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23-12-2009, 02:50 PM #1
is Post Olympics BluesI am:
Planet for December and January is Mars
Gets better throughout the month to reach its peak brightness and size right at the end of January.
In the Uk if you manage to get a break in the clouds look East/Southeast at about 11pm and you will see a non shimmering very obviously red/orange disc star like object that is the red planet - hard to think we have 2 little robots pootling about on its surface at the moment.
As the Month progress' it will rise earlier and get bigger and through binoculars be an obvious disc.
Now its a lot smaller than the massive gas giants and you'll be hard pushed to see the moons but through a scope you will see a small orange/red surface - take your time to look at it through a telescope if you have one as it takes some time for your eyes to become adapted but 'trust me on this' when you do start to see detail it can be quite astonishing you can clearly see dark patches of the rocky surfaces and the polar caps are obviusly white - but it takes time to 'learn' to see them
If and when I get a clear night and its not too windy I'll try and take some pics but its going to be a good'Mars season' as the planets ride high in the Northern sky in the Winter as we are tilted towards them and this means more stable atmosphere and clearer views
let me know if you need any help or think you can see him
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