Martian Glitter Trail

Forums Mars Martian Glitter Trail

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    David Strange

    The last time I imaged a Martian glitter trail was back in the days of the perihelic opposition in1976 (I think!). In those days I caught it with an old Rollieflex Twin reflex camera on Tri-X. So I was delighted to catch it in colour last night, reflected off the sea in Lyme Bay from the cliff top on Salcombe Hill, Sidmouth. Although the red colour was not apparent to the naked eye, the glitter trail itself was very easy to see and quite striking. Image taken with Canon 40D and 28mm lens.



    I was intrigued to see this photo, and to hear of observations by David, whom I have not seen in many years.

    David’s comments reminded me of the advice to astrophotographers about capturing star colours on film (or electronically I suppose). Defocusing the camera lens reduces the intensity of the star image and allows the colour to be recorded much more clearly. I think there is an image by David Malin showing this effect, where star images were progressively defocused.

    As I recall, David has an excellent location. The former perihelic opposition could have been 1971, 1973 or 1975.

    The red colour of Mars to the naked eye was modified by the recent large dust storm, with several observers seeing a more yellowish tone. Now it seems more nearly normal. I would encourage this sort of observation.

    James Lancashire

    Nice image to obtain both point and elongated images. I’ve been struck by the brightness, visual colour and very low declination of Mars.

    There is a link to David Malin’s photo at

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