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Observations of object "Mars":

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.1, 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: Mon Nov 3 23:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 906

This evening, I observed Mars at 200X. Mars now looks less than 90% gibbous. The south polar cap is still easy to see and it seems to have stopped shrinking. Land features are still fairly easy to see. I was hoping to see the appearance of the north polar cap, but the north pole still is covered with a polar hood.

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: fair
Time: Fri Oct 24 23:45:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 899

I observed Mars at 200X. The south polar ice cap seems to have stopped shrinking. I believe the northern ice cap may now be showing. Next week, I will make more observations to see if it is really happening. There is a lot of limb haze on the evening side of Mars. Land areas seem fuzzy and I am wondering if this is being caused by dust. I will check again next week about this also. Finally Mars is obviously gibbous.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.5, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 11-inch refractor   Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: severe   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Tue Oct 21 01:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 897

On Monday evening I paid another visit to Franklin & Marshall's Grundy Observatory, which is located just to the east of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I had wanted to see Mars through the 1884 vintage 11" Alvan Clark achromat at some time during this historic apparition and this was perhaps my last opportunity. High clouds prevailed early on with a few sucker holes that allowed some observing to take place but conditions improved a great deal after 00:00 UT (2003/10/21). My first view was through the Clark and it was, in fact, of Mars using a 26mm Kellner. At approximately 23:20 UT the planet was still too low for a good outcome but things did improve within two hours time. Jerry McClune, the telescope operator, had the 16" f/13.5 Boller & Chivens classical Cassegrain up and running. During the course of this October public observing session I saw M57, M13, M31, NGC 7662, NGC 7009, Neptune, Uranus, and the Double Cluster through the single-arm fork mounted reflector.Jerry had shown me how to operate the Clark on a previous visit last May and allowed me to star-hop to a number of objects. This time around I trained the refractor on Albireo, Epsilon Lyrae, M15, and Eta Cassiopeiae. It was more than a bit tough to locate objects that weren't close to bright stars considering the highly light polluted skies, the ancient long-focus finder scope, and the manner in which the big refractor is mounted. In fact, in a few cases I wasn't able to track down my intended target.As Mars gained altitude and the transparency improved I substituted a 12mm Brandon for the Kellner and was able to show the crowd the SPC and Mare Cimmerium when the CM was approximately 214 degrees. The planet displayed a phase of 91% and was obviously gibbous.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -1.7, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Dave Mitsky (e-mail: djm28@psu.edu)
Instrument: 6-inch refractor   Location: Steelton, Pennsylvania, USA
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: good
Time: Tue Oct 14 03:10:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 896

I stopped at a fellow Astronomical Society of Harrisburg member's roll-off roof observatory briefly last night to have a look at Mars through his 152mm f/9 Astro-Physics Starfire refractor. A 7mm Pentax ortho and a Wratten #21 orange filter provided us with some rather good views of the now obviously gibbous -1.7 magnitude Mars. The CM was 308.7 degrees at the time and the SPC, Syrtis Major, and other features were evident. Hellas was bright but so was another area near the daytime limb, another dust storm in the making perhaps. We also observed the waning gibbous Moon. The crater Gutenberg (the Lobster Claw) was well illuminated as were several interesting rilles and other features in that general area.

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: light   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sun Oct 12 00:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 892

Tonight, I decided to observe Mars in response to several reports from other amateur astronomers about the developement of a new martian dust storm. There is even a picture of the dust storm in the northern part of the Hallas Basin in Space Weather .com. At 133x and 200x, the northen edge of the Hallas Basin has an orange looking patch in it. It is not to difficult to see. It will be interesting to see if this dust storm becomes a planet wide dust event.

Mars (Planet)
Observer: Mike Pierce (e-mail: deltavega@lycos.com)
Instrument: 10X50-mm binoculars   Location: Marianna, Florida
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Fri Oct 10 01:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 894

I observed Mars through my binos and got a good ob of a reddish disk although it seems not as prononunced as in the past two months or so. My scope has been used up and spherical aberration is obvious as the setting glues have loosened. I will get another soon. I got 6 years out of a department store issue scope, not too bad. Looking into getting a 5" refractor. My ob of Mars was a once in a lifetime opportunity and due to to the failure of the optics in my 3" refractor, I missed one of the greatest apparitions possible. I would like to hear from anyone who had good sitings or did some CCD imaging.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -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: good   Seeing: good
Time: Thu Oct 9 00:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 890

Tonight, Mars at 200X showed a bright white cloud area on the evening side of Mars' limb. The area was in Elysium. This may or may not be a dust storm forming. Hints of the Syrtis Major blue cloud remains, especially over the southern portions of Syrtis Major.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -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: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: good
Time: Wed Oct 8 00:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 888

Tonight, I observed mars at 200X. Mars has now begun to go to gibbous phase. Syrtis Major was quite pronounced and it even had a purple hue to it. The border area of the south pole is very obvious just as Paul noted in his report # 887 to the AAOL. There are more than one mountain ranges in the vicinity of the south polar cap and this is what I believe both Paul and I are seeing. On the Martian north pole, the polar hood remains a pale blue color. As long as the north polar hood remains, the northern ice cap will not be visible. Limb haze continues on the evening side of Mars.

Mars (Planet)
Observer: Paul (e-mail: paul_ohstbucks@msn.com)
Instrument: 16-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Light pollution: light   Transparency: excellent   Seeing: excellent
Time: Mon Oct 6 08:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 887

Mars, once again was looking great tonight. Shortly after dark, seeing conditions really started settling down nice. I was able to view mars at 260x with a nice crisp image. I also viewed at 310x and 405x, but the image softened up and I lost the surface detail. The polar ice cap while very tiny was easily seen as a little white spot and the borders were sharply defined. The Syrtus Major region was quickly rotating to the extreme left and was easily seen. The darkened Sinus regions were easily seen at the central meridian. There was a particularly bright area north and west of Syrtus Major, and at first because of its brightness, I thought a storm was brewing, but then I deduced that it was simply the Hellas region. It never looked so bright to me before. I experimented with various color filters, and I always seem to fall back on yellow or red going for the surface detail. I have tried greens and blues looking for frost or limb haze, but I guess I dont really know what I'm looking for. The blue filter wiped out a lot of surface detail, and I'm assuming that Mars had some clouds hanging around. All and all, a great observation.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.3, est. to be in Aquarius)
Observer: Michael Amato (e-mail: abigmick@aol.com)
Instrument: 90-mm refractor   Location: Milford, Connecticut, United States
Light pollution: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Sat Sep 20 01:00:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 881

Tonight, my friends, Joe Cseh, Mike Dzubaty, Steve Borer and I took another look at Mars through Joe's refracter. The evening side of Mars had a large white patch embedded in in the limb haze. The northen polar hood still remains locked in position over the north pole. You can still see the south polar icecap, but it is now very small.

Mars (Planet, est. mag -2.6, 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: moderate   Transparency: fair   Seeing: fair
Time: Thu Sep 11 01:30:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 880

Tonight, a group of us gathered to observe Mars through a 12" dob. The eyepiece we used was my 9mm ortho eyepiece. The south polar ice cap is actually getting hard to see because it has shrunk so much. Both the morning and evening sides of Mars are showing considerable limb haze. The north polar hood looked bigger and bluer than it has in a while. Dark land features continue to be easily seen. We also turned our attention to the full moon. We observed the lunar ray systems of Tycho, Kepler, Copernicus, Proclus, Menelaus and Aristartchus. We also briefly observed Uranus.

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)
Observer: John Callender (e-mail: jbc@west.net, web: http://www.elanus.net/~jbc/)
Instrument: 8-inch Dobsonian reflector   Location: Carpinteria, CA, USA
Light pollution: light   Transparency: good   Seeing: fair
Time: Wed Aug 27 07:50:00 2003 UT   Obs. no.: 872

Wow. I'd had my telescope packed away in the garage while our house undergoes its seemingly endless remodel, but I dug it out last week, knowing I'd never forgive myself if I didn't take the opportunity to look at Mars during this opposition. Then I couldn't find my eyepieces, which were packed away separately! But then I decided that an event like this really justified a new eyepiece, anyway, so I splurged $70 or so for a Meade Series 4000 Super Plossl 9.7mm (nothing spectacular, I realize, but better than the cheapy eyepieces that came with my Celestron Starhopper). And then it was either cloudy, or I was on a sailing trip to Santa Cruz Island (beautiful dark skies, but no room for the telecope), or, on the first night back from the sailing trip, I was too tired to wait up until Mars was high in the sky. But tonight it was clear, and I waited up, and whoa! I only looked for about 10 minutes, but I was dazzled by all the albedo features that were clearly and distinctly visible, along with the South Polar Cap, of course.

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.

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