Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Keep Looking Up

Over the weekend I was able to get a good look at Mars through the 120+ year old, 15.6 inch refracting telescope at UW Madison's Washburn Observatory. The skies were less than ideal, but I was easily able to make out the southern ice cap, and some of the dark markings on the surface. The disk appeared to be slightly larger than a quarter held at arms length. It was certainly no Hubble view, because of the cloudy skies the red planet appeared mostly gray, but it was still well worth the wait in line. Between Mars, and my recent Lunar Eclipse cum Jovian encounter, I am really hoping to be able to buy a decent telescope in the near future. Here are some other night sky targets if you've been bitten by the bug too. Of course, you can always turn to Jack for weekly naked-eye targets.