Last updated: 30 September 2003

Subject:	Mars Observation with ETX 125
Sent:	Thursday, September 25, 2003 19:53:00
From: (dan hester)
I have written you before about some of my Mars observations with my ETX
125, but tonight was the   Grandest of All!

After weeks of bad weather, I noticed tonight (Sept 25) here in
Wilmington, North Carolina, that skies were especially clear.  Once
focused on Mars with a 40mm meade, I added a 2x Barlow.  Very Sharp. 
Wonder what else I can try?  I stuck in a 15mm plossel by itself. 
Perfect resolution.  I could see the tiny, almost dead center Southern
ice cap. Then skies became clearer still..and lots of surface markings
became crystal clear.  The planet was crisp and well focused.  Then I
added the barlow to the 15mm.  After a minute of fine focusing, Mars
stood out sharp and clean.  Finally, I realized some heat waves coming
off my roof just below mars...a slight breeze began to blow them away. 
I got out my 9mm plossel...stuck it in the barlow and couldn't believe
my eyes.  The planet was huge in the eyepiece!  Still Clear, but not
perfect.  I could make out the ice cap...then surface markings!   Much
larger and clearer than I had ever seen them before.  By11pm, it was
time to go...

but not before having seen the ETX 125 at its best!  I haven't worked
out the power with the 9mm and Barlow, but it's somewhere near the 400x
mark, i think.  It may never happen again, but one thing is for
sure...the ETX is fully capable of this power on the right night. 
Wonder what it would do with some decent eyepieces?   Good seeing to
all.  Dan

dan hester
Mike here: Magnification was approximately 430X.

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