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HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE PICTURE OF MARS

MARS

30th OCTOBER 2005


MARS WILL NOT BE THIS CLOSE AGAIN UNTIL 2016!

UPDATED OCTOBER 26th 2005


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ITEMS FOR MARS

MARS OPPOSITION INFORMATION

WHAT'S HAPPENING

The red planet Mars will not be this closes again until 2016. Even the smallest telescope to recognise its face and some features on the planet's surface.

FEATURES OF MARS, PROFILE AND STATISTICS

The disk (face) of Mars will have around 20.20 arc seconds of angular diameter (how big it is). 1 degree = 60 minutes, 1 minute = 60 seconds. Using trigonometry, knowing the diameter of the planet allows us to calculate its distance, and vica versa.

WHERE'S IT HAPPENING

Mars follows the same path as the Sun and Moon across the sky, except it has it own rise and set times. The rise and set times are similar to the Sun and Moon as in they don't change a great deal from day to day. So once you found the brightest, red star rising in the east, and setting in the west, then its easy to keep track of the planet. Rise and set times will depend on your location.

Mars, on the 30th of August will be 0.46406 astronomical units from Earth (40.63 million miles or 65 million kms). An astronomical unit is the mean (average) distance of the Earth from the Sun (149,600,000km).

The Red Planet will be in the constellation of Aries during opposition.

WHEN'S IT HAPPENING

On the 30th of October, Mars will be at its closest. This will provide the best seeing for telescopes
The red planet will be at Opposition or Conjunction a week later on the 7th November. Opposition or Conjuction means an alignment of 3 celestrial objects. In this case Mars, Earth and Sun will be in alignment with the Sun in the middle.

GENERAL SEEING

Leading up to the opposition, Mars will increase in size and brightness, and after opposition, reduce in size and brightness. If you're using a telescope, then the best place in the world to be is on, or around, the Tropic of Capricorn. Locations like French Polynesia, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, Noumea, Townsville Australia, Madagaska, Namibia, Rio De Janeiro and Paraguay to name a few as we travel east along the Tropic. At these locations Mars is straight overhead. Its more important to have Mars directly overhead (as much as possible) than to observe at the exact time when its closest. Having the planet overhead reduces how much atmosphere we have to look through. Incidently, it will be around the area of French Polynesia Mars will be at opposition while directly overhead. As we travel east it will be lower in the eastern sky at opposition.

MORE MARS INFORMATION

BRIGHTNESS

As Mars reaches its closest point, it will be at opposition (approx. lining up of three objects in this case Sun, Earth and Mars). At this point Mars will also be at its brightest, reflecting the Sun's light. Mars will be the brightest object in the sky (magnitude -2.3) except for the Sun and Moon.

More on:
MAGNITUDES

PHASE

0.998 - Due to the positions of the Earth and Sun, Mars's face (surface) will be near enough to fully illuminated, reflecting the Sun's light.

POSITION

The Mars South Pole is tilted towards Earth.


USING A TELESCOPE FOR MARS

TELESCOPE SIZE

Mars will be an excellent site for any telescope, 50mm and over in diameter. As with the general rule with telescopes - bigger is always better, as light gathering, magnification and resolution, all increase with size. Its important to note that due to Mars being so bright, large light gathering isn't necessary.

More on:
LIGHT GATHERING POWER

TELESCOPE TYPE

Even though a larger telescope is better, the type of telescope can make a difference to the clarity of the image when it comes to planets in particular. Refracting telescopes are preferred since they don't have a central obstruction caused by the diagonal (secondary) mirror found in the Reflecting type telescope. Also, the refractor is generally smaller, so the planet isn't excessively bright, blurring out the image.

REFRACTING TELESCOPE
mars


REFLECTING TELESCOPE
mars











More on:
REFRACTOR TELESCOPES

A closer look at:
REFRACTOR TELESCOPES

More on:
REFLECTOR TELESCOPES

A closer look at:
REFLECTOR TELESCOPES

TELESCOPE MAGNIFICATIONS

The minimum magnification needed to see details on Mars is around 80x, when the planet is at its closest. To work out a telescope's magnification divide the focal length of the telescope by the focal length of the eyepiece. These figures are commonly written on the telescope and eyepiece. To view the planets in general:

Plossl Type Eyepieces - Good
Orthoscopic Type Eyepieces - Excellent
Kellner Type Eyepiece - Not so good
Huygen Type Eyepiece - Not so Good
Ramsden Type Eyepiece - Not so good
Expensive Eyepieces! - All good to excellent

More on:
MAGNIFICATIONS & EYEPIECES

TIPS & TRICKS FOR VIEWING PLANETS

The amateur astronomer is rennown for finding simple ways to improve the image.

More on:
VIEWING PLANETS

TIPS & TRICKS FOR IMPROVING YOUR TELESCOPE

The amateur astronomer is also renown for finding simple ways to improve the image of their telescope.

More on:
IMPROVING TELESCOPES

GENERAL TIPS AND TRICKS

Easy ways to improve your viewing.

More on:
GENERAL VIEWING

STOPPING DOWN A TELESCOPE

Increased clarity, along with a longer focal ratio, decreased brightness and the ability to use the best part of your mirror is some of the advantages of Stopping Down a Telescope.

The technique is particularly useful on larger reflecting and refracting telescopes about 8" (reflecting) and 6" (refracting) and above.

Cut out a cardboard or similar disk about the same diameter as your tube. This will be placed over the end of the telescope (where the light goes in). From the disk, cut holes in the places where only the mirror sees (no obstruction). eg. between secondary mirror arms, around the secondary mirror, or even if your focuser sticks in too far creating an obstruction. Keep the cornering of the circles neat. Oblongs are ok. Each hole is now your mirror without the obstruction of the secondary mirror, arms and maybe focuser which steal resolution. Your new size mirror changes the focal ratio of the telescope to a longer one making it great for Moon, planets and Transits - as long as the subject is bright enough for you now, smaller mirror. Using circles in the disk makes it easier to work out your new focal ratio etc. Circles also allow you to choose what part of the mirror is used by rotating the disk.

MORE MARS STUFF

FLARES ON MARS

Fairly difficult, close observation will give larger telescope owners a chance to observe a rare phenomenon on Mars. Bright, star-like flares from different regions on the planet, which could be sunlight glinting off patches of frost or ice. For more information visit:

MARTIAN FLARE WATCH

STORMS ON MARS

Mars has many dust storms and can last for weeks. These can be to blame when the planet doesn't seem to give good viewing. The dust storms are also interesting to see.

CURRENT MARS DUST STORM/S


MARS LINKS

One of the best sites I've found on the Mars event is the Night Sky web site from the UK

NASA's Mars Exploration Program

NASA's Mars Global Surveyor

The Mars Society

Did life come from Mars? The Mars Meteorite

Exploring the planets

planet mars
BOOMERANGS
mars
MAPS

ITEMS FOR MARS

TELESCOPES DESIGNED FOR THE PLANETS AND MOON

Telescopes which have a long Focal Ratio are best designed for planetary use. Refracting telescopes are included as being good planetary telescopes. Larger telescopes will also have the advantage of seeing Mars clearly.

PHILIPS ToUcam PRO II PCVC840K
ASTRONOMY WEB CAM

Pro II 840k CCD CAMERA PLUS SOFTWARE

FOR ASTRONOMY OR JUST A GREAT WEB CAM

NEW MODEL NOW AVAILABLE
The Philips ToUcam PRO II 840k PCVC840K digital camera/CCD Camera can be mounted onto a telescope to produce images on your PC of celestial objects and more. The camera has the ability of seeing in low light, without snowing, making it excellent for astronomy.

Amateur astronomer using the ToUcam modified for long exposures:

ASH'S CHEAPO WEB CAMS


Effect of filters with the ToUcam:

DIETMAR HOERMANNSEDER'S ASTRO-PAGE


More web sites featuring images and information about the ToUcam:

GIORGIO MENGOLI

PAUL WHITMARSH

PHILIPS ToUcam PRO II ACCESSORIES

ADAPTORS
- 1.25" Threaded for Filters Adaptor $35AUD or $27US Unscrew the ToUcam lens and replace with this adaptor for a 1.25" diameter focuser. Now available anodised for $45AUD or $34US toucam_adapter







- ToUcam T Thread Adaptor $45AUD or $34US The ToUcam lens is removed and this adaptor is screwed in its place. It has a T Thread which allows the adaptor to screw onto our 40mm Plossl with T Thread, 2x Barlow/Adaptor/Filter, or Eyepiece Projection Adaptor.
telescope






- Eyepiece_Projection_Adaptors $45AUD or $34US The adaptor is of the common type which replaces the eyepiece in the telescope's focuser. These adaptors allow an eyepiece to be placed into the Adaptor for Eyepiece Projection Photography. The adaptors have a T Thread which screw onto the ToUcam T Thread Adaptor. eyepiece_projection_adaptor







FILTERS
The use of the correct IR (Infra Red) Filter makes focusing easier and reduces the bright stars to finer points. - Baader UV/IR rejection Filters $80AUD$ or $60US$ Spectrum Available. baader_uv_ir







- Inexpensive IR Filters to suit 1.25" Eyepieces $60AUD$ or $45US$ Spectrum available.
IR Filter






- Minus Violet Filters $110AUD$ or $83US$ Effects of the Minus Violet Filters can be seen on the web site below: http://members.chello.at/hoermi2/02_planets/02_planets.htm

BARLOWS
- Achromatic 2x Barlow (with T Thread)/Adaptor/Filter Holder $70 This Barlow is able to do a number of things. Firstly, its a achromatic 2x Barlow. Secondly, its a camera adaptor, which is T Threaded, and only the T Thread Adaptor is needed to suit your brand of camera or ToUcam. Photos can then be taken through a telescope at higher magnification without using an eyepiece. Thirdly, the Barlow's lens can be removed by unscrewing for true focal projection photography. Fourthly, with the Barlow's lens removed, filters can be screwed in. - Achromatic 3x_Barlow $60AUD or $46US
3x_barlow






FOCAL REDUCERS - Focal Reducers 0.6x $95AUD or $72US The focal ratio of your telescope is reduced by 0.6x using the Focal Reducer. eg. F/10 becomes F/6. A shorter focal ratio gives a wider field of view and shorter exposure times.
focal_reducer






- Focal Reducers 0.3x Extender (total = 0.9x) $30AUD or $23US(eye observation may be difficult) The Extender shortens the focal ratio of the Focal Reducer 0.6x even further giving an even wider field of view. focal_extender







40mm Plossl with T Thread - 40mm Wide Angle Eyepiece with T Thread $130 or $98US We are now producing 1.25" (32mm) diameter eyepieces which have a focal length of 40mm and a T Thread on the end. The T Thread enables many adaptors and T Rings to fit onto the eyepiece. The clear aperture lens is flat and positioned close to the end of the eyepiece, to keep it as close to the camera as possible, widening the field. There are a number of advantages to the system. Firstly, a wide eyepiece entry hole (clear aperture) of 26mm allowing a wider field of view for the camera. Secondly, low magnification which doesn't spread the light of the object as much. Magnification is derived by dividing 40mm into your telescope's focal length in mm. Thirdly, other adaptors are not needed to connect the camera to an eyepiece, only a T Ring thread. Fourthly, the eyepiece can still be used as a 40mm. Last of all, the system is less than half the price of other, similar systems. 40mm Plossl with T Thread











USB EXTENSION CABLES
- 5m Extension cables are available for $24AUD$ or $18US$. This extends the total cable length to 7.2m. Please contact us for longer lengths.

Free Download Software for modifying the ToUcam astronomical images:

K3's ASTRONOMY PAGE

Information and technical data on the NEW Model Philips ToUcam PRO II PCVC840K can be seen here: http://www.philips.be/Assets/Downloadablefile/LF_840-2368.pdf

HIGH MAGNIFICATION EYEPIECES

For those who haven't a high magnification eyepiece for the planets, we have a number available. Divide the Focal Length of your telescope by the Focal Length of the eyepiece to obtain its magnification. Generally, the higher the magnification used, the better the quality of the eyepiece needs to be.

The amount of turbulence in the atmosphere determines how high a magnification can be used. The maximum magnification which can be used by larger telescopes (8" or above) is usually limited to around 300x on a perfect night. Otherwise, as a general guide, double the diameter of your telescope in millimeters. eg. 70mm = 140x magnification. This may vary, depending on different factors.

1.25" (32mm) DIAMETER
Plossls
4mm $50
6.5mm $55
10mm $55

Celestron X Cel Series
2.3mm - $195AUD$ or $117US$
5mm - $195AUD$ or $117US$
8mm - $195AUD$ or $117US$
Other Focal lengths (magnifications available)

Celestron Ultima Series
5mm - $268AUD$ or $159US$
7.5mm - $268AUD$ or $159US$
Other Focal lengths (magnifications available)

Vixen LV
Please call for current Vixen pricing or see our Vixen Price Guide:

VIXEN PRICE GUIDE


Harry Siebert
3.9mm - $190AUD$ or $112US$
4.9mm - $190AUD$ or $112US$
5.4mm - $190AUD$ or $112US$
7mm - $130AUD$ or $78US$
Other Focal lengths (magnifications available)

Pentax XL
XL-7mm Spotting Scope or Telescope $470AUD$ or $255US$
XL-10.5mm Spotting Scope or Telescope $470AUD$ or $255US$
Other Focal lengths (magnifications available)


2X BARLOW / CAMERA ADAPTOR / FILTER HOLDER

$75AUD$ or $45US$
Back in stock are these marvelous 1.25" diameter adaptors. They are able to do a number of things. Firstly, its a achromatic 2x Barlow. Secondly, its a camera adaptor, which is threaded, and only the T Mount is needed to suit your brand of camera. Photos can then be taken through a telescope at higher magnification without using an eyepiece. Thirdly, the Barlow's lens can be removed by unscrewing for true focal projection photography. Fourthly, with the Barlow's lens removed, filters can be screwed in. - Crikey!


FILTER KITS

$75AUD$ or $40US$
Filter Sets: Red #23A, Green #58A, Blue #80A, Yellow #12
I've been asked a few times which filters are best for what. Here's the info:

NO. 12 DEEP YELLOW
Moon - Enhance lunar features.
Jupiter - Penetrates and darkens atmospheric current containing low hue blue tones. Enhances orange and red features of the belts and zones. Useful for studies of the polar regions.
Mars - Reduces the light from blue and green areas which darken the maria, oases and canal markings while lightening the orangish desert regions. Also sharpens the boundaries of yellow dust clouds.
Neptune - Improves detail in larger telescopes (11" and larger apertures).
Saturn - Penetrates and darkens the atmospheric currents containing low-hue blue tones and enhances the orange and red features of bands and zones.
Uranus - Improves detail in larger telescopes (11" and larger apertures).

NO. 23A LIGHT RED
Moon - Enhances lunar features.
Mars - Reduces the light from the blue and green areas which darkens the maria, oases and canal markings while lightening the orangish desert regions. Also sharpens the boundries of yellow dust clouds.
Mercury - Improves observation at twilight when the planet is low near the horizon and in daylight it reduces the brightness of the blue sky to enhance surface features.
Saturn - Useful for studying the bluer clouds and the polar regions.
Venus - For daylight observing it reduces the brightness of the blue sky. Occasionally deformations of the terminator are visible.
Comets - Improves definition of comet dust trails.
Solar - When using Mylar Solar Filters, this filter will give you true colour rendition.

NO. 80A LIGHT BLUE
Moon - Greatly enhances lunar details under dark sky conditions.
Jupiter - Enhances the boundries between the reddish belts and adjacent bright zones. Also useful on the Great Red Spot.
Mars - Very useful during the violet clearing. Helpful in the study of surface features and polar caps.
Mercury - Improves observation of dusky surface markings at twilight when the planet is low near the horizon.
Saturn - Enhances low-contrast details of dark shadings in upper Venusian clouds.
Comets - Brings out the best definition in comet gas tails.

NO. 58A GREEN
Moon - Enhances lunar features.
Jupiter - Increases the visibility of the Great Red Spot. Useful for observing the low-contrast hues of blue and red that exist in the Jovian atmosphere.
Mars - Excellent for increased contrast of Martian polar caps, low clouds and yellowish dust storms.
Saturn - Enhances white features in the Saturnian atmosphere.
Venus - Useful for Venusian cloud pattern studies.
Comets - Useful for brighter comets.


PAYMENT METHODS

- Electronic Transfer (Australia) Preferred Method
- Major Credit Cards ($5AUD or $3US$ Fee)
- Swift Transfer (International)
- Cheque
- Money Order (Australia)
- Cash

ELECTRONIC TRANSFER DETAILS:
Bank: PowerState Credit Union
Address: 147 Pirie Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Account No.: 00109743
Account Name: Telescopes and Astronomy
BSB No: 805001

SWIFT ELECTRONIC DETAILS
Bank: PowerState Credit Union
Address: 147 Pirie Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Account No: 1135601
Account Name: Telescopes and Astronomy
BSB No: 805001
Swift Code: CUSCAU2SXXX
(Please note - one number only in Swift Code)
Reference: "your name"

POSTAL ADDRESS
TELESCOPES & ASTRONOMY
PO BOX 292
O'HALLORAN HILL SA 5158
AUSTRALIA
EARTH


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Contact Us - telescopes@adam.com.au

Australian Callers: (08) 8381 3188 or 0416 123 096

mars telescope

mars telescopes








































		
			
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