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Title: Demonstrating the Elliptical Orbit of Mars using Naked Eye Data
Author: Kevin Krisciunas

Over the course of eleven months we determined the position of Mars on 45 occasions using a handheld cross staff and two to five bright reference stars of known right ascension and declination on each occasion. On average the observed positions are within 12 arc minutes of the true positions. Given that we took data prior to the start of retrograde motion and well past the end of retrograde motion, we can easily derive the date of opposition to the Sun. We were able to derive the date of perihelion, the orbital eccentricity, and the semi-major axis size of Mars' orbit. We obtain a value of the eccentricity of 0.086 +/- 0.010, which is to be compared to the modern value of 0.0934. Values as low as 0.053 or as high as 0.123 can be rejected at a high confidence level. A simple dataset can be obtained with cardboard and a ruler that demonstrates the elliptical shape of Mars' orbit.

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 Mars Setting 21/06/12


Credit Ziggyztarz

Short Video clip of Mars as it was setting on 21st June 2012, using a Pentax X90 with 'anti-shake' and 26X Zoom.



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P1010001b.jpg
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Mars in the constellation Leo
Date: 10th April, 2012



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 Mars opposition 2 march 2012 (good seeing)


Credit SuperWolvy

Movie capture of mars though a C11 in a good seeing night. At the end you can see what can be done stacking hundreds of frames on each colour channel to obtain a colour image.



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Mars_2012Mar14


Credit AmnionDefensive19

34-frame time-lapse animation of Mars images taken on March 14, 2012. C-11 with TV Powermate 2.5 @ f/25 and DBK21A04.AS with IR cut filter



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Time lapse looped animation of the planet Mars Captured with a 100mm refractor and Vesta pro webcam + Baader contrast filter + IR-cut filter + 2x Barlow lens.

The martian polar cap can just be discerned on the upper left hand side of the disk.



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P1010009B-3.jpg
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Mars in the constellation Leo
Date: 18th March, 2012



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Mars 2012-03-05


Credit msenin
Made with Canon HG-10 camcorder, Meade ETX-125AT telescope, 14-24mm Zhumell zoom lens.



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Time lapse looped animation of the planet Mars taken at ~01:40 UT 5th March, 2012. (Images taken about 30 seconds apart). The seeing was excellent at times and some images were very clear, showing polar and planetary features. The images are digitally zoomed and unprocessed and show some glare and pixilation.

Captured with a 100mm refractor and Vesta pro webcam  + Baader contrast filter + IR-cut filter + 2x Barlow lens.



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Capture04_03_201201_07_54final.jpg Capture04_03_201201_06_53final-1.jpg
 Capture04_03_201201_06_37Final.jpg Capture04_03_201201_06_53final.jpg

Ed ~ i managed to get some images of mars after a good observing session last night, unfortunately the images were at the end when high clouds started roll in.
Visually, features such as the polar caps were easily visible using a 8mm planetary eyepiece and 2x Barlow on a 100mm refractor.



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