April 5, 1995 02:30 UT
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

Apparent diameter: 10".1
Phase: 92%
CM: 62°

An angular size of ten arc seconds is sometimes cited as the threshold at which Mars begins to show meaningful detail in amateur telescopes. This observation pushes that limit with good results. The sketch at left captures Mars' appearance at 292X in my 10-inch Starfinder Newtonian. The north polar regions is noticeably smaller than it was just two weeks ago. It is rimmed by Mare Boreum with Baltia connecting southward to Mare Acidalium. A brighter region separates Mare Acidalium from Niliacus Lacus to the south. Nilokeras and Idacus Fons reach across the planet toward the following limb, foreshortened due to Mars' 92% phase. A dark albedo marking is visible east of Niliacus Lacus near the preceding limb.

Argyre I is doing a good impression of the south polar region. Low lying clouds in this impact basin are highly reflective and appear as a white marking along the south limb. The dark feature encompassing Argyre I to the north is Protei Regio.

Mars March 14, 1995


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