Mars on February 29, 2016
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First 2016 Drawing Of Mars
This year Mars will become better placed for observing than it will be for the next 10 years.  It
has been slowly growing over the last couple of months. However, until this morning, I had not
been able to make out any markings. The atmosphere was surprisingly stable under a thin
layer of high clouds.  When I first turned the telescope on Mars it was 53 degrees (F) at 4 AM
-- the warmest night out under the stars in a long time.  Although Mars is still very small, I was
able to tease out some detail -- very little and it did not come easy. This is my first drawing of
this year's Mars opposition, but it will not be my last.  Mars will get much larger over the next
couple of months -- can't wait. You will have to enlarge the drawing a bit to see the dark
markings that are labeled.