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Mars from Willapa Bay

Started by hknytych, 08/11/2003 08:10AM
Posted 08/11/2003 08:10AM Opening Post
Went camping Friday and Saturday night at Bey Center KOA on Willapa Bay north of Astoria and opposite Long Beach, WA. Weather looked pretty cloudy following a heavy rain we had in Scappoose before we left, and the purpose of the camping trip wasn't to feed my astronomy habit. But I still grabbed
my Chinese 80mm short tube refractor and some lenses "just in case". Friday night on the bay was crummy, with clouds coming in early. I did show the moon, and some double stars to a few friends. Saturday night was pretty clear, however. The KOA had several extremely glaring sodium vapor
streetlights. BUT the seeing was very steady! We started looking at Mars at about 0630 UTM, and it was rock solid. Sooo, I pushed the little refractor to just about its practical limit using a 3mm radian for 160x! Allowing for the obvious chromatic aberration, the image was otherwise very sharp, and surprisingly pleasing. Syris major, with the hook on the end, was quite evident, as was, of course, the south pole. Tried both orange and blue filters, which offered no improvement over the unfiltered image. Finally some high clouds came in, about 0800 UTM, and the show was over for the night.

I may have to start considering one of those 4" APOs!

Howard K