now able to observe melt lines at the south polar ice cap. The melt lines were fairly easy to see. I also noticed the morning side limb haze has diminished a lot. Syrtis Major still has a slight bluish tinge to it. Finally, the polar hood at the north pole is still in place.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.3, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 14.5-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: light   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Wed Jul 30 07:10:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 853

Tony Donnangelo and I observed Mars at magnifications up to 700x with his 14.5" Starmaster Sky Tracker Dob using his homemade apodizing mask and various filters. Both the seeing and transparency were excellent (perhaps the best we've experienced during this rather dismal year for observing) at the Longfellow Road dark site in Pennsylvania's Tuscarora State Forrest. The Pipe (Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani) was quite a sight as were Hellas, Syrtis Major, and the retreating SPC. My Tele Vue Genesis sdf refractor was also employed to view the Red Planet but at considerably lower magnifications.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.2, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Wed Jul 30 05:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 849

This morning, I observed Mars at 200X. It looks like the dust has settled down. Syrtis Major showed up quite well. In fact it had a slight bluish tinge to it. The south polar cap is still sharp and clear to see, even as it continues to shrink. The limb haze on the morning side of Mars is very pronounced and it extends all the way to the north polar hood, which is now fairly easy to see. Now for the bad news. Another Mars observer of ALPO reports that a new dust storm has started. He thinks it could possibly engulf the planet in a few days. I will take another look tonight.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.9, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Sun Jul 20 06:45:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 844

This morning, I observed Mars at both 133X and 200X. The south polar cap is still shrinking, but it is still very obvious. I think the the north polar region is developing a polar hood. It seems greyish in color. I was able to see some land features through the still dusty atmoshere. The darker areas on Mars still look fuzzy. I also observed Uranus at 200X. This time it looked more like a little orb rather than a disc.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Tue Jul 15 06:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 836

I observed Mars at both 133X and 200X. This dust storm on Mars is really making it hard to see any land features. However, I thought I saw some orange tone on some areas of Mars. Hopefully, This is a sign of the dust storm starting to abate. I did observe some brightening at the north pole. I could not tell if it was the northern ice cap beginning to grow, a developing polar hood or maybe just a collection of clouds at the north pole. The south polar ice cap continues to shrink, but it still stands out nicely. The limb haze was also more pronounced.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.5, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Wed Jul 9 07:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 833

I was able to observe mars at 200X. The Martian dust storm continues. I am continuing to have a hard time seeing land features on Mars. Although the dust storm itself is not a global storm, I still believe dust itself is spreading out and hurting our view of Mars. The south pole is still shrinking and Mars doesn't appear to be gibbous any more. With the naked eye and binoculars, Mars looks bright yellow with no orange tinge. This also is a sign of wide spread dust in the atmosphere.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.3, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 14.5-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Hazelton, West Virginia, USA
Light pollution: light   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Jun 25 08:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 825

Last week I traveled to the mountains of West Virginia to attend the Laurel Highlands Star Cruise (see http://www.lhstarcruise.org/ for further information). While there I observed Mars on several mornings through two 14.5" Starmaster Sky Tracker Dobs equipped with Zambuto mirrors. The use of an apodizing mask, Wratten #21 filters, and magnifications as high as 520x produced some stunning views. The SPC, Syrtis Major, and the gibbous nature of the planet were unmistakable.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 6-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Jun 25 07:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 824

This morning, I observed Mars at 133X. The south pole is now very obvious, even as it continues to shrink slowly. Mars seems to be about 95% gibbous. Limb haze continues on the right side of Mars, as seen in a newtonian reflector. I also observed three small white cloud patches on the face of Mars for only a brief period of good seeing. I also observed Mare Acidalium near the north pole and Aurorae Sinus near the equator.

NGC7293 (Planetary Nebula, in Aquarius)
Observer: Paul (e-mail: paul_ohstbucks@msn.com)
Instrument: 12.5-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Lee's Summit, MO, USA
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Nov 7 03:00:00 2002 UT   Obs. no.: 713

I decided to see if I could view the Helix Nebula from my light polluted back yard. I had to use binoculors to just get oriented since it is in Aquarius which is a fairly dim constellation. It lies within a pattern of 5 stars easy to see in binocs so it was pretty easy to find. I used an OIII filter to confirm its position. The dimensions are about 16x28 arc minutes so you cant miss it. I couldnt make out any real detail and it was fairly faint, but I was able to note the slightly darker center. When I removed the OIII filter it became completely invisible. My feet were getting cold so I decided to pack it in for the night without studying it to carefully.

NGC7293 (Planetary Nebula, in Aquarius, Est. RaDec 22h29m -21)
Observer: Thomas Godfrey (e-mail: choccy_bourbon@hotmail.com)
Instrument: 50-mm binoculars   Location: Norwich, Norfolk, England
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: good   Seeing: poor
Time: Thu Oct 19 21:00:00 2000 UT   Obs. no.: 581

Very low from my UK location but on a good night it can be seen as a large disc of uniform brightness with my binoculars.

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