I got the opportunity to put some optics on the red planet last night. By 9pm it was high enough in the sky that the distortion caused by the atmosphere was brought down to acceptable levels for being only at 1000 feet above sea level. The scope is an Orion 203 x 1200 coupled with a 26mm eye price. Mars was quite bright. Hoping to catch a glimpse of one of its two moons they remained hidden. After adding a polarized filter one side of mars appeared brighter than the other. Was the brighter side the frozen north of mars as told by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the martian chronicles?