98/99 Mars CMO Note (6)

1998/99 Mars CMO Note
- 06 -
from CMO #229

7th Workshop of the CMO Observers held on 3 May 1999

  The 7th Meeting of the CMO Planetary Observers was held on 2, 3 and 4 May 1999 at Fukui. The planet Mars was closest to the Earth on 1 May, and so the Meeting was designed for us to observe together the live planet at night. Y HIGA (Hg) and H ISHADOH (Id) from Okinawa and T IWASAKI (Iw) from Kita-Kyushu took flights and arrived at Fukui on the afternoon of 2 May. T AKUTSU (Ak) and M MURAKAMI (Mk) drove along the motorway for about seven hours and reached the Fukui City Museum of Natural History in the evening.

  At Fukui, T NAKAJIMA (Nj), A NISHITA (Ns) and M MINAMI (Mn) stood by. Four telescopes were prepared for use as follows; the 20 cm refractor of the Fukui City Observatory, and one 30 cm Meade SCT and two 25 cm Meade SCTs belonging to the Fukui Museum for Children (for which Ns works). As you notice we need four telescopes if eight persons observe every forty minutes. We also had a 12.5 cm Takahashi Fluorite refractor.

The Fukui Museum for Children was to be soon opened at the beginning of June, and some of us visited on the day and saw the inside of the Planetarium room which furnished GOTO's GSS-HELIOS and 250 seats inside the 23m dome. The Meade telescopes were brought up from there to the rooftop of the Fukui City Observatory.

The sky was however not so preferable the night, and so we were unable to observe so frequently, and obtained no more than eleven drawings the night from 21:20 JST (LCM=251°W) to 24:00 JST (LCM=290°W). We then quitted the observations because the sky became totally cloudy and instead enjoyed a casual chat on the rooftop or next at the preparation room. After 1 o'clock, Nj brought Iw down to put him up at a Hotel, and the CCD members (Ak and Hg) went to Ns's house and the sketch members (Id and Mk) came down to Mikuni to Mn's house. Chats continued.

On 3 May, we had a conference of the 7th Meeting from 1:30 PM at the Lecture Room of the Fukui City Museum of Natural History, at the same place that the 6th Meeting was held in January 1998 when G QUARRA was welcomed. Ak showed several excellent colour images of update Mars. He also gave a talk on his CCD Camera Teleris 2, his recent work and his method of image processing. Hg also talked. Mn then lectured on the meteorological phenomenon of the blue Syrtis Mj and explained how it turned blue in the morning or evening beneath a white cloud optically. He also touched on the foregoing observational points.

  From 5:00 PM, we moved to the rooftop and continued to enjoy talks using monitors and glancing to the sky. The sky however remained bad.

The temperature went down, and therefore we took the seats at the landing before the preparation room and continued our talking session using two monitors. Hg played his Mars images in colour as well as in blue. He also used interesting Mac software. We discussed much of Don PARKER's images; Ak tried Don's colour processing, and so on.

Nj occasionally watched the sky, but it did not turn good, and so late at night we decided to close the meeting, and left the Observatory.

On the rainy morning of 4 May, all but Iw and Nj gathered to talk again at Mn's house at Mikuni. We took lunch to eat Echizen-Soba (buckwheat noodles made in Fukui). At about 3 o'clock PM Hg and Id left Mikuni from the nearest JR station. Ak and Mk stayed to talk up to 10:00 PM at Mikuni, and then entered the motorway.

Soon we heard Hg and Id safely had landed on the Naha airport, and Ak and Mk reached Mk's home next morning. They went then to see T ISHIBASHI, and Ak returned home on the evening of 5 May so that it implied he traveled 20 hours the day.

(Mk and Mn)

    An Episode
(written by M MINAMI in CMO #227 (25 Jan 2000))

  When we met at Fukui at the beginning of May 1999 on the occasion of the 7th CMO Planetary Meeting, MURAKAMI (Mk) asked us whether we had observed an extraordinary morning bright patch to the north of M Acidalium at the end of April 1999 as he checked. ISHADOH (Id) and IWASAKI (Iw) responded confirmatively, and MINAMI (Mn)'s drawings were not contradictory. As to the observations of Mk on 26 April, we reported as follows in CMO 217 (10 Apr 1999) at p2501: "MURAKAMI (Mk) noted on 26 Apr (130°Ls) at LCM=326°W ~ 355°W that the morning area of Baltia between M Acidalium and Hyperboreus L was thickly misted. Iaxartes was detected preceding the morning mist. Mk also checked it again on 27 Apr at LCM=312°W ~ 351°W."

  One evening in mid-May 1999, NAKAJIMA (Nj) came up to the Observatory bringing with a Newspaper which showed a Martian surface with a strange cloud patch taken by the HST on 27 April. The photo was a blue-light one, and hence there was no appealing dark marking (or almost all were dark) and so the place was puzzling at first. But soon we noticed the position of Chasma Boreale, and came to know that the true position was near Baltia. And finally we gave a shout on the rooftop of the Fykui City Observatory: it's just MU-RA-KA-MI! Later we were informed that Mk and HIGA (Hg) also readily pinned down the place. The record by the HST was partly cited in CMO #218 (25 May 1999) at p2524.

  We were made a present of a pair of red waistcoats from the attendants of the CMO Meeting to celebrate our 60th birthdays.
  We posed here wearing the sleeveless coats on 23 September 1999 (on the occasion of Nj's birthday) inside the dome of the Fukui City Observatory.
NAKAJIMA (left) and MINAMI (right)