96/97 report 001

1996/97 Mars Observation Reports

-- #001 -- until 15 Sept. 1996


Now the season of the red planet in 1996/97 comes round. The apparent diameter was only 4.6" arc on 15 September, but the app decl of the Mars position was around up to +20°, and hence the planet soon rose high up to the morning sky, and the image became rather observable. On 7 Sept, NAKAJIMA (Nj) and the present writer (Mn) just started the observation at Fukui, and by coincidence HIKI (Hk) at Nagano also began his routine work. We however already received an observation in August from SCHMUDE (RSc).

The Martian season was at 009°Ls on 15 Sept, and the central latitude read 16°N. On 1 Oct they will proceed to 017°Ls and 19°N respectively. The apparent diameter however will remain small (just upto 4.8" arc).

--- The observations reported to us up until 15 Sept is as follows:

Richard SCHMUDE (RSc) tends to be the first and last and this season started on 14 Aug at 355 °Ls: Drawing at LCM=005°W shows no particular dark marking , the north polar hood (nph) being not so large. RSc is kidding that the south polar cap is faintly seen. the observation on 6 Sept was at around LCM=130°W, and still no definite dark marking was there but RSc remarks the npc is distinct. The season was at 005°Ls. Seeing 7/10. RSc measures also the dimensions of the npc/nph, while we consider that the diameter is too small to find any concrete value.

The observations on 7 Sept did not show so positively the presence of the npc. We started from LCM=244°W and observed about two hours. Syrtis Mj was near the limb, but remained faint for this diameter: Hk just caught it definitely at LCM=268°W, while he didn't the north polar limb more definite than the limb lightning. The nph thus was whitish but not so bright. On 10 Sept (007°Ls), the nph was not so evident, and not so big. Both days, the dark area surrounding the npr was dark composed of Utopia and Gyndes. The southern limb was light, perhaps the effect of the presence of the bright Hellas. The evening terminator was hazy but could not be identified.

This column is intended to deal with the observations during the one-month period from the 16th day of the preceding month to the 15th day of the month when the CMO is published at least for coming several months. We acknowledge if any observations will reach M MINAMI at Mikuni by the 20th day .

Fortunately the HST was in conjunction with our telescope on 18 Sept, as cautioned in advance by Jim BELL, and at least the present writer watched the planet four time the night including one at 20:25 when LCM=165°W, to be reported next month, though nothing particular to be reported. Now the HST will soon shoot the planet at the beginning of October, and the above Table was made by M MURAKAMI:

                      ω=045°   ω=165°    ω=285°
      Oct.   6       (23:30)   07:45     16:00 (GMT)
             7        00:10    08:25     16:40
             8        00:50    09:05     17:20
             9        01:30    09:45     18:00
            10        02:10    10:25     18:40
            11        02:50    12:05     19:20

The case of LCM=045°W will be chased from the middle east to Europe, the case LCM=165°W will be the east to the middle of the Americas, and the caseLCM=285°W will be possible at such countries as Australia and Japan. The day or days will have been determined and e-mailed before this publication will reach you. It is anyway interesting to watch the same surface if the days are different.