Rita is finally out of the gulf, and heading NorthEast. She left our area with Triple digit temps and a lot of people on the roads. I am ready for cooler days and nights! The moon finally shows up later and gives us a chance to view Mars and other targets in darker skies.
Reviewed charts and planisphere, before setting up with my 10" Dob in the front yard.
The past couple of nights I have been viewing the SW sky first, before Mars comes up over the trees in the East. Sagittarius is still high enough. Venus is still bright in the West and Cygnus over head. And a quick swing to the North East I can view Cassiopeia and Pegasus. Focusing on Mars you will see a bright yellow orange globe. With the 9mm eyepiece I can still pick out some grey, not too sharp, features. Blue haze along the north rim. I did not see the SPC this last time. After taking notes with a sketch of mars I shifted to the Pleiades, then to the Twenty four day old moon. Saturn was near but not above the trees at 4 am.
Moving along the Moon's terminator, there were several Craters and a mountain range in great contrast . Copernicus was the largest crater with a view of mountains nearby. Another clear night tonight! The weather for this weekend looks a bit on the "CLOUDS MAY ROLL IN" side. And there is another soon- to- be Depression churning in the Atlantic.
I have a theory about out current weather patterns that has to do with our Solar Activity and the age of the sun. We have had continued Solar activity past the 12 year cycle into the rest period. Add Global warming plus plate shifting, plus changes in our Magnetic input/output.... we have more numerous Atlantic activity and stronger storms. There must be a formula in there somewhere!
Mars should be with us, in good viewing position for 90 more days. Still on top of my target list.
Cosmic Engineering and the Movement of Stars
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