Fourth planet in our solar system. The red planet.

This image was taken during the 2003 close approach on 08/28 at the Oregon Star Party.  The planet was at 27 degrees elevation (pretty low), there were forest fires new by, and it was very windy.  The official close approach was the previous day.

We took 20 frames each of 0.1 second red, 0.1 second green, and 0.2 second blue at f/40 with the ST8E and 12" LX200.

Previous attempt taken during the 2001 close approach (June 15):

Mars was very far south and very low in the murk.  I look forward to 2003 when Mars will be high in the sky.

This is an RRGB image.  I took 10 frames of 0.4 seconds for each of the RGB filters, and selected the best 3 from each filter.  The RRGB technique gave a bit better contrast, and did not seem to shift color about.  I used the 12" LX200 with a 4X Barlow to give f/40 into the ST-8E camera. Some unsharp masking was also used.

Taken  from my dome in Monmouth Oregon.

Previous attempt:  Apr 22, 1999 north of Coffin Butte near my home.

A single 30 millisecond exposure taken as the best from 9 shots. North is at 11 o'clock (just a hint of polar cap?), Syrtis Major is the left part of the "smile", and Utopia Planitia is the dark spot at 10 o'clock between Syrtis Major and the polar cap. Processing preceded normally with 2 additional steps: choosing the best image from the seeing frozen raw frames, and running a high pass filter at the end. 416XT CCD at f/10 with the 12" LX200. All 9 raw frames shown below:

nothing but a disk      
mushy hints of feature
real features visible      
clearest (chosen for
further processing)