The weather made a mistake last night, it was actually clear for a bit (between midnight and 5am). Just before packing up as it was coming light, I swung my CPC1100 round on to Mars, which is starting to become visible at a reasonable altitude ... it's still very small (around 6 arc seconds) but the gibbous phase and some surface detail was clearly seen.
So the new apparition of Mars has begun!
It will be an "unfavourable" opposition (Jan 29th) as Mars will be near aphelion, making the disc rather small even at opposition, but at least the planet will be nice and high in the sky for those of us in northern temperate latitudes.
First image: Seeing was poor and it was impossible to get good images in green or blue, so here's a monochrome Mars:
2009 September 09, 0440 UT, Celestron CPC1100, 1.5x barlow, Astronomik Planet Pro 742 IR pass filter, Imaging Source DMK41 camera. L=358 degrees; North is up. Looks like there is a dust storm in the northern tropical area near the sunlit limb - Chryse/Xanthe area.
Thanks, but I did better today (12 Sep) - the seeing was variable but reasonable at times & I managed to run off a set of colour AVIs. I'm way behind on processing due to other commitments but found time to process the infra red image which I will use for the luminance channel.
2009 September 12, 0445 UT, Celestron CPC1100, 2x barlow, Astronomik Planet Pro 742 IR pass filter, Imaging Source DMK41 camera. L=330 degrees; North is up. The dust storm is just visible on the sunlit limb.