Solar & Planetary LtE Now for CMO/ISMO #89 (CMO #463)

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¤····Subject: Mars 6 November 2017 0321UT IR

Received: 6 November 2017 at 13:54 JST


Hi all,

Mars IR from this morning. Poor seeing.

Acidalium, Vallis Marineris and Solis Lacus all rotating into view.

Olympia Planitia again evident in the NP region.

Best regards, Clyde


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Mars 2017/11/04-Kumamori

Received: 6 November 2017 at 11:38 JST


Mars image on 4 November 2017.


Teruaki KUMAMORI (Osaka, JAPAN)




¤····Subject: Mars 5 November 2017 0325UT IR

Received: 5 November 2017 at 16:16 JST


Hi all,

Mars IR this morning, under rather poor conditions.

In spite of this, the structure in the NPC that was seen on 3 Nov is well seen today.

I suspect the dark rift to be Olympia Planitia, but any other comments would be welcome.

Best regards, Clyde


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Re:Mars 3 November 2017 0335UT IR

Received: 4 November 2017 at 04:34 JST


Hi Clyde,

How have you been? What sticks out to me are "straight-line" dark markings, i.e. canals. Lowell would be thinking, "See, I told you so".

Good seeing,


Jim MELKA (Chesterfield, MO)



¤····Subject: Mars 3 November 2017 0335UT IR

Received: 3 November 2017 at 18:26 JST


Hi all,

IR Mars capture from this morning.

There appears to be some structure to the NPC. The dark markings in Arcadia/Propontis region are again visible.

Best regards, Clyde


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Mars 2017/11/01-Kumamori

Received: 2 November 2017 at 17:52 JST


Mars image on 1 November 2017.


Teruaki KUMAMORI (Osaka, JAPAN)




¤····Subject: Uranus 15/24/30 October with Flextube 305

Received: 2 November 2017 at 07:45 JST


Hi all,
Here are my first images with a SkyWatcher Flextube 305 Goto (15th october is the last taken with my Gregorian 250). Very good optical quality as far I can say !






Images are processed using the Altaz derotation by WinJupos that seems to work very well, see this gif animation


Best wishes,

Christophe PELLIER (Nantes, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Mars 1 November 2017 0338UT IR

Received: 1 November 2017 at 16:25 JST


Hi all,

Mars this morning under slightly more settled conditions. The rather bland side of Mars, but at least the north polar cap was detectable. Mars is at 3.9h and it is mid-summer in the northern hemisphere. There is also a hint of the albedo markings in Arcadia. Checking in Winjupos, I am wondering whether the small bright spot central on the proceeding(left) limb is not Ascraeus Mons. However, at this resolution, I would not make any claimsc. I have included the winjupos simulation at lower right. This was 3x60s captures derotated.

Best regards, Clyde


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Mars 2017/10/31-Kumamori

Received: 1 November 2017 at 16:24 JST


Mars image on 31 October 2017.


Teruaki KUMAMORI (Osaka, JAPAN)




¤····Subject: Uranus 2017 Oct 26

Received: 30 October 2017 at 00:34 JST


Uranus images on 26 October 2017




Tomio AKUTSU (Ibaraki, JAPAN)




¤····Subject: Mars 2017/10/26-Kumamori

Received: 27 October 2017 at 15:25 JST


Mars image on 26 October 2017.


Teruaki KUMAMORI (Osaka, JAPAN)




¤····Subject: Uranus 2017.10.13

Received: 27 October 2017 at 05:51 JST



Under average seeing, Uranus and its 4 brighter satellites. The Northern hemisphere is bright.

Steady skies,


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Neptune 2017.10.13

Received: 27 October 2017 at 05:48 JST



Under average seeing, Neptune and Triton, without any details visible:

Steady skies,


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Uranus observation 15 10 2017

Received: 17 October 2017 at 06:17 JST


Uranus observation

With good transparency and clear weather, I get this observation at 30 frames per second with the primary focus of the C14.


Oberseving let see the bright north polar region Second observation we see four moons of Uranus, Titania, Ariel, Umbriel and Oberon.

 Regards Richard


Richard BOSMAN (Enschede,The NETHERLANDS)

Website :




¤····Subject: Neptune bright spot and Triton 2017.10.10

Received: 15 October 2017 at 23:51 JST



Good seeing this week, which allowed me to image Neptune, with Triton and a star not too far away. A bright spot is visible a bit above the equator, in the Northern hemisphere - normal, it turns towards us, it's spring soon there (... soon ... everything is relative, it will happen in 2025 ... smile.gif):


The spot rotation with the planet is obvious on the animation mounted out of the 3 images:

The same spot has (probably) been observed by other amateurs, this need to be tracked (it had been observed before), go to your telescope and please share your images  !

 Steady skies,


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Uranus images 2017

Received: 14 October 2017 at 20:56 JST


Hi all,
Here are my first Uranus images of the new season, all taken under excellent seeing. These are R+IR images and true color RGB's, wether taken with ASI224MC or ASI290MM.
All results show the bright north polar region, including the color images.

Best wishes,
Christophe PELLIER (Nantes, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: RE:Mars 12 October 2017 0335UT IR

Received: 13 October 2017 at 04:13 JST


Hi, Roger
I have seen another image (reported in CMO/ISMO) a few days earlier.
Irrespective, the Mars hunting season is now open!

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Venable
12 October 2017 01:57 PM
Subject: Re: Mars
12 October 2017 0335UT IR

Clyde. First image of the apparition!
-- Roger

Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Mars 12 October 2017 0335UT IR

Received: 12 October 2017 at 14:49 JST


Hi, all

I had to cut back a few bushes to get this capture low in the east. I had tried a few days earlier but with Mars so low and with turbulent morning conditions, I could not get any surface detail.


Very difficult conditions again this morning but at least a few features becoming visible: The bright Arabia region is at centre left, with Acidalium at lower right. Maybe just a hint of the NPC . Winjupos simulation at lower right.

Mars is at Ls 73 and 3.7h in size.

I am hoping that this gembryoh image is the start of a memorable apparition for the Mars community. I am certainly looking forward to having Mars at 24h directly overhead from my location next July!

Best regards, Clyde


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Mars 2017/10/09-Kumamori

Received: 10 October 2017 at 21:22 JST


Mars image on 9 October 2017.



Teruaki KUMAMORI (Osaka, JAPAN)




¤····Subject: The last lap ..

Received: 10 September 2017 at 12:39 JST


September 9, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Yesterday, Cassini's final dive through the ring plane of Saturn, the last of 22, completed successfully. We are now climbing out of the gravitational well of Saturn for the last time, on our way towards Titan. There, the craft will experience an orbit adjustment that will put it on a course for disintegration in the Saturn atmosphere 5.5 days from now.


The head is filled with many thoughts and memories now, facing the moment when it will all be over.


This is the last lap, the grand finale ....


Carolyn PORCO (Boulder, CO)

Cassini Imaging Team leader
Director, CICLOPS, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO
Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley, CA
Fellow, California Academy of Sciences




¤····Subject: Re:Cassini Entry Observation 2017.09.15 (Eastern Asia, Australia)

Received: 7 September 2017 at 19:01 JST


Agreed. Certainly this is a worthwhile pursuit to see what our observers can accomplish on September 15th. Everyone please remember to send all observations and images to the ALPO Saturn Section as soon as possible as well as elsewhere. Observations will be forwarded to the Cassini team as requested. Thanks to all in advance.

Best regards and clear skies,

 Julius L. BENTON (ALPO: GA, the USA)




¤····Subject: Cassini Entry Observation 2017.09.15 (Eastern Asia, Australia)

Received: 7 September 2017 at 14:10 JST




As you probably know, our beloved Cassini probe which delighted us with Saturn system's views and science since 13 years will finish its mission by plunging in Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15th. After many pro-am collaboration, a last one is possible for some of us amateurs with this event:

I have been contacted by some members of the Cassini team on that topic, to urge amateurs to attempt to observe the probe's reentry. What I derive from the attached documents is:
- event will occur on 2017.09.15 around 12:05 UT (I would advise to observe 20min around the event to be safe)
- it should be difficult to observe with amateurs means, but should be tempted - visible from E. Asia (beginning of the night) and Australia (see Fig.1 in CassiniEntry_RL170725 document)
- as it will be very faint, main chances to detect it would be with long exposures images in 889nm methane absorption band filter (to get a better contrast on Saturn).

This is clearly a challenge (even meteor impacts have not been observed on Saturn yet), but should be definitely tempted by those of you well located. Please share your results, either positive or negative with us!

Good luck and clear skies,


CassiniEntry_RL170725.pdf (112kb)


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: BAA digital membership offer from Richard McKim

Received: 6 September 2017 at 20:25 JST


2017 September 6th


Dear colleague:

 I am writing to you as an overseas contributor (past or present) to the BAA Mars and/or Mercury & Venus Sections to let you know about a new initiative from the Association. Some of you have been past members of the BAA, but most of you have never joined. Being a member is not necessary for contributing observations, and I am only too glad that you have sent me your work, and hope you will continue to do so. Overseas BAA members have less chance to attend our courses and meetings, but they do still get many other benefits, such as being able to watch our meeting talks online, engaging with others via the BAA online Forums, and receiving bulletins and publications, so the BAA Council recently decided to offer a low cost digital membership to non-UK residents. These details I have added at the end of this message.

For those that have not been in touch for a while, I retired from a long teaching career last month, and so I will have (even) more time to devote to reporting the observational work of my two Sections. A long three-part report on the ten elongations of Venus from 2007 to 2014 will be completed soon, a two-part final report on Mars in 2010 will be appearing in the Journal soon, and another for 2012 is being completed now. A ten-year report on Mercury and the 2016 solar transit was recently published. These analyses do take up a vast amount of time, and I hope that I can narrow the gap between observation and publication. Shorter reports on all the Mars oppositions up to and including 2016-17 have already appeared in print, and are uploaded to our website (

So here are the membership details. We have had a good take-up so far with other groups of overseas observers, and I do hope you will give BAA digital membership your consideration. Whether you decide to join or not, please do continue to send us your observations and keep in touch.

With best wishes,


Dr R.J.McKim



I am writing to you to let you know about the launch of a new membership category of the British Astronomical Association: digital subscriptions. This category of membership allows individuals to subscribe to digital only versions of the BAA Journal and Handbook at a lower rate and without paying the postage supplement.

As a digital subscriber you will be able to:

* Receive our bi-monthly Journal & annual Handbook, delivered digitally
* Receive our regular BAA Newsletter, delivered by email
* Watch videos of talks by leading experts online
* Access tutorials
* Get help and advice to develop your skills
* Get involved in our observing programmes organised by the BAA Observing Sections
* Participate in our active online discussion Forum
* Present your work on your own BAA Member Page and contribute articles to the Journal

If you are not familiar with the Journal, the 2017 August edition is available online at:

We are initially making this new digital subscription available to people living outside the UK who are not yet members of the BAA.

To find out more about the benefits of a digital subscription to the BAA, please visit Signing up online is easy and payments by credit card or PayPal are accepted.

The BAA has been a driving force in amateur astronomy for over 125 years and is today recognised as one of the worldfs leading amateur groups. Founded in 1890, the BAA is a global community of amateur astronomers with members in over 40 countries.

As a valued contributor to our work, why not formally join our international community of amateur astronomers? We would love to have you as a member!


Richard McKIM  (BAA: Peterborough, the UK)




¤····Subject: Cassini's 21st dive is over ....

Received: 5 September 2017 at 09:57 JST


September 4, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We just got word today. Cassini's 21st dive between the inner edge of the ring system and the planet went as expected. The thrusters kept her oriented properly despite the torque from the atmosphere. Such an able ship!

Meanwhile, this week's Cassini image (attached) is one of our last best looks at Enceladus ... that small moon at Saturn with the big possibilities.


It's now just 1 more dive and 11 days to go before the final plunge.


Brace yourselves. The end is near ...


Carolyn PORCO (Boulder, CO)

Cassini Imaging Team leader
Director, CICLOPS, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO
Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley, CA
Fellow, California Academy of Sciences




¤····Subject: Hello again! And tomorrow's airing of The Farthest & Second Genesis on PBS

Received: 23 August 2017 at 13:26 JST


August 22, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


It has been a very long time, just shy of two years, since I have communicated with all of you over this email list.  Much has happened in the interim that has kept me silent.  Lots of attention paid to Saturn's small moon Enceladus, such as an upcoming special issue of Astrobiology Journal dedicated to Enceladus of which I am the Guest Editor, and first-authorship of a research paper entitled "Could it be snowing microbes on Enceladus?" are among them. Preparations for Cassini's final days at Saturn, and the riotous levels of media attention devoted to the
mission's imminent conclusion -- and lots of interviews -- over the last 6 months, have also left little time for anything else.


Also, you are no doubt aware that this past Sunday marked 40 years since the launch of the greatest, most meaningful human adventure of them all ... the Voyager mission to the outer solar system and beyond.  This anniversary has been greeted with an outpouring of warmth, affection, and sentiment, and those of us who were directly involved in it have been drawn in to assist in the celebrations.


One notable commemoration is a lovely documentary called 'The Farthest'.   It will air tomorrow, Wednesday, August 23, on PBS.  Be sure to watch it. If you're old enough, it will give you an opportunity to remember just how remarkable an odyssey Voyager's mission was and still is.  And if you're not, it will give you the chance to learn how this one mission was so singular in its ambitions and became so mythic in its cultural stature that in is regarded as the greatest mission NASA ever conducted.   I regard it as the Apollo 11 of the planetary exploration program.


Finally, immediately following (and in some sense, part of) 'The Farthest' on PBS is a mini-documentary called 'Second Genesis' that follows your truly, as I seek to understand how to search for extraterrestrial life in our solar system.  You can bet that Enceladus features prominently!


Over the next few weeks, as we guide Cassini through its final days -- only a few more orbits to go -- and we get ready to bid our stalwart explorer and friend goodbye on September 15, you will be hearing more from me, with latest news and last looks.   After 27 years years as a mission, 20 years in flight, and 13+ years at Saturn, the end is near.




Carolyn PORCO (Boulder, CO)

Cassini Imaging Team leader
Director, CICLOPS, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO
Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley, CA
Fellow, California Academy of Sciences




¤····Subject: FW: Roman Tkachenko Pluto flyover

Received: 27 July 2017 at 07:03 JST


Dear friends,
  May be of interestc
Roman Tkachenko has produced a stunning gPluto Flyoverh movie at:




Bill SHEEHAN (Flagstaff, AZ)




¤····Subject: Neptune northern cloud complex

Received: 26 July 2017 at 15:14 JST



We just got an alert from Imke de Pater, about the detection by Keck of the Northern cloud complex observed already about 15 years ago. It is apparently close to the equator, and might be detectable by amateurs.
So this is interesting now to turn the amateur scopes to the planet - if you get any detection, please send us your images.

Steady skies!


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Jupiter 18th June, 2nd July, 5th July and Saturn 5th July 2017i

Received: 23 July 2017 at 02:07 JST


Catching up on some recent processing of the Gas Giants;


-Jupiter in IR from 18th June in poor seeing


-Jupiter in IR in better seeing from 2nd July with shadow of Ganymede



-Jupiter in IR in good seeing from 5th July and with Europa, Io, Ganymede



-Saturn L(IR)RGB at 16 alt from 5th July

These also can be seen online at;


Do enjoy your summer,
Best wishes

Martin LEWIS (St Albans, the UK)




¤····Subject: Jupiter & Ganymede 2017.06.10 from Pic-Net team at Pic du Midi

Received: 22 July 2017 at 15:03 JST



On our second night, lots of images, with GRS setting, with good seeing in the middle of the session (all is available here :
Here are the individual links (files are too big, but if you want me to send those to you let me know).

3 RGBs (the second one was processed much better by Emil, but in a IR-RGB version) : (good) (best)


The methane image, binned, is really to small to my taste - I think it would have come out better not binned:

We acquired a lot of IR, so I could do two animations.

First one with all images of the night:
Second one focused on the ~20min of the good seeing, gorgeous :) : (best)


Individual IR images:
(best) (best)


Individual R,G and B:



Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Jupiter 2017.06.09 from Pic-Net team at Pic du Midi

Received: 22 July 2017 at 14:32 JST



Our first night was not that great at Pic du Midi. Still the methane images are good, one is really excellent (see file attached) - I find the details beautiful, with for example lot of high clouds around oval BA or in the SEB, the waves and white spots in the NEB, or the very dark STB Ghost. The rest is just for the record.

Here are the links (files are too big, but if you want me to send those to you let me know).

All can be seen at once at this address:

Methane images:

Infrared images:


Better images to follow.



Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Fwd: Ground-breaking, ground-based images of planets obtained by Pic-Net Pro-Am team

Received: 21 July 2017 at 03:41 JST



FYI, an official press release with links to mostly unpublished images of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus from our Mission at Pic du Midi using the one meter telescope.
Hope you appreciate those ;)




-------- Message transféré --------

Ground-breaking, ground-based images of planets obtained by Pic-Net Pro-Am team


Europlanet 2020 RI Press Release


20 July 2017 – For Immediate Release



The first observing run of a collaboration between amateur and professional astronomers to monitor our planetary neighbours has resulted in some of the best planetary images ever taken from the ground.


The ePic-Netf project ( aims to use the one-metre diameter planetary telescope at the Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees to monitor the meteorology of planets in our Solar System, measure global winds in their atmospheres, monitor impact of minor planet bodies producing giant fireballs in planetary atmospheres, and provide observational support for various space missions. Last month, a small team of amateur astronomers carried out a pilot observing run during a workshop funded by the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI). Superb-quality images of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Jupiterfs moon Ganymede were obtained during four nights of observations, as well as images of Uranus and Neptune.


gThe key to the success of this project is our highly-experienced team of observers, the optical quality of the telescope, the highly stable atmosphere at the Pic du Midi observatory and cutting-edge instrumentation,h said Francois Colas, astronomer at the Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Ephémérides (IMCCE) and telescope and instrumentation lead of the Pic-Net project. gWe believe that these are some of the best planetary observations from the ground to date.h


Repeated observations with ground-based telescopes provide a long-term, global view of planets that can put the detailed, close-up data collected by orbiting space missions into context. Amateur astronomers with relatively small telescopes can make extremely valuable scientific contributions by observing at dates where no equivalent data is available. Several observing runs like those from the Pic-Net pilot are needed over a year to understand the changes in the atmospheres of planets.


gImages obtained through Pic-Net can provide important, ongoing support for space missions,h said Marc Delcroix, an amateur astronomer who has piloted the use of the one-metre diameter telescope and is the organiser of the Europlanet workshop. gFor instance, the high quality of Pic-Net observations of Saturn, which show clearly the hexagon feature surrounding the north polar vortex, atmospheric bands and cloud features, will also provide an avenue for continued study of Saturn and build on the legacy of the Cassini mission, which ends in September.h


Over the last 15 years, amateur astronomers have proven their skills, experience and potential in planetary imaging using new fast cameras that efreezef optical distortions introduced by the atmosphere on high-resolution telescopic observations. Professional astronomers collaborate closely with amateurs in many areas of planetary sciences, including the study of the atmospheres of planets like Venus, Jupiter or Saturn.

The ultimate goal of the Pic-Net project is to provide experienced observers with more access to the Pic-Midi facility in order to extract the full potential of the telescope and the observing site over time. Regular visits with an enlarged team of observers are envisioned as part of the Pic-Net project.


gThe Pic-Net programme provides invaluable support for the Juno mission and complements other Earth-based observations from professional astronomers,h noted Glenn Orton of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, who is the Juno science team member in charge of coordinating Earth-based observations to extend and enhance the science return from Junofs investigation of Jupiter and its magnetosphere (


Orton added, gThese observations not only provide details on planetary cloud morphology that are close to what we might expect from the Hubble Space Telescope, but also such a program of regular observing allows us to understand the evolution of intermediate- to small-sized features on a variety of time scales, helping Juno scientists to understand the history of features for which the spacecraft only gets one or two esnapshotsf on each close approach.h


Javier Peralta, team member of JAXAfs Akatsuki mission commented, gIn the case of Venus, the amateur observations have experienced incredible steps forward in the last years. Images in ultraviolet and near-infrared wavelengths permit the study of winds at two altitudes of the dayside clouds, even when Venus is close to being at its furthest point from Earth, while smart combinations of infrared filters for nightside observations now allow us to clearly resolve many surface elevations. These are really necessary in support of the Akatsuki mission.h


Images and animations



Jupiter images obtained at Pic du Midi show the global state of Jupiterfs atmosphere providing context to the time gaps between observations run by the Juno mission and are the basis for long-term studies. Credit: E. Kraaikamp/ D. Peach/ F. Colas / M. Delcroix / R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCCE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P


Colour image of Jupiter obtained on the 3rd night of the Pic-Net workshop. Credit: D. Peach/E. Kraaikamp/ F. Colas / M. Delcroix / R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCEE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P


Jupiter in methane absorption band, showing bright the high altitude atmospheric features like goval BAh. Credit: M. Delcroix/ E. Kraaikamp/ D. Peach/ F. Colas/ R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCCE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P  


Jupiter high resolution animation in infrared, over more than 20 minutes, showing the rotation of the planet with the Great Red Spot setting, and Ganymede orbiting around it. Credit: M. Delcroix/ E. Kraaikamp/ D. Peach/ F. Colas/ R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCCE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P


Saturn and its rings a few months before Cassinifs Grand Finale. The planetfs shows the north polar ghexagonh surrounding the North polar vortex, atmospheric bands and faint cloud features at mid latitudes. These atmospheric clouds nicely contrast with the complex ring system. Future observations like this one will build over the Cassini legacy. Credit: D. Peach/E. Kraaikamp/ F. Colas / M. Delcroix / R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCEE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P   


Animation showing the rotation of Saturn and its rings a few months before Cassinifs Grand Finale. Credit: E. Kraaikamp/ D. Peach/ F. Colas / M. Delcroix / R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCEE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P  


Venus is a difficult target for many professional telescopes because of its close relative position to the Sun. Observations like this are highly complementary and useful to the observations obtained from the Japanese Akatsuki space mission (JAXA).Observations over four consecutive nights are needed to cover completely the clouds in Venus. Credit: R. Hueso/ D. Peach/ E. Kraaikamp/ F. Colas / M. Delcroix / C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCEE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P  


Ganymede, the largest of Jupiterfs Moons was also observed with astonishing resolution by the Pic-Net team. Surface features as small as 350 km can be clearly identified in this image. Ganymedefs diameter is 5270 km and was located at a distance of 766 million kilometers from Earth at the time of this observation. Credit: E. Kraaikamp/ D. Peach/ F. Colas / M. Delcroix / R. Hueso/ C. Sprianu / G. Therin / Pic du Midi Observatory (OMP-IRAP) / Paris Observatory (IMCEE / LESIA) / CNRS (PNP) / Europlanet 2020 RI / S2P  


The Pic-Net team. Upper row (L-R): Constantin Sprianu, Damian Peach, Marc Delcroix, Emil Kraaikamp, Gerard Thérin and François Colas. Lower row: Ricardo Hueso. Credit: Ricardo Hueso  


Night observations at the Pic du Midi Observatory. Bright Jupiter can be seen clearly in the sky and the picture illumination comes from a low full Moon.  Credit: Ricardo Hueso  


Pic du Midi Observatory. Credit: Ricardo Hueso  


The one-metre diameter planetary telescope at the Pic du Midi Observatory, used by the Pic-Net project. Credit: Ricardo Hueso



Science Contacts


François Colas

Pic-Net Telescope and project Lead


Observatoire de Paris

Paris, France

+33 1 40 51 22 66  


Ricardo Hueso Alonso

Pic-Net Team Planetary Science Lead

Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería

Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Bilbao, Spain

+ 34 94601 4262


Marc Delcroix

Pic-Net Team Amateur coordinator and Workshop organizer

Société Astronomique de France

Toulouse, France

+33 5 61 06 72 86   


Media Contact


Anita Heward

Europlanet Media Centre

Tel: +44 7756 034243  


Further Information



Pic-Net Team


<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->François Colas (France, IMCCE/CNRS, Paris observatory, telescope and project lead).

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Marc Delcroix (France, amateur astronomer, planetary imager, president of the planetary observation commission in the Societé Astronomique de France and workshop organizer).

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Emil Kraaikamp (Netherlands, amateur astronomer, planetary imager, author of Autostakkert planetary image processing software).

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Damian Peach (UK, amateur astronomer, planetary imager).

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Constantin Sprianu (Romania, amateur astronomer, planetary imager).

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Gérard Thérin (France, amateur astronomer, planetary imager).  

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Ricardo Hueso (Spain, professional astronomer, planetary scientist lead).

<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Jean Luc Dauvergne (France, amateur astronomer, scientific journalist).


Pic du Midi observatory


The Pic du Midi observatory was founded in 1873 and continues a long tradition of high-resolution observations on several astrophysical domains. Built at 2,877 m altitude in the centre of the French Pyrenees it makes a unique observing site, night astronomical instruments are : 2m telescope ( dedicated to stellar research and 1m telescope for planetary science ( Accessible by cable-car, it hosts several touristic activities linked to astronomy ( and it is at the centre of the first French dark sky reserve ( The location above a sea of mountain clouds results in a stable atmosphere where magical gseeingh is regularly obtained, providing excellent conditions for high-resolution observations. It is also one of the professional observatories where more collaborative projects with amateur astronomers have been developed in Europe over the last two decades, including: 60 cm telescope operated by amateurs (, continuous coronographic survey of the sun operated by amateurs (,  and associated amateur observers for the 2m TBL telescope (

Pic du Midi observatory main web site:



Since 2005, Europlanet has provided Europe's planetary science community with a platform to exchange ideas and personnel, share research tools, data and facilities, define key science goals for the future, and engage stakeholders, policy makers and European citizens with planetary science.

The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208 to provide access to state-of-the-art research facilities across the European Research Area and a mechanism to coordinate Europefs planetary science community. The project builds on a €2 million Framework 6 Coordination Action and €6 million Framework 7 Research Infrastructure funded by the European Commission.  The Europlanet collegial organisation, linked by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), has a membership of over 85 research institutes and companies.

Europlanet project website:  

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Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Recent Jupiter and Saturn images

Received: 5 July 2017 at 18:33 JST


Attached are two images from 2nd July. Seeing was poor for Jupiter, better for Saturn, but both planets are low down from the UK.

The colour images were very fuzzy so both of these images use a IR742 image as the luminence channel hence the colour shift on Jupiter.



Makes you appreciate the recent images from Pic du Midi even more!

Best regards


Peter EDWARDS (West Sussex, the UK)




¤····Subject: RE: CMO Message

Received: 30 June 2017 at 03:53 JST


Dear Masami,
I send best wishes to convalescence to Masatsugu.

Best regards to you all






¤····Subject: RE: CMO Message

Received: 29 June 2017 at 18:47 JST


Dear Masami and Masatsugu.

I am very sorry to hear about the poor health of Dr MINAMI. I sincerely hope that he feels better soon and undergoes a full recovery. I am indeed looking forward to the coming Mars apparition!

I am also pleased to say that I was invited to the European Planetary Science Congress 2017(EPSC 2017) in Latvia in September, and I will be doing a short presentation on my work covering the Mars 2015-2017 apparition.

My very best wishes to the both of you.

Best regards,


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)

-----Original Message-----
From: Masami MURAKAMI []
Sent: 29 June 2017 11:36 AM
Subject: CMO Message

(This is sent by BCc to our Mars colleagues by the use of the mailing llist owned by the CMO.)


Dear ISMO Mars observers,

We are sorry to announce that we were unfortunately unable to finish the publication of the CMO June issue due to some health impairment of our Editor Dr. Masatsugu MINAMI.

So we decided to postpone the publication of CMO #463 until the end of July or August. It will deal with a detailed forecast of the forthcoming great apparition in 2018 of the planet Mars.


Thank you for your kind interest in our CMO Bulletins.

With best wishes,

General Manager of the ISMO Editorial Board, and the Director of the OAA Mars Section.





¤····Subject: Jupiter 14th June IR and RGB

Received: 26 June 2017 at 06:30 JST


Some good seeing on 14th June but the best was in bright twilight and I have been struggling to properly nullify the effects of this on the colour balance of the ASI174MC colour camera image. Anyway think I got there in the end.




Some details on the moons especially Ganymede which is partially eclipsed in the 20-34UT image. I caught the eclipse image by chance and wish I had properly prepared for this session as I would have liked to have done a giff animation of this full eclipse.



Images can also be seen at;

Best wishes

Martin LEWIS (St Albans, the UK)



¤····Subject: Uranus le 12 juin 2017

Received: 25 June 2017 at 23:09 JST



Uranus at sunset and low elevation, without any details from team with the 1 meter telescope at Pic du Midi:




Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Neptune 2017.06.11 & 12 with T1M at Pic du Midi

Received: 25 June 2017 at 22:59 JST



We had two weeks ago a great mission at Pic du Midi to train Damian Peach, Emil Kraaikamp, Constantin Sprianu and Gerard Therin to use the one meter telescope, along with professionals François Colas, PI of the instrument, and Ricardo Hueso (see )


Here are some modest results on Neptune due to observations around sunrise, at relatively low elevation - still these show on the 11th one spot around -30 latitude, and on the 12th one spot around -60, and another around -36 latitude (which should not be the one observed on 11th, the longitude change would be too large for the wind speed around this latitude).




and one processed by Damian:







Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: from Bill Sheehan

Received: 11 June 2017 at 06:53 JST


Dear Masatsugu,

   I have not heard from you for sometime, and hope you are well.


   I finally resumed work, today, on a Mars book which is to revise and update my 1996 book, "The Planet Mars," which I am going to publish with U of Arizona Press. (I am finally getting up the motivation to do this after being utterly absorbed in finishing the Pluto book, with Dale Cruikshank--also with U of Arizona Press--and working fulltime at my clinical position here in Flagstaff.... Finally,  I have energy for Mars again--not least because my health has improved since I came here.)


   The Mars book is being done with Jim Bell, at Arizona State University; among other things he is the Principal Investigator for the camera that will go to Mars on the 2020 rover, which will be the first Mars sample return mission.  He has agreed to write the chapters on the recent spacecraft results, about which he is expert, but he is very busy, and will probably not have time to devote to this for a while, but meantime I am working on the earlier era, which is what I know.  Today I have spent some pleasant hours been hammering away again at Percival Lowell's views of Mars, which I think I now understand quite well in the context of the time. I will send you as an attachment the first part of this (longish) chapter, and would welcome your comments.

    I realize how much more I know now than I did twenty years ago.  Some of it is detail.  So I have been able to incorporate some new information that fills in some of the gaps.  For instance, I learned from Carol Bundy, who is the daughter of Bill Bundy (who headed the CIA during the Kennedy and Johnson era), that the Brahmin woman from whom Lowell broke off the engagement was none other than Rose Lee, Alice Roosevelt's sister (at the time, Theodore Roosevelt--who wrote Percival a scathing letter--was an ambitious Assemblyman in the New York legislature).  So no wonder the break-up of that relationship made it seem that Lowell could not live comfortably in Boston.  He had committed the cardinal faux-pas for the Brahmin upper-crust society in which he lived.  My understanding of Lowell's Far East phase has also been deepened largely thanks to that marvelous trip--I shall never forget it--to Noto with you and Asada.  It is possible I will return to Japan again; but I have come to love it, and will never experience the thrill of discovering what really was a completely strange and wonderful place that I did with you in May of 2004.

   ***We had a small event at Lowell to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lowell's death last November, and I also spoke on Lowell's last year at a meeting of the Antique Telescope Society that same month.  I published an article in Sky & Tel on Lowell's last observations (of the fifth satellite of Jupiter), and on Lowell's last year in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.  (Lowell's most important paper from 1916, "The Genesis of Planets," was published there; he had given his lecture on this topic in Toronto in April.)  Overall, though, this important anniversary was little marked in Flagstaff; I think because the observatory is still a bit embarrassed about the founder's reputation for flights of fancy--and I would be the first to admit that there is a good deal of the kind of pseudoscience that Martin Gardner describes in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science in Percival's work.  Douglass was right that it would be impossible to turn him into a real scientist.  Nevertheless, he did create the iconic view of Mars as a desert world which has continued to frame our thoughts ever since--and now that I am in Flagstaff, I have been systematically immersing myself in the landscape hereabout, and appreciating how much Lowell "saw Arizona, and imagined Mars."


   We are getting excited about the Great North American eclipse this summer.  I am going to venture out from Lander, Wyoming, to the eclipse path, with some friends in Flagstaff and some visitors, David and Jane Sellers, from England.  David and Jane are from Leeds; David is a retired hydraulic engineer, and his special interest has been in William Gascoigne and the pioneering micrometer he devised before his untimely death in the English Civil War (he was on the losing side to Cromwell and perished at Marston Moor in 1645).  David and Jane are both enthusiastic supporters of Labour, and are "over the Moon" about Jeremy Corbyn's success in the recent election.  I pay attention to European politics in part because there is room for optimism there--whereas here, things could hardly be more depressing. 

   See attachment, Lowell. I will send more as soon as I can.

   With warm regards, my old and dear friend,



Bill SHEEHAN (Flagstaff, AZ)




¤····Subject: Jupiter 25th May and 31st May

Received: 7 June 2017 at 08:12 JST



Some good seeing to close the month of May on 25th and 31st, with the latter being a really good night.



-RGB of Jupiter with one-shot colour camera (ASI174MC) on 25th

-RGB and IR (642nm) of Jupiter on 31st

-comparison between the imaged (642nm) and Winjupos (simulated) pairing of Ganymede and Europa also on 31st May, showing reasonably good correlation of surface features for Ganymede.



Images also to be found;

Best wishes
Martin LEWIS (St Albans, the UK)




¤····Subject: Jupiter 2017 May 31 and June 01

Received: 6 June 2017 at 01:27 JST


Some better results at IR 742nm, particularly on June 01.




David ARDITTI (Edgware, Middx., the UK)




¤····Subject: Jupiter & Io 2017.05.24 (good conditions)

Received: 30 May 2017 at 16:04 JST




-         Great Red Spot setting in the first series
- SEB perturbations de la SEB following it on almost all this hemisphere
- little red spot in South polar zone rising, and bright in methane absorption band
- NEB rather perturbed, with several small bright rifts, including one very bright with an inverted coma shape, bordered on the left by a reddish color
- NNTB still very orange


Under good conditions, I could get my best RGB and methane images of this apparition yet. We can see:


-         Great Red Spot setting in the first series
- SEB perturbations de la SEB following it on almost all this hemisphere
- little red spot in South polar zone rising, and bright in methane absorption band
- NEB rather perturbed, with several small bright rifts, including one very bright with an inverted coma shape, bordered on the left by a reddish color
- NNTB still very orange




In methane absorption band:

In infrared:


Individual color layers (not attached); the second green (à 23h15.4UT) is very well detailed at a 30 elevation:


Steady skies;

Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Jupiter images 2017 April & May

Received: 28 May 2017 at 23:52 JST


Dear All,


Ifve been doing less on Jupiter this year as I find the seeing at this site cannot compete with others, but here are some recent images.






David ARDITTI (Edgware, Middx., the UK)




¤····Subject: 5th jovian impact flash: second observation

Received: 28 May 2017 at 22:18 JST



Another simultaneous observation of the 2015.05.26 19:25UT flash on Jupiter, from Germany this time, from Thomas Riessler:


This confirms nicely Sauveur's observation, although from the original video there was absolutely no doubt for me.
At least a third observer (from Germany) observed it.



Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Re: ALERT: 5th jovian impact flash detected on 2017.05.26 around 19:25UT

Received: 28 May 2017 at 07:47 JST



Please note that getting I could refine the image and the analysis: there is finally only one brightness peak and the flash looks longer (~0.7s).
Link has been updated and the new image is attached for your convenience.





Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: ALERT: 5th jovian impact flash detected on 2017.05.26 around 19:25UT

Received: 27 May 2017 at 22:58 JST



I'm glad to inform you that a French observer from Corsica, Sauveur Pedranghelu, has detected a impact flash live on Jupiter, in the North polar area of Jupiter.

This flash seems shorter than the others (~0.5s vs 1-2s), but with 2 brightness peaks.

Please check your videos around that time (Jupiter was well placed for European and Asian observers), and let us know if you recover it on your original videos!

Despite no previous similar flashes left a detectable trace afterwards, please watch for a possible trace left after the impact which should be dark in visible wavelengths, and bright in methane.



Good luck!


Marc DELCROIX (Tournefeuille, FRANCE)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 24 May 2017 at 12:04 JST


I did have time to remeasure R:G:B ratios vs more stars and correct per the published B V and R mags of those stars. Details here:


I am surprised the icorrections were as I found, but maybe that is right.


Comments more than welcome.


Drew SULLIVAN (Sartoga, CA)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 23 May 2017 at 01:18 JST


I tried to calibrate camera ADU vs known star colors last night but it massively didn't work. I used Aladin to determine the B, V and R magnitude of stars at about the same Alt as Jupiter, then collected multiple runs with R, G and B filters on those stars. I took care not to saturate FWC, stacked the runs in Autostakkert and measured the total ADU in the star image, minus the backround, using Maxim DL.


For each star I got consistent results (the measurements were all within 2 SD of the mean) but from one star to the next the correction, particularly in Red, varied considerably (corrections from 1.165 to 2.114 for Red, and from 0.866 to 1.191 for Green (that is the number I should use to multiply the ADU in order to get the photon flux predicted based on the SDSS magnitudes).

It wasn't a perfectly clear night. There was a little patchy haze and my first thought is the haze was "more patchy" in some areas than others. Also the seeing was only so-so. That meant that the max ADU for any pixel in a frame varied a lot from frame to frame as the star image danced in and out of focus, so for most of the frames the percent well saturation was only about 30% (i.e. if I didn't keep the frame that short some frames would be 100%, and by preventing that most of the frames had low ADU per pixel).


I'll try again when I get back.


Drew SULLIVAN (Sartoga, CA)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 22 May 2017 at 05:24 JST


Hi Drew/Clyde,

I wonder if one way to get the real colour of Jupiter would be to image the moon on a night when it is high up and unaffected by atmospheric dimming then image it with a one shot colour camera (+L filter) with some nominal colour balance and no gamma. Then in processing see what colour adjustment is needed to make it a neutral white/grey colour. Then do exactly the same with Jupiter applying the same correction and see what you get.


Personally I see Jupiter as white and brown with an orange Red Spot but as I say I am red/green colour blind so my comments are of little value. Hubble images usually have a slight blue tinge in the tropical zones and the equatorial zone but I wonder if visual observers with normal vision ever see this blue tinge?




Martin LEWIS (St Albans, the UK)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 22 May 2017 at 00:43 JST


should mention this program in case you haven't heard of it:


Excalibrator takes a deep sky RGB image, looks at a number of stars in your image, looks up that region in the SDSS database and calculates the correction factors to make your R, G and B balance correct. It's very useful, but I don't see a way to make it work for planetary, as opposed to deep sky images. It needs long exposures with multiple stars.


Drew SULLIVAN (Sartoga, CA)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 22 May 2017 at 00:28 JST


Your variability night to night could be alt/air mass difference, junk in the atmosphere etc. Thinking about it a little more (which I might have done before posting <G>), all I did was give a book value correction. To really determine the color I should measure something known (a star near Jupiter and at similar alt).


I don't have photometric filters, but the Astronomiks B, G, R are close to (overlap a lot) the Sloane B, V, R. Looking in Aladin, Epsilon Virgo (Vindamiatrix) is bright and fairly near Jupitier and there are others scattered around Jupiter. Per Aladin the mags of Epsilon Virgo are B = 3.77, V = 2.83, R = 2.2. I'll see if I can do that tonight.


If I don't get this done tonight I can't do it for a while. I gather most of the people here are Brits. I am in California at the moment (where I live) but am heading to the UK this week. If I don't get it done now I'll try after I return.


Drew SULLIVAN (Sartoga, CA)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 21 May 2017 at 23:17 JST


Hi, Drew

Thanks for bringing up the topic. It(for me at least) is an important one, and I get quite frustrated when I get inconsistent colour balance over a number of days/weeks.

I tend to try and keep my histogram settings the same for R, G and B captures(as you do), but also try and keep my fps fairly similar, so I have different gain settings for R, G and B.

I find that even keeping my processing steps the same, I get differing results(colour balance wise) from night to night, so I donft fully understand why.

At one stage, I have resorted to comparing the images of Damian Peach, Christopher Go, T. Olivetti and a few others etc  and tried to adjust as best I could, to get as close as possible to their colour balance. If nothing else it brings me closer to what is gacceptedh by gthe besth!

More recently I have tended to minimise any colour adjustment. This tends to give a more brownish tinge to the belts but I honestly donft know if it is more accurate or not.

Itfs a topic I really need to explore in more detail, and if anyone has any great Ideas, Ifm all ears!

Regards, Clyde


Clyde FOSTER (Centurion, SOUTH AFRICA)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 21 May 2017 at 14:08 JST


Martin brings up a question I had been thinking about: How should you balance color?

When I collect data I set the camera gain and exposure so that I get about 80%-85% well capacity with each filter (R, G and B). But that means I am adjusting the time to get "the same number of photons in the brightest pixel for each filter" so the brightest zones show as white (R adu = G adu = B adu)

Is that really the photon flux for each region?

I adjusted the R G and B images using Pixel Math and accounting for a) duration of exposure and b) my camera's QE for that filter band. Fortunately for simplicity's sake I use the same gain for all three channels and the three filters (Astronomiks) have about the same efficiency.

Look here:

Makes my typical image look washed out and brown . . .


Drew SULLIVAN (Sartoga, CA)




¤····Subject: Re: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 21 May 2017 at 00:57 JST


My colour blindness took its toll on the May 10th image which I forgot to check with the ink dropper and apparently it ended up cyan. Here is one with a better colour balance,



Martin LEWIS (St Albans, the UK)



¤····Subject: Jupiter 23rd April and 10th May 2017

Received: 20 May 2017 at 21:05 JST


Hi All,

Catching up on my processing;


A composite of Jupiter and Callisto on 23rd April with Callisto as LRGB (L from 642nm filter) and Jupiter straight RGB with ASI174MC OSC camera


l       Jupiter in IR on same date with Astronomik 642nm filter



l       Callisto IR image enlarged against Winjupos simulation from same time showing tie up of some of the lighter features


l       Jupiter from 10th May


All details on images, which can also be seen here;


Martin LEWIS (St Albans, the UK)


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