SolarPlanetary LtE for CMO/ISMO #19 (CMO #393)  

Not every email is necessarily cited in the PDF’s CMO LtE

To see the preceding ones, click

CMO/ISMO Index Page

The latest is at the top

¤······Subject: Jupiter & Io a shadow transit 2012.01.15

Received: Sun 22 Jan 2012 01:01 JST


Under average conditions:

IO is transiting around GRS, it's shadow following. We can see a bright erupting spot transiting at CM in SEB.

Steady skies,

Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: Jupiter images 14-Jan-2011

Received: Sat 21 Jan 2012 08:45 JST

Hi Guys, here are a few images from the 4th, taken in good seeing throughout the calm of the twilight zone. Ganymede came out quite well, and with the aid of the hi res moving map on this website, where the notation is readable. I have attempted to identify the two main features shown in the image.

Best wishes 

Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)


¤······Subject: Huge solar prominence 17&18 Jan 2012

Received: Fri 20 Jan 2012 17:32 JST

Hi guys

I thought that this structure may interest you, here is a submission I prepared for spaceweather but it did not make publication

I hope that you like it

My website:


Andy DEVEY (the UK while the location is at Almeria area Spain)


¤······Subject: Saturn, Jan 19

Received: Fri 20 Jan 2012 10:30 JST

Hi everyone,

Here is my first Saturn image for this apparition, the sky was clear and relatively stable this morning for the first time in months.

This is also the first image with my new scope, using a 16" composite mirror that cools much faster than my previous conical mirror, a Siebert 3x barlow and Grasshopper Express camera from PGR.

Saturn shows an interesting belt toward the north (at the top in this image) as well as a few harder-to-see storms at the mid-north latitudes. regards,

Anthony WESLEY (Murrumbateman, NSW, AUSTRALIA)


¤······Subject: Jupiter images 13-Jan-2012

Received: Fri 20 Jan 2012 00:38 JST

Hi Guys here are the first images from 4 days of good seeing,( I have been off line for a few days).


Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤······Subject: Jupiter 2 January

Received: Thu 19 Jan 2012 08:36 JST

Hi All,

       I have attached some belated RGB, CH4, UV and NIR Jupiter images from 2 January. Also a NIR image from 9 January.




Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: Coronal loop prominence                                       

Received: Tue 17 Jan 2012 08:09 JST

Hi guys I checked on Gong site this morning and saw these loops, which I rushed out and captured, Close up wide field and mosaic. But not all are processed yet.

AP 130 EDT + CORO 90 / BF15 / .7A

Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE 


¤······Subject: Active loop prominence, Jan 16th 2012                          

Received: Tue 17 Jan 2012 04:11 JST

Hi all,


I have quite a lot more of this which needs to be processed, but there was a delicate loop prominence visible on the Sun today, associated with active regions 1401/1402 which are currently rotating into view around the north eastern limb.


Best regards,


Pete LAWRENCE (Selsey, the UK)


¤······Subject: Transit of Venus Project Newsletter #8

Received: Mon 16 Jan 2012 19:19 JST

Dear all,

I would like to wish you all a happy 2012. The year of the transit of Venus has started now, and preparations for observing it are now well under way. But in January and February our focus will be on another celestial object providing us an unparalleled educational opportunity: the asteroid Eros.

New video trailer for the transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus is a new four-minute trailer written and directed by Chuck Bueter, with animation and video effects by Patrick McPike, Multimedia Artist and Technical Director at the Adler Planetarium. The video summarises the history and significance of the transit of Venus while preparing viewers for the June 5-6, 2012, spectacle. Starting with Jeremiah Horrocks’ first sighting, the story traces its value from early expeditions seeking to measure the size of the solar system, to similarities with transits around distant stars being detected by the Kepler spacecraft. In the background you hear the original song Morning Star by the band Transit of Venus from New Zealand, the ‘official’ soundtrack of the 2012 transit of Venus. A high-resolution version will soon to be available as a free download in full-dome video for digital theatres. To watch the trailer:

Three new authors for our blog

As of January 2012 there are three new authors writing for our blog. ?gota Lang is a physics teacher form Hungary, who will take her students on an expedition to Finland and Vard? to tread in the footsteps of Maximilian Hell and his assistant Joannes Sajnovics, who made the same trip 243 years ago to watch the 1769 transit of Venus. ?gota will keep us updated on the expedition and the projects she and her students will be engaged in.

Nick Lomb was Curator of Astronomy at Sydney Observatory from 1979 to 2009, was leader of the observatory's 2004 transit of Venus team and is now consultant astronomer for Sydney Observatory. He recently wrote a new book about the transit: Transit of Venus. 1631 to the Present (Powerhouse Publishing, 2011). Being the only author living at a place where the entire transit will be visible, Nick has a lot of interesting experiences to share with us.

Huw James is leading the Venus Transit Expedition, an eight week educational overland endeavour to the West Pacific rim starting in April 2012, looking to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers. The group aims to carry out the expedition, view and record the transit of Venus and filter content back to class rooms and living rooms. Huw already introduced his expedition on our blog, and over the next few months he’ll be updating you on the expedition.

Phone app ready by the end of January ? available in March

The phone app for the transit of Venus will be ready by the end of January. Then, after it has been approved by Apple, free versions for iOS and Android will be available in March. I wish to thank all of those who participated in the test runs for their valuable feedback!

The Eros Parallax Project

In history, two celestial events were observed all across the world to find the size of the solar system: the transit of Venus in 1761/1769 and 1874/1882, and the opposition of the asteroid Eros in 1901/1931. Coincidentally, both these historical important phenomena happen again this very year, providing an unparalleled opportunity for a unique astronomical outreach project. In 2012, we will be able to measure the distance to the sun from observing the parallax of Eros as well as from the duration of the transit of Venus, and compare the two results with each other and with historical data, all in only a few months' time. Like the transits of Venus, favourable oppositions of Eros are quite rare: only every 37 or 44 years the asteroid approaches Earth close enough to make accurate parallax measurements.

When Eros is photographed simultaneously from two widely separated locations, the position of the asteroid with respect to the background stars will be a little different on the two pictures due to parallax. If the amount of parallax is found, and the distance between the observes is known, the distance to Eros can be computed using trigonometry.

The Eros Parallax Project runs from January 28 to February 3. On each night you make picture of Eros (either through a telescope or with a telephoto lens) at 7, 18 or 23 UT, depending on your location. Then, using free and online software, you determine the celestial coordinates of Eros on your picture and submit the data to our website. From the data submitted by all participants, the distance to Eros can be deduced.

Participating is easy: take a picture of Eros, analyse the image and submit your data to our website. But is also has great educational value: all data and many pictures will be available afterwards for class rooms to process the submitted figures themselves. Next to enjoying the night sky, developing observing skills and gain understanding of our solar system, students will act like professional astronomers of the 1930s, giving them a sense of what actual scholarly work is like.

For further historical backgrounds and detailed instructions for participants, take a look at

I invite you to follow us on Twitter or 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.




¤······Subject: Jupiter 2012.01.11 and winjupos images derotation comparison

Received: Sun 15 Jan 2012 07:37 JST


Under correct seeing, images all resulting from WinJupos image derotation function:

Please note the bright white spot in methan absorption band in the North polar area.

As some people asked me, I made a comparison between images done with WinJupos derotation function and the best of the individual images used for this derotation, under each filter. The derotation images have been further processed (by a simple gaussian mask) to improve details while not rising the noise more than for the individual images.

RGB, R and IR clearly benefits from this processing, while the methane derotation image, even if showing the SSTB white spots, is less resolved on the bright white spot.



Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: Jupiter 9 January

Received:  Fri 13 Jan 2012 08:07 JST

Hi All,

       I have attached RGB and CH4 Jupiter images from 9 January.



Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: Jupiter 2012.01.09

Received:  Fri 13 Jan 2012 04:26 JST                      


Seeing was just average that evening, but i took the opportunity to test a bit more the images derotation function of Winjupos, along with the sequencer function of my acquisition software, Genika, which proved useful for this purpose.

The derotated images are always (a bit) better than the individual images, especially with the difficult CH4 filter for which the raw images are very noisy.


 Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: solar image 11-Jan-2012

Received:  Thu 12 Jan 2012 23:27 JST

Hi Guys


There was a very long prom on the limb yesterday: In fact its still there today .

Best wishes

Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE 


¤······Subject: Solar images 7-Jan-2012

Received: Wed 11 Jan 2012 08:06 JST

Hi Guys

 Here are a few images from the 7th showing the main active regions and a couple of prominences.



The limb straddling prominence in the 1209ut image was very bright so allowing a strong one shot image (as opposed to a surface plus prom composite) of it against the blackness of space and the bright solar surface.  Imaged with Coro 90 DS with 2x powermate.  2 frame mosaic to capture both proms on the flea 3 with 1/4 inch Chip.

 Active regions were Coro90 Etalon and BF15 on AP 130EDT at 80inches fl.  Seeing fair

Best wishes

Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)


¤······Subject: Mars 8 January

Received: Tue 10 Jan 2012 13:52 JST

Hi All,

       I have attached an RGB Mars images from 8 January. Prominent "Domino Clouds" over the four Tharsis volcanoes and Alba Patera.


Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: Mars on 07 January 2012

Received: Tue 10 Jan 2012 08:10 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

Attached is a set of images of Mars from the morning of 07-January.

I had to struggle with this one.  It was clear when I turned on the scope to begin imaging but as soon as I had Mars centered in the field of view clouds began rolling in from the south.  I waited for a good hole in the clouds and I finally got one about 30 minutes later.  However, it wasn't quite big enough and the about 80 percent of green frames and 60 percent of the blue frames were no good.  As a result the green and blue images are not that good.  I did manage to squeeze out enough information from them to get reasonable color for the composite.  Hopefully I'll have some clearer nights later this week.

Best Regards,

 Bill FLANAGAN (Houston, TX)


¤······Subject: Re: Happy New Year and thank you for a booklet

Received: Mon 09 Jan 2012 18:55 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

I thought you would have been interested to get the anniversary booklet "G V Schiaparelli" also if written in Italian, it is my pleasure to know that you liked it. I gave it to my wife because she returned to Japan for the New Year holidays to stay with her family.  She will come back to Italy on January 15.

I have tried to image Mars two nights ago from my country house near Rome with some friends, but the seeing was very poor and we could not see any detail on the disk. We will try again during the planet approach to the opposition. Thank you for still sending to me the CMO/ISMO, I appreciate it very much. Hopefully I will send you some good images of Mars this year. As you can see from attached images I have started to image Jupiter from last summer.


I look forward meeting you again in Japan if I will plan a trip by next summer, please send my best wishes to all CMO friends and have a very good Mars observing season.

With my best regards,



¤······Subject: Mars - Jan. 2nd, 2012

Received: Mon 09 Jan 2012 11:44 JST

Hi Minami and Murakami, My first post for this year from january 2, 2012.



¤······Subject: Mars Images - Jan. 4 and Jan. 7

Received: Mon 09 Jan 2012 10:37 JST


Attached are Mars images from January 4 and January 7.

 Seeing was very bad on Jan. 4 so I was only able to capture an IR image.  The seeing on Jan. 7 was below average, but at least I was able to capture RGB as well as IR images.  I am also including an animated gif of all the red frames I captured that night from 7:57UT to 9:11UT.  The animation allows detail to be visible which otherwise would be overlooked in a still image.


I would also like to make a correction to the images I submitted for Oct. 31, Dec. 2, Dec. 12, Dec. 18, Dec. 27, and Dec. 29.  All these images state that they were resized 300%.  The image captions should state that they were resized 225% instead.  All the other information in those images is correct.  I am therefore not re-submitting any of those images.


 Peter GORCZYNSKI (Oxford, CT)


¤······Subject: Re: Mars 2 January

Received: Mon 09 Jan 2012 07:12 JST

Yeah, looks like the same old Barsoom, Don, that we knew so well as a hoppy. 

 Jeff BEISH (We The People We The People)


¤······Subject: Donald Parker has sent you an eCard from

Received: Mon 09 Jan 2012 06:58 JST

Donald Parker ( has sent you an eCard. 

To view your eCard, choose from the options below.

Click on the following link:

Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: Mars 2 January

Received: Mon 09 Jan 2012 06:52 JST

Hi All,

       I have attached an RGB Mars image from 2 January. Lots of clouds over Elysium-Ætheria.


Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: Mars: January 7, 2012

Received: Sun 08 Jan 2012 15:03 JST

Hi -

      I have attached my latest image of Mars January 7, 2012 to be posted.


 Frank J MELILLO (Holtsville, NY)


¤······Subject: solar images 6-Jan-2012

Received: Sun 08 Jan 2012 04:46 JST

Hi Guys

 Happy new year all.

 Here are a trio of images from the 6th, of quite spectacular goings on. 


Best wishes

Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE


¤······Subject: Re: Jupiter 2012.01.03

Received: Sat 07 Jan 2012 05:59 JST

Hi Marc,

your images show a very small NEB. That reminds me to the dimming of SEB. Maybe we see here the Beginning of some kind of NEB fading? Keep on observing.

Here in south Germany we had mad weather during the last week and I could not observe Jupiter. Thanks for sharing your images. :-))

From my home it will be difficult to observe Jupiter the rest of its evening sight. Warm air from House heating bubbles out of the chimneys on the rooftops of my neighbours houses. :-((...

But from the Observatory I hope to get some more images, even if I had to capture them during dawn ...


 Silvia KOWOLLIK (Ludwigsburg, GERMANY)


¤······Subject: mars 5 jan.

Received: Sat 07 Jan 2012 05:15 JST


This is first image from new year seeing was poor atmosphere was so so PLS see it


 Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤······Subject: Best wishes !!!

Received: Sat 07 Jan 2012 04:43 JST


Best wishes for the NEW YEAR !!!


Gérard TEICHERT (Hattstatt, FRANCE)




¤······Subject: mars sketch 04/01/'12

Received: Fri 06 Jan 2012 05:33JST

Hi, here is my sketch from january 04

Date: january 04

Time:  06:00 UT


instrument: 12" f/5 dobson

magnification: 215×

seeing: average

filters: no colour filters used, apodizing mask used



Kris SMET (Bornem, BELGIUM)


¤······Subject: Jupiter 2012.01.03

Received: Thu 05 Jan 2012 04:17 JST


First I wish you all and your families all the best for the New Year. Let Earth's weather be less cloudy and turbulent, and the other planets' offer us many (anti)cyclones, vortexes, storms or dust ;)

Here is an image made under average conditions, between clouds. It gave me the opportunity to do a first test of winjupos' images derotation function:


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)


¤······ Subject: Mars 2011 Dec 19

Received: Thu 05 Jan 2012 00:33 JST

Dear colleagues,

Attaching the latest image of Mars from my side, acquired 2011 Dec 19. Cloudy, warm and frequently stormy weather here! Winter seems a far way off.

All the best,

Johan WARELL (Skivarp, SWEDEN)


¤······Subject: Recent Drawings

Received: Wed 04 Jan 2012 22:27 JST

Dear Masatsugu and Masami, These are the recent drawings of Mars made by the use of a new 30cm SCT at ×500.

Reiichi KONNAÏ (Fukushima, JAPAN)


¤······Subject: Mars Image - Jan. 3

Received: Wed 04 Jan 2012 11:31 JST


Attached is an image from January 3.  Seeing was less than average with a moderate wind blowing things around.


Peter GORCZYNSKI (Oxford, CT)


¤······Subject: Mars on 03 January 2012

Received: Wed 04 Jan 2012 07:14 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

Attached is a set of images of Mars from this morning, 03-January.  I hope the weather there is clearing some for you and the rest of the observers in Fukui Prefecture!


Bill FLANAGAN (Houston, TX)


¤······Subject: Full solar disk - 2012-01-02

Received: Tue 03 Jan 2012 21:28 JST

Hi all,

A lovely sunny day in Selsey yesterday (contrasted with gales and rain today!). The scope is virtually horizontal at this time of year with the Sun at a low altitude for me even when on the meridian. The seeing was actually quite good though - again in contrast with the night time seeing that followed, which was terrible.

Lots of activity still on view, the northern hemisphere dominated by large filaments while the southern is populated by vast active regions. The image linked below is a hand stitched 12-pane mosaic, taken using a 70mm Solarscope SF70 filter set (double stacked).

Best regards,

Pete LAWRENCE (Selsey, the UK)


¤······Subject: Mars 31 Dec.

Received: Tue 03 Jan 2012 06:37 JST


 End of 2011 I took one image of Mars though seeing was poor. PLS see it.

Best Wishes

 Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤······Subject: Mars 1-1-2012

Received: Tue 03 Jan 2012 03:22 JST

Dear, Masatsugu and Masami,

  Attached is an image of Mars from new years day. I used the 25.4 f/12 refl., 2×barlow, Baader minus IR, Imaging Source camera, Registax 5 and Photoshop CS2.

 I hope you are well and Happy New Year! Thank You for the CMOs!


Randy TATUM (Henrico, VA)


¤······Subject: Happy Birthday

Received: Mon 02 Jan 2012 21:03 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

Thank you for your e-mail, and congratulations on your birthday!


It makes me sad, though, to hear that you have to suffer so much. Surely the swallowing problems must be very, very bothersome. (Not to mention all the other things that plague you, of course.)


No, in fact we did NOT have a white Christmas in Denmark this year. Far from it! The outdoor temperature was around 7-8° C, and it had been like that for several weeks in December. Not so romantic to look at - but good for the traffic!


My own condition is practically unchanged, which should come as no surprise. Maybe I've learned to resign a little more than the last time we spoke, which is good, of course; basically, I consider my life to be over, and that's that!


My children are doing well, fortunately. I feel pretty sure that I told you this before, but Gabriel (who got his Master's degree in computer science from the university back in 2007) is working for a Danish IT consulting firm as a consultant, helping to design and implement new software systems for his firm's customers, who are mainly really big Danish firms/companies. He is very satisfied with his job. - Mira, whom you never met (for good reasons!), is now 17 years old and attending high school. She loves music and is quite a talented singer; she wants to continue studying singing at the Academy of Music after she has graduated from high school.


If you one day have a few moments (~5 minutes) to spare, and absolutely nothing else to do, you can actually see and hear Mira perform on YouTube, if you're familiar with that? She has put several videos there. You might want to visit and then use the search word "mira siegel". I especially recommend the songs "Fix You" or "Trouble", both because they're good and because the videos were shot in our living room, with Mira playing our grand piano. In that way, you could almost 'visit us' without having to endure the long journey to Denmark!


I wish you and your family and Nakajima a truly happy New Year, and again: happy birthday to you!


Best regards,

Elisabeth SIEGEL (Malling, DENMARK)

(Note by Editor): Mira’s Fix You, and Trouble are performed in respectively

Otherwise click:

and others.


¤······Subject: Mars: January 1, 2012

Received: Mon 02 Jan 2012 14:33 JST

Hi -

  Happy New Year!

   I have attached my latest image of Mars January 1, 2012 at 8:06 UT to be posted.


   Frank J MELILLO (Holtsville, NY)


¤······Subject: Mars Images - Jan. 1, 2012 & Oct. 31, 2011

Received: Mon 02 Jan 2012 02:07 JST


Happy New Year!  Attached is my first image of 2012 as well as an older set from October.  Seeing on both of those nights was about average.


Peter GORCZYNSKI (Oxford, CT)


¤······Subject: Happy new year !

Received: Sun 01 Jan 2012 23:36 JST

Dear friends,

I wish you clear and steady skies for 2012.

Happy new Mars apparition!

Best wishes,

Christophe PELLIER (Nantes, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: Mars 29 Dec

Received: Sun 01 Jan 2012 13:11 JST


 On 29 December seeing was poor while the atmosphere was average: PLS see the Mars image.

Best Wishes

Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤······Subject: Mars on 30 December 2011

Received: Sat 31 Dec 2011 08:18 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

I finally had another clear night last night and I managed to get at least one set of images of Mars on December 30th.  Hopefully the skies here will begin to cooperate a little better as Mars nears opposition.

Best Regards and I want to wish you and your colleagues at ISMO a Happy New Year!

Bill FLANAGAN (Houston, TX)


¤······Subject: Mars 28 Dec

Received: Fri 30 Dec 2011 14:13 JST

Hi, On 28 December seeing was average: atmosphere was good so that I took one set of images of Mars. PLS see it.

Best Wishes

Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤······Subject: Mars Image - December 29, 2011

Received: Fri 30 Dec 2011 13:19 JST


Attached is my most recent Mars image.  Seeing was less than average.  That is evident by the poor quality of the blue image.  The blue image, however, does show a hint of clouds over Elysium.


Peter GORCZYNSKI (Oxford, CT)


¤······Subject: Mars RGB set 29122011

Received: Fri 30 Dec 2011 10:32 JST

Hi everyone,

Conditions seemed promising this morning with better than the usual morning seeing but as soon as I finished setting up, the clouds rolled in. Still I managed to capture one RGB set between the clouds and saved the day.

Best regards,

Stefan BUDA (Melbourne, AUSTRALIA)


¤······Subject: Jupiter images 26th december 2011

Received: Fri 30 Dec 2011 04:18 JST

Hi guys,

Some images from the 26th.

Best wishes and have a nice eve for the new year.

Christophe PELLIER (Nantes, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: Mars 29.12.11 report

Received: Thu 29 Dec 2011 22:58 JST

> Dear sir,

> Here is the last observation about mars this morning under poor images

> with

> the 305mm.

> For your perusal.

> Have good receipt of the present mail.

> Faithfully

 Stanislas MAKSYMOWICZ (Ecquevilly, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: 5 Mars RGB Images from Barbados

Received: Thu 29 Dec 2011 21:41 JST

Hi all,

Here are 5 RGB images of Mars from 9th to 18th December, taken on my recent trip to Barbados.

Best Regards

Ian SHARP (Ham, West Sussex, the UK)


¤······Subject: Re: from bill sheehan: visit to Paris

Received: Thu 29 Dec 2011 19:57 JST

De SD : Questions, to see what can be organized. How many days will you stay in Paris if you arrive on February 16?  When will you know the exact date of your arrival in Paris?  The small museum in Perinaldo is in the townhall. When you arrive by the road, going up from the seaside, it's just on your left and you have to turn left, to get it, as soon as you are in the village. Hoping to meet you again. 

Suzanne DEBARBAT (Paris Observatory, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: aristarchus's estimate of the Earth to Sun distance

Received: Thu 29 Dec 2011 04:34 JST

Dear Masatsugu (and Randall, my experimental archaeologist) (I am also cc:ing Professor Gomez who is cited below)

   The last issue of the CMO/ISMO with its discussion of phase angles was of interest in part I have recently been immersing myself (for various reasons) in the long history of measurements in astronomy, and revisited the treatise of Aristarchus “On the Sizes of the Sun and Moon.”  This is one of the most remarkable documents of ancient astronomy but probably (I have now learned) was not really Aristarchus’s own treatise but a somewhat garbled rehash by a successor of Aristarchus (pseudo-Aristarchus).  You know that the angle that pseudo- Aristarchus published—87 degrees—for the angle between the exactly half Moon, the observer on Earth, and the Sun was much too large, and has always seemed suspicious; so much so that I have always doubted whether Aristarachus could have measured anything at all.  (Have you or other readers of the CMO ever attempted to repeat Aristarchus’s method, and just how well does it work, even when one is using a telescope?  There are many complications, including fixing the position of the brilliant Sun and also the exact position of the terminator-line on the Moon which, of course, is not a smooth round ball but very rough and irregular.  I propose this as a challenge to our friends who have long disputed the craters on Mars controversy to turn to something else—similar, but not as emotionally charged.  How well does Aristarchus’ method actually work, even with modern instruments?)

  In any case, Dennis Rawlins and Alberto Gomez Gomez have recently argued—I think quite convincingly—that Aristarchus probably arrived at the figure by an analysis of the limits of resolution of the human eye.  The 87 degree figure would be the smallest angle that would have been detectable to the human eye.  Thus the distance from the Earth to the Sun—19 times that of the Moon—should be regarded as a lower limit.  Best,



¤······Subject: from bill sheehan: visit to Paris

Received: Thu 29 Dec 2011 03:49 JST

Dear Professor Debarbat,

  Forgive my use of English;  I am writing to you at the suggestion of James Lequeux.

    I am a researcher in the history of astronomy who will be visiting Paris (including the Observatoire) in February--probably arriving about the 16th or so--and would like to if possible pay a visit to Juvisy Observatory again (I was there in 2009 for the International meeting of Mars Observers, but at that time the 9-inch telescope had not yet been refurbished, which I understand it has been since last month sometime).  Professor Lequeux has also expressed an interest in visiting the site, if this can be arranged. 

Since Mars is one of my chef d'oeuvres, I would also like to inquire about the possibility of observing the planet with this historic telescope (it will be about two weeks away from an aphelic opposition).

   When I toured Juvisy in the company of other participants in the Mars conference in 2009, I went on a very interesting tour of Flammarion's library collection given by Patrick Fuentes, who is of course the great expert on Flammarion.  Briefly the three of us chatted (you, Patrick and I) chatted at Brera Observatory in Milan last year for the Schiaparelli centennial event--my topic was Schiaparelli's observations of Mercury.

   I am also eager to hear of further progress regarding your great Cassini biography.  When we talked in Milan, you indicated it might be finished in a year or so.  Since I am going to be in Nice for a few days before coming to Paris, I am hoping (provided the

mountain roads are not too snowbound) to visit Perinaldo, where I understand there is a small Cassini museum.

   Let me know whether it is possible to visit Juvisy, and in any case I hope to meet you again when I am at the Observatoire.


   Bill SHEEHAN (Willmar, MN)


-----Original Message-----

From: Lequeux James

Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 3:40 AM

To: Sheehan, William P (DHS)

Subject: Re: visit to Paris


Dear Bill,

Indeed, to visit Juvisy you should go through Suzanne;

I might come with you as I missed the visit at the inauguration of the restored

observatory last November.

For visiting Meudon, I am not the one to help, but I recommend that you contact Francoise

Launay: she wrote a book on Janssen and knows everything about the observatory.

For the rest, I am your man!

All the best and merry Christmas!

James Lequeux

Note that I will be in my country house in Lozere (south of Massif Central), probably with

 no e-mail, from 25 December to 4 January.


> Dear James,

>    It will be great to see you in Paris; especially as I hope by that

> time that the translation will be headed off to the press.  Next: Arago?

>    I hope to spend some time with you in the library of the Paris

> Observatory--I am especially interested in looking through the Neptune

> files (there was a great image of J.C. Adams at his desk that I would

> have loved to copy, but you know how bureaucratic they are there) and

> Trouvelot's observing notebooks.  Possibly I shall be able to meet

> Jacques Laskar--his work on the stability of the Solar System makes

> him the true successor to the great French celestial mechanicians

> including of course Le Verrier.

>    I am also hoping to revisit Juvisy--where I believe the refractor

> of Flammarion has been restored--but the contact person is Patrick

> Fuentes, who does not speak English; he can be contacted through

> Suzanne Dubarbat.  Do you have her e-mail address so I can contact her

> and try to make these arrangements.  I would also like to revisit

> Meudon if possible; who would be the person to do that?  Possibly

> Ariane Dollfus, the daughter of the late Audouin, whom I know; but you

> may be able to suggest a more official person.

>    Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing you very much, and I would

> also like to talk to you about French galactic astronomy as this is

> going to be the subject of another book I am working on.

>    Best of the season and for the new year,

>    Bill SHEEHAN

> -----Original Message-----

> From: Lequeux James

> Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:59 AM

> To: Sheehan, William P (DHS)

> Subject: Re: remainder of chapter 6


> Dear Bill


> here I my corrections, very little as you will see.

> Best regards and merry Christmas

> James


>> Dear James,

>>    Here is the rest of chapter 6 for you to peruse.

>>    Best, Bill


¤······Subject: Mars Images - December 2012

Received: Thu 29 Dec 2011 00:00 JST


Sorry that I haven't sent you these images sooner.  I have been very busy and have not had a lot of time to process Mars images.  I still have a backlog of images to be processed.  These are some of the more recent images where Mars is finally starting to show some finer detail.


Peter GORCZYNSKI (Oxford, CT, the USA)


¤······Subject: Mars 26-27th and Uranus 26th

Received: Wed 28 Dec 2011 12:19 JST

> Good afternoon,

> Here are my last observations about:


> - Mars this morning 27th with the 203mm Cassegrain with always the

> equatorial area hazy (rather in blue color). Intensity variations are

> noted with the sketch (C clear, B bright). This confirms the observations

> of last 24 and 26th.

> A sketch performed last 26th with a 110mm refractor is added.


> - Uranus last 26th with the 305mm Cassegrain. During a quarter hour time the

> images were almost perfect (perfect during 2min).

> A brightening at the spot latitude zone. The south cap area at 600x

> presented a cap with 2 grey tones bordered by a darker collar. EZ was

> faint

> but accessible.

> The north cap seems to become clear. Nothing else noted.

> Intensity evaluation are noted on the sketch (c- to c+ as brightening

> scale).


> Have good receipt of the present mail.

> Faithfully.

Stanislas MAKSYMOWICZ (Ecquevilly, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: some solar solstice shots 2011

Received: Mon 26 Dec 2011 20:03 JST

Hi guys thanks to my wonderful neighbour, I can now image the sun on this date from this location at 52° North. The sun was at 15° elevation for these images. 


Best wishes

 Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)


¤······Subject: Mars 21 dec

Received: Mon 26 Dec 2011 01:12 JST


 On 21 December I took one image on the occasion the Mars seeing was average & condition also. At the end, I hope Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year for the OAA/ISMO members.

Best Wishes

 Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤······Subject: RE: CMO #392 (ISMO #18)

Received: Sun 25 Dec 2011 11:13 JST

Hello Masami:

Thank you for sending me this issue of CMO.  I have been making some brightness measurements of Mars.   Mars has been near its expected brightness.   On another note: I hope that you have a happy Holiday season.

Richard SCHMUDE, Jr. (GA)


¤······Subject: Re: CMO #392 (ISMO #18)

Received: Sat 24 Dec 2011 20:11 JST

> Dear Masami san,

> Thanks for your transmission of the monthly bulletin.

> After 2 months interruption of Mars observations, I have the pleasure to

> send you mine of this morning with average conditions only.

> However, some events were collected resumed on notes given with the

> sketch.

> Have good receipt of this material.

> I profit of the present mail to transmit you and the observer community my

> best wishes for a merry Christmas and an happy new year from France.

> Health and prosperities to you and your family.

> Faithfully.

Stanislas MAKSYMOWICZ (Ecquevilly, FRANCE)



¤······¤······Subject: Jupiter images 17th december

Received: Fri 23 Dec 2011 20:38 JST

Hi all,

First : Merry Christmas to everyone and good holidays !

Here is a set again taken under poor seeing. But in that hard situation, the derotation tools of WinJupos brought a most welcome increase in SNR. Details are on the set, as requested by the Jupos team. The image is in .png as well. I really like the derotation of single images. The RG610 image is a sum of four 1 mn shoots.

The SEB is going really dark in CH4 like it should be in its normal state. However, the EZ doesn't show signs of recovering its own normal (bright) aspect.

Best wishes,

Christophe PELLIER (Nantes, FRANCE)


¤······Subject: Happy Holiday Treats ... from Saturn!

Received: Fri 23 Dec 2011 04:00 JST

  attached:  Cassini Titan holiday release CICLOPS.txt

December 22, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The holiday season is finally upon us!  So, today, in celebration of this beloved time of year and to mark Planet Earth's northern winter solstice, the Cassini imaging team is releasing a small collection of specially processed images of Saturn's largest and most colorful moon, Titan ... the only moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere.  A couple of Saturn's stark, airless, icy moons also appears in these scenes, seeming to dangle beside Titan's orange orb.  The atmosphere of Titan is of great interest because of its similarities to the atmosphere believed to exist long ago on the early Earth.

Now it's time.  Go to ...

... look under the tree, carefully pick only the packages with the red bows, and you'll find your extraterrestrial surprises waiting within.

(Also find an image advisory that we released a short while ago attached to this email.)

And now, from all of us to all of you, a brimming sleigh-full of warm wishes that your holidays are happy, peaceful, relaxing and safe.


Carolyn PORCO (Boulder, CO)

Cassini Imaging Team Leader

Director, CICLOPS

Space Science Institute

Boulder, CO

PS.  To unsubscribe from this list, go to the right hand column of the CICLOPS home page ( ) and find and click the [Unsubscribe] link


¤······Subject: RE: from bill sheehan: mars

Received: Thu 22 Dec 2011 23:38 JST

Dear Paolo,

   It would be great to use both instruments!  Let’s hope for clear skies!!

   Looking forward to seeing you—and perhaps we can write up our experiences for Masatsugu Minami’s International Society of the Mars Observers (ISMO).    Best,


From: Paolo Tanga 

Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:15 AM

To: Sheehan, William P (DHS)

Subject: Re: from bill sheehan: mars

Dear Bill

ok for the 13th. It is a good idea trying to observe Mars those days!! We can either arrange for an access to the 76 cm Great refractor (but that was used by Perrotin on later opposition if I'm not wrong). Or to the 50 cm, which is not the original instrument he first employed, but it is in the same first dome. Or both ;-) !


On 21/12/2011 15:49, Sheehan, William P (DHS) wrote:

Dear Paolo,

 All of that sounds fine with regard to coordination of your schedule.  Probably it would be best if I came to Nice on the 13th, staying another night in London, so as to coordinate with you.

  Lots of exciting things—Perinaldo would be interesting, if possible in the weather—but I also note, of course, that Mars will be approaching an unfavorable opposition similar to that at which Perrotin “confirmed” the canals in 1886, and I am wondering if it is possible anymore to make observations with the Great Nice refractor.  If so, perhaps we could do a “test” and compare our results with those of the Great Man.

   Anyway, I am looking forward very much to seeing you come February.

   Best, Bill


¤······Subject: Solar images 20-Dec-2011

Received: Thu 22 Dec 2011 19:28 JST

Hi Guys here are a few solar shots from a very low elevation of 13deg, but seeing was not too bad at all. All the images are mosaics, I like jigsaw puzzles, matching up the brightness, contrast and sharpness, in varying sky brightness and cloud waftings, all adds to the fun. The limb shot was double stack with the surface "inverted".  I like the way the inversion "lifts" the filaments up so they really do appear to be high above the surface, as indeed they are.



best Christmas wishes

 Dave TYLER (Bucks, the UK)

Ham call G4PIE 


¤······Subject: Re: Essay for the CMO

Received: Thu 22 Dec 2011 14:38 JST

Thanks, Masatsugu. Happy New Year (and Happy Birthday!) to you as well.


Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: Mars: December 19, 2011

Received: Thu 22 Dec 2011 13:55 JST

   Hi -  I have attached my latest image of Mars December 19, 2011 to be posted.


  Frank J MELILLO (Holtsville, NY)


¤······Subject: Mars this morning

Received: Thu 22 Dec 2011 13:07 JST

Hello everyone,

I got up early this morning to have a look at Comet Lovejoy but unfortunately it did not work out due to a large gum tree in the wrong spot so instead I dusted off the 16" 'scope and produced the attached image. I have never experienced good seeing in the morning from this location and today was no different. Even Mars turned its boring side...

I wish everyone happy holydays and merry Christmas to those that celebrate it.

Stefan BUDA (Melbourne, AUSTRALIA)


¤······Subject: Essay for the CMO/ISMO

Received: Thu 22 Dec 2011 10:35 JST

 Dear Masatsugu,

       I have attached the essay you requested for the January issue of the CMO/ISMO. I have also included four illustrations which you may use if you want.

       I hope that the essay is satisfactory. I will be leaving home on Friday to spend Christmas with my oldest daughter and her family. I will be back next Wednesday. I should have Internet access at her house.

Best and have a great holiday,

Don PARKER (Miami, FL)


¤······Subject: hi

Received: Wed 21 Dec 2011 21:17 JST

Dear Masatsugu,

I took your advice, after several years, and had cataract surgery yesterday. The procedure was quick and painless. Maybe I will catch Mars this apparition.

To those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas, and to everyone else, good health and clear sky.



¤······Subject: Mars 20 dec.

Received: Wed 21 Dec 2011 11:33 JST

Hi: After long time in Tehran Could I some images capture of Mars seeing was average trans very bad PLS see it.

Best Wishes

Sadegh GHOMIZADEH (Tehran, IRAN)


¤······Subject: Mars images (November 23rd, 2011.)

Received: Mon 19 Dec 2011 02:16 JST

Hi all,

Some belated Mars images from Nov 23rd showing the Elysium hemisphere. Fair seeing. Numerous bright clouds over the disk in blue light:

Best Wishes

Damian PEACH (Selsey, West Sussex, the UK)


¤······Subject: Mo13Dec_11

Received: Mon 19 Dec 2011 00:08 JST

Masatsugu MINAMI-sama, Please find attached a set of Mars Images taken on 13 December. On 17 Dec I shot, but the seeing was terrible. It is hard to find the correct focus around Elysium because the dark markings are scarce.

Best wishes

Yukio MORITA (Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, JAPAN)


Back to the CMO/ISMO Façade / CMO Home Page