Ever had cigarette-smokin'-bambi meatloaf with meso-soup-sauce? Yummy! And Chernobylred makes the bestest sangria ever.
After dessert, we chatted for a while, and I brought my mom home. Back to casa del Chernobylred and some Mars-watching. Wow! At first, the view was a bit fuzzy because the planet was pretty low and passing through lots of murky atmosphere. Plus we had the 'scope parked on the deck, which makes for a shaky view when people walk around. Kij and Chernobylred went to bed before midnight, but Chernobylred's guy, Roya, and I stayed out until 2am-ish, and the views got incredible! We moved the 'scope to the bricked sidewalk and one person would sit at the eyepiece for a while as the other two chatted; didn't know Roya had had such an adventurous life!
We tried all kinds of eyepieces, but mostly used a 10mm Plossl and an 8mm Kellner (that's over 200 magnification, y'all). Mars was pretty darned clear by 1am, with surface features really obvious -- for example, the polar ice cap looked like a 3/4-view porcelain plate, and a massive surface feature right at the center of the planet looked like a giant eyeball with eyelids; overall, the planet looked as if someone had hit it with a world-sized shotgun, with lots of smaller burn spots all over the place. The view eventually looked just like those you see in photographs from Earthbound scopes, really nice. You could practically see the Russian colony up there!
Finally, to bed.
Thanks all for a wonderful night!