Welcome to the Communications in Mars Observations
CMO Since 1986

Issued by
the International Society of the Mars Observers
Last updated on
19 December 2020
at 02:20 GMT

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This web-site will provide up-to-date commentaries about
the world-wide observations of the planet Mars
in association with the recent issue of the
Communications in Mars Observations
(abbreviated to CMO) published by the
International Society of the Mars Observers
(abbreviated to ISMO)

The ISMO Advisory Board consists of
Donald PARKER (DPk), Christophe PELLIER (CPl), William SHEEHAN (WSh)
Tadashi ASADA (As), Reiichi KONNAÏ (Kn), and Masatsugu MINAMI (Mn)

On the other hand, the CMO/ISMO Editorial Board consists of
Tadashi ASADA (As), Masatsugu MINAMI (Mn),
Masami MURAKAMI (Mk; cmo@mars.dti.ne.jp), Takashi NAKAJIMA (Nj),
and Akinori NISHITA (Ns)

2020 CMO News

 E. A Dust Storm Occurrence at the Southern Early Fall (after λ=300°~Ls )

  On this 12 November 2020, many observers in Japan announced the occurrence of a dust storm near Chryse, which had been anticipated by the possible forerunning small but very bright dust event observed at Juventae Fons on this 05 November.
  The daily appearance of the initial phase of this dust storm looked just like the one occurred at exactly the same place in October 2005. Here we show you a montage comparing the images of initial three days of the dust event in 2005 and in 2020. The dust activity seems to be significantly influenced by the local topography.

  In the case of 2005, the dust storm spread over the region around Solis Lacus, easterly along Sinus Meridiani onto eastern Noachis as well, showing noticeable activity, though haven't developed to global scale. Should be paid attention to in the future progress of the present dust storm.
  It was since July 2003 that we could favorably chase the very initial activity of a large dust storm from our Asia-Pacific longitudes.

  Please refer to the report for the dust activity in the latter half of October and the first half of November in 2005:

( 15 November 2020, Reiichi KONNAI, Masami MURAKAMI )

 D. Detection of the shadow of AMEC

  Reading the article in Space Weather dated 24 October reporting "a dark streak in the Tharsis volcanic plateau", we reviewed the Mars images submitted to us, and found a couple of observers including Robert HEFFNER (Osaka, Japan) recorded similar shady streaks. Presented here is a WinJuposly prepared development view from the HEFFNER's image :

  As seen in the image, an obvious dark streak is extending westward from Arsia Mons ( 121° W, 09° S) toward the dawn terminator. According to Reiichi KONNAI, this is the shadow of AMEC or Arsia Mons Elongated Cloud (named by Europian Space Agency). Also, Humitake WATANBE of Nayoro Observatory on 10 October and Yasunobu YOSHIZAWA of Fukui Observatory on 13 October clearly captured the phenomenon on their images respectively : please refer to our 2020/21 Mars Gallery.
SpaceWeather : https://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=24&month=10&year=2020

  This meteorological phenomenon has been repeatedly observed since 2007 by ESA's Mars Express satellite's Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC). And the feature has also been recorded by visual, photographic and digital imaging ground-based observers since 1971. It seems that AMEC occurs almost daily (Martian) in the period λ=230°~305°every Martian year.

  One of the pioneering investigation of this orographic event was by Mike Malaska in 2009 :

  Besides some miscalculations for the dimensions of the elongated cloud, the contents and the discussions are still valid.

( 28 October 2020, Reiichi KONNAI, Masami MURAKAMI )

 C. Mars is Getting Closer

  Entering into September, aiming to reach the closest approach in this apparition on 06 October, Mars shifts to retrograding in Pisces after passing the stationary point on 06 September, approaches to the Earth along the reverse S-shaped motion in the sky as shown in the figure. During September, declination (Decl) of the red planet stays in the 6° to 7° N range. As the local culmination altitude (Alt) is [ Alt=90°-(Local Lat.)+Decl ] , it will reach as high as 60° in Tokyo.
  Mars' apparent diameter goes over 20 arcseconds by 08 September, allows the observers in the northern hemisphere to observe it under most favorable conditions for the first time in forever! The 20 arcseconds range holds almost 50 days to the first day of November.

  Recent remarkable advance in imaging/processing technology enabled us to take stunning quality of ground based planetary images. So hereafter, we would be checking submitted Mars images with great expectation and surprise.
  According to the Meeus Astronomical table, we have to wait the next over 20 arcseconds apparent diameter approach of Mars until 2033 opposition ; Enjoy your Mars observation in this precious apparition.

( 1 September 2020)

 B. Now in a Favorable Mars Observing Period

  Now in June, Mars is prograding in Aquarius, passed by Neptune on 12 June to go on heading towards Pisces. Mars' declination goes over 10°S to shine high in the dawn sky in the northern hemisphere, with apparent diameter surpassed 10 arc seconds by 12 June, appropriate to enjoy observing. The red planet now rises earlier, getting able to observe at around 2 o'clock AM local time.

  Martian season has already passed southern vernal equinox (λ=180°Ls ) to reach λ=220°Ls to show the interesting aspects of subliming/shrinking South Polar Cap. And the season is also for the dust event occurrence, requiring careful constant systematic observation rhythm to enable daily comparison with identical central meridian.

( 19 June 2020)

 A. Mars is Now in Scorpius

  New Year opened, the Planet Mars has moved from Libra to Scorpius, shining low in the southeastern dawn sky. The red planet went through 5 degrees north of its rival Antares to go on prograding. During January the apparent diameter remains as small as 4 arcsecond range, with the unstable winter atmosphere, northern hemisphere observers may have hard time to capture the planetary details.

  2020/21 Mars Gallery has already opened as the earliest observers had already started submitting routine observational data in the last October. Please click the banner to review.

( 18 January 2020)


 A. Crucial Loss

 B. A Biographical Note on Masatsugu MINAMI by William SHEEHAN

 C. Mars is Now in Virgo at Dawn


 Aa. It Was Our Pleasure to See the Planet Mars Came Back Now to Shine in the Morning Sky

 Ab. The 2018 Apparition of Mars Has just Begun

 B. Oxus Dark Segment

 Ca. Entrainment of a dust disturbance at λ=185°Ls

 Cb. Resonances at the beginning of June and aftermath.

 Cc. We here show how the overview of the Martian surface changed within a few days:

 Cd. The images here show several work from 9 June 2018 (λ=190°Ls)

 D. Notable dust disturbance seen at the following area of Sinus Meridiani down to the northern end of Margaritifer Sinus (including Oxia P).


 A. Conjunction of Mars with Neptune on 1 January 2017

 B. Dust disturbances at the Eos area around 18 January 2017 (λ=301°Ls)

 C. The Dust Disturbances continue


 A. Mars is Now Considerably High up in the Eastern Sky at Dawn

 B. The Planet Mars now Shines in the Vicinity of Antares ( α Scorpii) at midnight


 A. Great Loss

 B. The planet Mars Has Moved to the Morning Sky


 A. The Planet Mars Shines Now in the Morning Sky

 B. Don PARKER Leads the Mars Observation Race this Apparition!

 C. Occurrence of an Arctic Polar Cyclonic Cloud


 A. Conjunction this Year

 B. Mars is Now in the Morning Sky


 A. The Planet Mars Will be Closest to the Earth on 5 March 2012

 B. Protrusions from the Dawn Terminator

 C. End of the 2011/12 Apparition


  A. No Martian Opposition This Year

  B. Conjunction

  C. The Planet Mars Passed the Time of Conjunction with the Sun

  D. The Planet Mars Has Come Back in the Morning Sky

  E. The planet Mars will attain the apparent diameter δ=9.0"


  A. The Planet Mars Is Now Approaching

  B. Mars Is Going Away

  C. Establishment of the International Society of the Mars Observers (ISMO)

  D. Reformation of the Staff of the OAA Mars Section

  E. Animation of Mars in 2010 by Martin LEWIS

  F. Death of Professor Audouin DOLLFUS


  A. Mars Is Now to the West Side of the Sun just after Conjunction

  B. First Announcement of the IWCMO

  C. The Planet Mars Is Now Come Back in the Morning Sky

  D. Programme of the IWCMO

  E. Final Announcement of the IWCMO

  F. The IWCMO Has Been Successfully Held in Paris and Meudon


  A. First Announcement in 2008

  B. CAPEN Crater on Mars

  C. 2007/2008 Mars Apparition Ended


  A.  Mars is Now Back in the Eastern Sky

  B.  Welcome to the New 2007/2008 CMO Mars Gallery

  C.  Noachis dust has been entrained!

  D.  Origin of the Present Noachis Dust Storm

  E.  Subsidence of the Noachis Dust Storm

  F.  Resonant Dust Cores at Nilokeras

  G.  MIYAMOTO Crater on Mars

  H. Sean WALKER's Animated Globe in 2007


  A.   SAHEKI Crater on Mars

  B.  The 20th Anniversary of the CMO, and the 10th Anniversary of the CMO-Web

  C. The 2005 Mars Apparition Ended

  D. 2006 Mars at Conjunction

  D bis. Mars Now


  A.   The spc is coming, just before the southern vernal equinox

  B.   Now the season has come when the centre of the spc starts to deviate from the south pole

  C.   Noachis at λ=250°Ls

  D.   Solis L area at λ=300°Ls

  E.  Chicken at Mt Hamilton

  F.   Yellow Planet again at Opposition


  A.   2004 Lowell Conference at Anamidzu

  B.   First Conference on Percival Lowell at Anamidzu in 2004

  C.   Bill SHEEHAN

  D.   Mars Conjunction

  E.   Our planet has come back in the morning sky


 A.  First CMO Announcement in 2003

 B.  The 11th CMO Meeting was successfully held on 3, 4 and 5 May 2003

 C.  Spectacular Dust Storm was observed here in Japan from 4 July through 8 July 2003

 D.  Great! but Yellow Planet

 E.  The biggest Mars on 27 August 2003

 F.  M Serpentis still darkened and widened

 G.  December storm


 A.   Jeff D BEISH, ALPO Mars Section and Computing Section, visited Japan and kindly gave an interesting talk to the CMO Members on 24 March at Yokohama.

 B.   The CMO Editors interviewed Sanenobu FUKUI, now 86 of age living in Yokohama, and listened to his talk about his finding of a Sun-glint flare seen near Solis Lacus on 10 November 1958.

  1)  Bill SHEEHAN communicated a comment to us on the results of the water distribution over the Martian surface revealed by Odyssey's neutron spectrometer:
  2)  Tom DOBBINS (11 May) suggested us to refer to the S&T Site on Odyssey's result.

 D.   The 10th CMO Meeting:
  The 10th CMO Planetary Observers Meeting was held at Ina City, Nagano Prefecture, from the night of 2 August to the morning of 5 August 2002.


 A. Edom Brightening on 7 and 8 June

 B. Yellow Dust Cloud

 C. The 9th CMO Meeting of the Mars Observers was successfully held at Okinawa on 20, 21 and 22 July.

This Web-Site is
Edited by Masatsugu MINAMI (vzv03210@nifty.com) and
Maintained by Masami MURAKAMI (cmo@mars.dti.ne.jp) , and Akinori NISHITA .

Last updated on 9 July 2018

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First uploaded on 1 January 2020

What's New!

18 December 2020 at 01:28 GMT
(λ=333°Ls, ω=319°W)

Houston, TX, The USA

18 December 2020 at 01:30 GMT
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Houston, TX, the USA

17 December 2020 at 10:57 GMT
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Kanagawa, JAPAN

PDF CMO versions from #300 (Dec 2004)

Old CMO Index from CMO #174 (April 1996)
to #289 (April 2004) (in Web versions)

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First uploaded on 12 October 2017
Last updated on 23 May 2019

2018 Mars Projection Maps
2) Damian PEACH
1) Robert HEFFNER

First uploaded on 23 November 2015
Last updated on 14 May 2017

2016 Mars Projection Maps
1) Teruaki KUMAMORI

First uploaded on 1 September 2013
Last updated on 14 April 2015

2013/2014 Mars Projection Maps
2) Martin R LEWIS
1) Teruaki KUMAMORI

First uploaded on 1 August 2011
Last updated on 27 October 2012

Gallery Watching in 2011/12

2011/2012 Mars Projection Maps
1) Damian PEACH
2) Martin LEWIS

First uploaded on 3 April 2009
Closed on 29 August 2010
Revised on 17 September 2010

1) Teruaki KUMAMORI
2) Martin LEWIS           
3) Damian PEACH         

Click the icon  

First uploaded on 9 April 2007
Closed on 6 August 2008
Revised on 7 October 2008

First uploaded on 1 January 2005

Last updated on 26 November 2006
at 09:00 GMT

Uploaded on 2 January 2006

1 ) Bill DICKINSON       
2 ) Christophe PELLIER
(projection map, see LtE)
3 ) Christophe PELLIER
(polar regions, see LtE)
4 ) Robert HEFFNER     
5 ) Jan ADELAAR           
6 ) Damian PEACH          

Last updated on 15 October 2005
This Site of CMO Lowell Page was first uploaded on
15 September 2002

2004 Lowell Conference
at Anamidzu
(2 - 5 May 2004)

Last updated on 14 May 2004
Revised April 2007

Our CMO Web for the 2003 Mars images,
first uploaded on 18 November 2002

Final updating on 15 June 2004 at 08:30 GMT

Also click here for Director's Notices in 2003

2001 Mars Images after the Onset of the Global Dust Storm on 24 June 2001

The International MarsWatch 2001 Information
2001 Dust Storm on Mars!

2001 Mars Images up
until the major dust storm was onset

Here is a history of the CMO Meetings of Planetary Observers
first uploaded on 23 Sept 2002

c) Total Solar Eclipse on 4 December 2002
b) Solar Eclipse on 10 June
a) Our 2001 Leonids

On the Mars Observation Scheme Employed at Fukui in 2007/2008 (PDF 0.6MB)

Masatsugu MINAMI and Takashi NAKAJIMA
Mars Observations in 2005. Part III (PDF 1.3MB)
Masatsugu MINAMI
Mars Observations in 2005. Part II (PDF 0.2MB)
Mars Observations in 2005. Part I (PDF 0.8MB)
Mars Observations in 2003. Part II (PDF 3.5MB)
Mars Observations in 2003. Part I (PDF 0.6MB)
Mars Observations in 2001, Part III (PDF13.5MB)
Mars in 2001, Part II (PDF1.7MB)
Mars in 2001, Part I (PDF 1.5MB)
Mars in 1999 (PDF 1.9MB)
Mars in 1996/97 (PDF 73.1MB)
Mars in 1994/95 (PDF 47.8MB)
Mars in 1992/93 (PDF 44.6MB)
Mars in 1990/91 (Japanese only)
  (PDF 33.7MB)

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The Fukui City Museum of Natural History


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