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Well, inevitably I got a larger scope out this morning. The 102mm SkyMax is pretty easily re-positioned. I got out under the clouds at least an hour before I could see anything.




The Rigel worked fine up until around 04:00 when it was too light to see the reticule. I then had to rely on an Orion 6x30 RACI in the 7 o'clock position. Finding stuff without a sight on a Mak' should be an Olympic sport.




I couldn't see Saturn for a while but Jupiter was unmissable in the dawn sky. I could see the GRS. Sharpest I could get was 134x with a Meade 9.7mm Plossl.




I pulled all the stops out for a butcher's hook at Mars with a Meade 6.4mm Plossl. At 203x I could not only see the NPH, I could also see the bright white southern polar cap. The OTA was well cooled by now and I'm pretty sure I could also see a hint of some dark albedo features.




So I feel all funkytown ...



... but with much better dancing.

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As the jet stream seems to have missed the Midlands for a bit I went for another early dawn 102mm Mak' session.




I had much longer on Saturn and I could detect some orange-yellow colour on Titan. Jupiter was pretty clear considering. I used the SvBony 7-21mm zoom for both planets. No GRS this morning.




The big question was whether I took out the SLV or TMB 6mm for Mars. The Vixen has orthoscopic-like contrast but only 45˚ of field. 




The TMB won due to the bigger field. I'll go with the SLV tomorrow. I'm not sure how much more I could see at 217x as opposed to 203x but the southern polar cap is still quite visible. So I feel a bit like ...



... this.


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