OO VX8L f6 test 2
Click here to view sketch
After being somewhat disappointed with the views I experienced the last time out with my recently bought Orion Optics 1/10 wave pv (not helped by less than ideal seeing conditions), I decided to check the *collimation. I was alarmed to find that the secondary alignment appeared to be out by quite a bit! A longish *collimation process followed, if you want to read about it see * below the pic.
A quick star test before observing showed that further collimation refinement was needed and once this was completed I was ready to go.
Started observing at 21.15 and began with Jupiter with all four moons visible in my 10.5mm EP. As I refined the focus and waited the main bands showed lots of swirling detail in brief calm periods with the northern and southern belts also clearly visible. Then it was time for Mars. In this case house, which I usually curse as it hides a lot of the lower southern sky, was useful as it hid the glare from the full moon!
At first I used my Fuji Ortho x200 then I managed to push magnification up to x330 with my TV Plossyl 8mm barlowed. With refined focussing details became visible such as Syrtis Major and I think (I've never really studied Mars up until now) Meridiana Sinus running across the bottom and left side in the reversed sketch. The bright areas at the top, bottom and right are polar caps and the Hellas basin. I finished at 23.20.
This positive experience has given me the incentive to observe Mars on a regular basis now and learn more about it and it's major features. The journey has barely begun!