SolarPlanetary LtE Now for CMO/ISMO #15 (CMO #389)  

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¤·······Subject: Re: Jupiter 18th Sept

Received: Mon 19 Sept 2011 01:51 JST

Dear All


An image from this morning. Seeing was fair, good for short moments. 


Simon KIDD (Welwyn, Herts, the UK)


¤·······Subject:  Mars images (September 15th, 2011.)

Received:  Sun 18 Sept 2011 23:52 JST

Hi all,

Here are some Mars images from the 15th – the first set of the new apparition.

The Planet is still very distant, but some interesting features can be seen. Weak clouds extending over Tharsis and bright clouds around the NPC.

Best Wishes

Damian PEACH (Selsey, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Transit of Venus Project Newsletter #4

Received:  Sun 18 Sept 2011 21:16 JST

Dear all,

A new academic year has started, and it is therefore a good thing to give special attention to science teachers and their students, as well as others who kindle enthusiasm for astronomy in young people. But first two exciting news items.


Hubble Telescope will observe the transit of Venus

The Hubble Telescope will be used to observe the transit of Venus next year. The telescope won't be pointed at the sun however, but at the moon instead. Why? When directed at the sun, the delicate instruments of the space telescope would immediately be destroyed by the intensity of the focussed sun light. Safely pointed at the moon, the telescope will measure the intensity of the reflected sun light. During the transit of Venus, part of the solar disk will be blocked, resulting in a small decrease of sun light reflected off the moon's surface. This is a very special way of observing the transit, and is somewhat reminiscent of the way exoplanets are detected by other stars hundreds of light years away. For an interview with Space Telescope Science Institute Director Matt Mountain and a link to the research proposal of Alfred Vidal-Madjar, see the post by Chuck Bueter:


Development of Phone app commenced

Last week work has started on the development of our free phone app, which will facilitate our Measure the Sun's Distance Project, assisting you in timing the start and end of the transit, submitting your observations to our international database, and exchanging your experiences with others. First, a very basic version will be put together with only the most essential functions, which will be ready in about two months. For a test run, we are seeking volunteers who would like to test this basic version and give us suggestions for improvement. If you would like to participate in this test run, just contact Steven van Roode at


Educational resources

Not only is the transit of Venus a unique astronomical phenomenon, not to be seen again until 2117, it also has a lot of potential for science education, from kindergarten to college. No student should be denied a view of the transit of Venus. Likely, future astronomers will remember the 2012 transit of Venus as the key experience that influenced their career choice. On the Transit of Venus Project's website, you will find a new page with a selection of the best educational projects and recourses you can readily use in your classroom. Next to the actual observation of the transit on June 5 and 6, 2012, we also offer many opportunities to make your students acquainted with celestial mechanics, the history of astronomy and today's scientific frontiers. We would like to keep our survey up to date of high standard. If you know of any new, promising initiatives, or if you are working on educational material yourself, just let us know.


I invite you to join our group on Facebook to keep in touch with other transit enthusiasts. If this email was forwarded to you, and you too would like to receive our monthly newsletter, just send an email to  and we'll keep you in the loop.


Steven van ROODE (the Netherland)


¤·······Subject: Moon this evening

Received:  Sun 18 Sept 2011 08:42 JST

Hi all, Yet another clear night here with Jupiter and the Moon dominating

Here is a waning gibbous Moon, taken a few moments ago

It was taken through a 4 inch F7 refractor mated to a Canon 550D camera body


Jamie COOPER (Northampton, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Solar Images 15th Sept 2011

Received: Sun 18 Sept 2011 07:04 JST

Hi Guys  Here are a few from the 15th.  Reasonable seeing and awesome DS views.   I could see white "dots" moving across the light bridge in spot AR1289 .


Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Solar images 13-Sept-2011

Received: Sun 18 Sept 2011 06:24 JST

Hi Guys  here are a few 13th September images of some the MANY active regions.


best wishes

Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter with "new" telescope (15/09)

Received: Sat 17 Sept 2011 20:20 JST

Hi friends, Sorry for my long imaging silence these past months but I was without telescope. My usual 10" cassegrain always had weird optical problems on the secondary mirror that prevented it to perform as it should (wide turn-down edge, strong surface defects...). Last spring with a friend of mine who is highly skilful in telescope making, we decided to try a last chance "repairing", by modifying the optical design of the OTA from cassegrain to gregory.

The telescope of Gregory is an old, almost forgotten design (historically discovered even before the newton) that uses a parabolic primary (like the cassegrain), with an elliptic concave secondary, located after the focus plane, to the contrary of the cassegrain that uses an hyperbolic convex secondary located before prime focus.

As a result, the tube is longer than a cassegrain, but in return, the secondary is much more easier to figure... this was the main interest of the modification !

Now some 6 months later I'm happy to tell you that I own a successful 250 mm gregorian telescope. Each aberration visible with the cassegrain has been corrected (except the residual sphericity of course), and the star test is just very good, finally. You can see a photo of the instrument here (the added part is well visible ; the tube is now 110 cm long instead of 80 before) :

The telescope has two main characteristics for planetary imaging :

1) A very long focal length at prime focus, in order to avoid using a barlow (this was also because the secondary would be even easier to make). The final focal length is 7,9 meters (F/32). We had planned an F/28 only but it turned out to be longer (this will have consequences for the choice of camera)

2) Central obstruction has been downsized from 25 to 21 % only (actually the diameter of the new secondary with its baffle is even slightly smaller than the central hole of the primary).

I have been able to make my first images last thursday, though under average seeing conditions:

  (the set features my first CH4 images ever)

Now I'm just waiting for good seeing !

Best wishes,

Christophe PELLIER (Nantes, FRANCE)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter through a small scope

Received: Sat 17 Sept 2011 04:37 JST

Hi guys, Here is another wide view of the Jovian system, this time taken on 14 Sep just after a transit of Io which can be seen just to the right of the planet

 Taken at the prime focus of a 4 inch F7 ED refractor using a Canon 550D


 Jamie COOPER (Northampton, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 15th Sept

Received: Fri 16 Sept 2011 17:50 JST

Dear All


An image from yesterday morning. Seeing fairly good, had to wait for windows in the high cloud though. 


Simon KIDD (Welwyn, Herts, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 15-Sept-2011

Received: Fri 16 Set 2011 10:17 JST

Hi Guys here is a set of LRGB from the 15th jup was up to 44 degrees, seeing was fair and just on the borderline of sharpening as opposed to not sharpening, as it was 30 mins earlier.


best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤·······Subject: Mars 9/13, additional images

Received: Thu 15 Sept 2011 23:25 JST

Attached are my individual L,R,G,B, and near-IR images of Mars recorded under excellent conditions, September 13. Note the rift in the NPC.



¤·······Subject: Re: Moon 14 Sep 2011

Received: Wed 14 Sept 2011 23:50 JST

Great picture Jamie. It was a lovely sight wasn't it? Here are a some Moon shots from me, also take with a 4-inch refractor.

Moon on the 12/13th:

Moon on the 13/14th:

This version took advantage of some passing clouds to produce a blurred background effect:

Finally, here's a quick animated version which blinks between the first two images to reveal lunar libration:

Best regards,

Pete LAWRENCE (Selsey, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Moon 14 Sep 2011

Received: Wed 14 Sept 2011 23:42 JST

The Moon was beautiful last night. Took this through the 4 inch refractor



Jamie COOPER (Northampton, the UK)


¤······· Subject: solar images 11-Sept-2011

Received: Mon 12 Sept 2011 18:33 JST

Hi guys fast moving clouds made even 30 seconds imaging runs hard to get. There were a couple of nice proms on show. I particularly liked 1120ut, the ghostly figures rising from the solar surface it reminded me of Raiders of the lost Ark.


Interesting activity in the light bridge across spot 1289.  

 Best wishes

Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤·······Subject: Mars images 20110906

Received: Mon 12 Sept 2011 10:44 JST

Please see attachment.


Jim MELKA (Chesterfield, MO)


¤·······Subject: Mars 10 Sept

Received: Sat 10 Sept 2011 23:27 JST

  Hi,  Very bad seeing & 25 degrees above; PLS see you it. B.W

Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤·······Subject: Solar images 1-Sept-2011

Received: Sat 10 Sept 2011 20:16 JST

Hi Guys here are a few images from the 1st, grabbed in cloud breaks on one of "those" mornings. 


Best wishes

Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤·······Subject: solar images 2-Sept-2011

Received: Thu 8 Sept 2011 06:33 JST

Hi Guys here are a mess of Images from the 2nd a bit late due to Jupiter Imaging.  Plenty of action including a very faint large prom. One limb straddler prom and plenty of sunspots. A full disc mosaic image captures all the surface action.   





Full disc image was a Coro 90 ds scope .

 Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤·······Subject: Mars - September 5th, 09:21ut

Received: Wed 7 Sept 2011 13:07 JST

Hi Mr. Minami and Mr Murakami, Here is my most recent session on Mars from 5th of august under ideal conditions.

Efrain MORALES (Aguadilla, PUERTO RICO)


¤·······Subject: Re: Loop prominence images, 5th September 2011

Received: Tue 6 Sept 2011 18:32 JST

Nice work Pete, well detailed.

 Here is my full disk with the prominence in action. Located at the 2 o'clock position.


Paul HAESE (Glenalta, South AUSTRALIA)


¤·······Subject: Loop prominence images, 5th September 2011

Received: Tue 6 Sept 2011 17:56 JST

Hi all, A very active loop prominence was visible on the north-western limb today (5th Sept). Conditions from my site were abysmal with strong buffeting winds and squally showers bringing a halt to imaging on several occasions. Here are some of the rapid captures managed during the infrequent clear gaps...


Best regards,

Pete LAWRENCE (Selsey, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 3-september-2011

Received: Mon 5 Sept 2011 06:44 JST

Hi Guys, We had a spell of very good seeing on the 3rd, the trouble was Jup only got up to 40 degrees altitude, before the clouds spoilt things.  Oval BA is shown coming onto the disc.




Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤·······Subject: Jupiter J110902

Received:  Sun 4 Sept 2011 20:00 JST

 There seems no much variation at the bright part in SEBZ preceding the GRS.

Best wishes



¤·······Subject: Jupiter J110831

Received: Sat 3 Sept 2011 11:36JST

I attach several Jupiter images taken on 31 August 2011; last set of Jupiter images made in August. Note that there is a white cloud in SEBZ (around II=110°) in which I feel quite interested: It is a bit light also on the methane band image. The dark bar in the NEB is conspicuous, and looks variable.

Best Wishes



¤·······Subject: 2 Sept 2011

Received: Sat 3 Sept 2011 07:04 JST

Hi guys, Short and sweet session interrupted by clouds, Seeing shabby.  low alt 38 degs.


best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 2/9/11

Received: Sat 3 Sept 2011 05:18 JST

Dear All, An image from earlier today. Conditions fairly good, cloud occasionally a problem



Simon KIDD (Welwyn, Herts, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 1-Sept- 2011

Received: Sat 3 Sept 2011 05:01 JST

Hi Guys

Here are a couple of shots of Jupiter from the first of the month, with reasonable seeing at 44 deg alt.  Trutek RGB filters  Flea 3 + C14




Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Mike MALASKA's paper

Received: Fri 2 Sept 2011 23:20 JST

 Dear Dr. Minami, As I wrote in the LtE in Japanese last month, Mike Malaska's paper on the extremely long Arsia Mons cloud near the dawn terminator observed on 2 July 2009 by the Mars Express/VMC is very interesting, the discussion is most impressive. The article appeared on 31 July 2009 in the ESA/MEX/VMC blog:

PDF version of this report is also downloadable:

 The ESA/MEX/VMC blogger as well as the scientists at ESOC and ESTEC gave words of high praise for MALASKA's work. I'm afraid however, that something's wrong in the author's estimation of the cloud's length as 142km. The distance between the central calderas of Arsia Mons and Pavonis Mons measures almost just 800km. So that the cloud's E-W length should have been well over 1000km (see the image attached). The author used an Martian coordinate grid overlaid on the image and somehow calculated the cloud's 15° longitudinal span as 142km. Mars has approximately half the radius of Earth, so that its equatorial circumference is twenty thousand kilometers or so. Thus 15° longitude near the Martian equator covers 20000km/24…over 800km distance.

 Anyway, I think, provided the cloud's dimensions are corrected, MALASKA's discussions are still valid almost in every respect. It's really worth reading.


I am also attaching a montage of the MARCI images of the weeknoon cloud activities can be seen over Pavonis Mons area as well as Arsia Mons.

 Good Seeing with Excellent Scopes

 Reiichi KONNAÏ  (Fukushima, JAPAN)


¤·······Subject: Mars 2/09/11

Received: Fri 2 Sept 2011 19:36 JST

Dear All, A bit of an experiment this morning.....Mars was rather low in the murk at dawn, but relatively bright in the scope. A full colour run was looking unrealistic (the blue channel was a meaningless blob) so just used the IR filter and got the electronic crayons out to give it a hint of colour.


Simon KIDD (Welwyn, Herts, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Mars - August 31st, 09:46ut

Received: Fri 2 Sept 2011 13:08 JST

Hi Mr. Minami and Mr. Murakami, My latest session of Mars from August 31st, Clear Skies.

Efrain MORALES (Aguadilla, PUERTO RICO)


¤·······Subject: Re: Jupiter 01/09/2011

Received: Fri 2 Sept 2011 00:41 JST

Hi All, An image from this morning, seeing sometimes fairly good. Was surprised to see detail on Ganymede.

The dark feature could be 'Nicholson' but am not sure.

All the best

Simon KIDD (Welwyn, Herts, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 31 Aug

Received: Thu 1 Sept 2011 08:31 JST

Hello Guys,


 On 31 August the seeing was so faire in Tehran that I took some images with some details PLS see you them. Ciao

 Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN) 


¤·······Subject: Solar images 29-Aug-2011

Received: Wed 31 Aug 2011 04:49 JST

Hi Guys,  There were some interesting proms and phenomena on the 29th



If you take a look at the montage of 4 singles hot images, you will see a small flare starting up . Now take a look at the composite image of the same prom timed 07:49ut  before the flare started, where the exposure has been optimised for both the surface and the prominence. There is a "bulge" in the surface just before the flare.

  At 08:22 it seemed to become "electrified" for want of a better word, where it became spiky as well as the local surface. I have imaged this once before where a "cloudy prom" suddenly went "spiky" almost like a cartoon dog getting a shock.

  AR 11281 adds some interest to the prom imaged at 07:44ut, where the surface on the limb is very active.

 Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter 2011.08.30

Received: Wed 31 Aug 2011 03:39 JST


 From this morning, images saved out of a session starting with bad transparency due to high clouds of Jupiter at a top 60° elevation :

The NEB barge, 14° long, is very visible, with a small white spot probably erupting South of it. White spot Z is preceding it very bright. A white spot in the polar zone is also bright in methane.

GRS show here some details, the reddish band passing North of it and some other reddish material are totally invisible in methane, mixing with the part of the SEB which is not dark. Sincerely,

Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)


¤·······Subject: Jupiter August 29, 2011

Received: Tue 30 Aug 2011 07:36 JST

The word "steamy" might not mean a whole lot to the average Eskimo, but, for those of us who live down here in the Tropics, especially right on the coast, it has special meaning. When you walk outside you hit a physical barrier which is warm, thick and wet. At first there may be slight difficulty breathing. Glasses have totally, and I mean completely, fogged up. Everything you touch outside is wet.

   Walking down my wooden back steps this morning I could easily see my wet footprints on the steps. Did I mention everything is wet? This morning it was Steamy outside. Internet says 80 degrees, feels like 90 with a humidity of 92%. Thick, hot and wet. Steamy.

   The good thing about steamy conditions is that the seeing can be good, very good. It was near perfect this morning. Now, my 200mm apo cannot defy physics and show detail beyond it's theoretical ability but on a morning like this the view is just amazing. When imaging I could increase the size of the image on the screen to 200%, sit about 3 feet from the monitor and pick out fine detail. I had to use a hair dryer multiple times, for the objective, camera, and eyepieces to fight off the dew. I quit imaging about 5:50AM and set up the binoviewer. I used 12mm TMB Supermonocentrics with an AP Barcon (at 2.4X) for a magnification of 320. I'm certain I could have gone higher but didn't bother trying. The image was rock steady. Fantastic morning! But Steamy, very steamy.


Jim PHILLIPS (Charleston, SC)


¤········Subject: Prominence from 27 August 2011

Received:  Sun 28 Aug 2011 02:52 JST

Hi Guys I managed to grab just one prom this morning on the SW limb before the rain came.


AP 130 EDT plus 90mm Coro SS 

 Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤········Subject: More current BAA Mars reports online

Received: Sun 28 Aug 2011 00:20 JST

> Dear Observer


> For those contributors who are not (yet?) members of the

> British Astronomical Association I am writing to let you

> know that our BAA Mars reports for 2005 (in 2 parts) were

> recently published (in the June and August BAA Journals) and

> may now be downloaded as pdf files from our Section website

> at


> There will soon be an article added to the site about

> observing the current 2011-12 apparition; that article will

> appear in the October BAA Journal.

> Another two Section reports for 2007-08 will be published

> early next year, and the writing of those for 2009-10 are

> nearly finished, so that we have very nearly caught up with

> the arrears in publication.

> As ever I shall be glad to have any feedback about our

> reports.?

> With sincere regards,

> Richard McKIM

> Director, BAA Mars Section



¤········Subject: Solar images 24 August 2011

Received: Fri 26 Aug 2011 02:11 JST

Hi Guys here are a few images from the 24th including a Single Stack 4 frame mosaic of Ar 11271 and its surroundings, a single frame DS shot, and a prom with a straddling filament. Seeing was a bit off this day.



 Good old Registax 6 with its 140 box multipoint alignment. 

 best wishes

Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤········Subject: Solar Images 19th August

Received: Wed 24 Aug 2011 06:48 JST

Hi Guys, Fair bit of seeing on the 19th and also a fair bit of activity. 



We have three images of the two main active regions, one single stack and 2 double. The proms were SS.

 Best wishes

Dave TYLER (Flackwell Heath, Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤········Subject: Jupiter 22/8/11

Received: Wed 24 Aug 2011 06:28 JST


An image from Monday morning. Despite suffering two 5 second power cuts (annoying!) everything held together to get a couple of runs under the fairly good conditions.

This image shows, coincidentally, roughly the same face as the one from the 15th, some interesting changes have occurred.

All the best

Simon KIDD (Welwyn, Herts, the UK)


¤········Subject: Mars observations from SMk last 20th

Received: Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 7:07 PM

Dear Masami san,

Here attached the observations for Uranus and Mars the 20th Aug.


The few possible features are fading more and more with time now. However some sketch reported here.


Happy to collect the Sinus Meridiani in spite of the tiny disk. Chryse-Xanthe appears clear. Tempe area also with the yellow filter. The Hellas area also with the yellow filter. North pole area whitish. Difficult to say more with the present conditions.

For your perusal. Faithfully

Stanislas MAKSYMOWICZ (Ecquevilly, FRANCE).


¤········Subject: Mars -20th August 2011 at 09:26ut

Received: Tue 23 Aug 2011 11:45 JST

Hi Mr. Minami and Mr. Murakami, My latest session from august 20th, Clear Skies.

Efrain MORALES (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)


¤········Subject: Mars 15 Aug 2011 at 0350

Received: Tue 23 Aug 2011 03:37 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

 I sent this a couple of days back but it seems there was a problem - so please excuse if you've already got it!  I delayed as I had hoped for another this a.m. but seeing had become quite awful by the time Mars was available.

 I hope the format is suitable for your site as, to my shame, I have not submitted anything to you via e-mail previously but hope to rectify that in the coming months.

 Best wishes you and all,

David GRAY (Durham, the UK)


¤········Subject: FW: Sad news

Received: Mon 22 Aug 2011 01:40 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

   I appreciated your kind message.

   Well, we had the funeral on Friday; only immediate family—my brother Bernie and his family, and Debb and my two sons (Ben, my dad, was too frail to travel from Willmar where he’s in the nursing home to attend, but he did manage to visit Joyce in the hospital and say his good-bye.  It was all very touching; like something out of Shakespeare).  Mom now rests next to her brother and not far from her parents at Sunset cemetery on St. Anthony Blvd.  Dad will be following soon I’m sure.

   At the end of the service, which was lightly Catholic (there was a priest to say a few prayers—Joyce would have liked that—but no Mass) I read, or tried to read, a few lines from Auden which summed up some of my feelings on the occasion.

   “A cloudless night like this

   Can set the spirit soaring:

   After a tiring day

   The clockwork spectacle is

   Impressive in a slightly boring

   Eighteenth-century way.


   “It soothed adolescence a lot

   To meet so shameless a stare;

   The things I did could not

   Be so shocking as they said

    If that would still be there

    After the shocked were dead.


   “Now, unready to die

   But already at the stage

   When one starts to resent the young,

   I am glad those points in the sky

   May also be counted among

   The creatures of middle –age.


   “It’s cosier thinking of night

   As more an Old People’s Home

   Than a shed for a faultless machine,

   That the red pre-Cambrian light

   Is gone like Imperial Rome

   Or myself at seventeen.


   “Yet however much we may like

   The stoic manner in which

   The classical authors wrote,

   Only the young and the rich

   Have the nerve or the figure to strike

   The lacrimae rerum note.


   ***”Looking up at the stars, I know quite well

   That, for all they care, I can go to hell,

   But on earth indifference is the least

   We have to dread from man or beast.


   “How should we like it were stars to burn

   With a passion for us we could not return.

   If equal affection cannot be,

   Let the more loving one be me.”

Bill SHEEHAN (Willmar, MN)


¤········Subject: Re: Tanabata

Received: Fri 19 Aug 0:27JST

Dear Masatsugu,

  Just to let you know, my mom passed away on Tuesday at 2:15 a.m., so things have become perplexing here for a few days.  I will not have a chance now to write the essay on Hearn for next month as I'd hoped to do.


Bill SHEEHAN (Willmar, MN)


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