First Report: The CMO/OAA Observations made during the one-month period from

16 October 2002 (082Ls) to 15 November 2002 (095Ls)

Based on the OAA Mars Section article published in CMO #266 (25 November 2002)

 Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese here

The long-awaited apparition of the 2003 Great Mars has now arrived. On 27 August 2003 we shall watch the largest Mars that the human beings have never experienced since the times of the Cro-Magnon beings.


At Fukui, NAKAJIMA (Nj) and MINAMI (Mn) started from 25 October (086Ls) when the apparent diameter was just 3.7 arcsecs just before the Sunrise. The earliest observation as far as we received was made by Mario FRASSATI of the UAI on 18 October (083Ls). The present first CMO report so deals with the observations made during the one-month period:


16 October 2002 (082°Ls) to 15 November 2002 (095°Ls)


The last CMO report treated the period upto the season of 013Ls, and so there was a blank for about 80in Ls during the conjunction time. The apparent diameter was small from 3.7" to 3.9" during theabove period. The tilt of the axis moved from 25N to 23N in the central latitude. The phase angle was from 13 to 19, but still the disk looked roundish. The apparent declination of the planet went down from the equator to6.6on 15 November.


The observations received and made during the period are as follows.


FRASSATI, Mario (MFr)  Crescentino, Italia

            1 Drawing (18 October 2002)    250×20cm SCT


MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn)  Mikuni, Fukui, Japan

            5 Drawings (25, 30 October; 6 November 2002)

400×20cm ED Goto refractor


MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

3 Drawings (6 November 2002)

400×20cm ED Goto refractor


NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj)  Fukui, Fukui, Japan

            1 Drawing (25 October 2002)

400×20cm ED Goto refractor


PEACH, Damian A (DPc)  Tenerife, Canarias Is, EspaE/span>a

            2 Sets of CCD Images (13, 14 November 2002)

f/29×31cm Meade SCT with an ST-5C


                                              Fukui City Observatory



Mario FRASSATI (MFr) was introduced to us by Don PARKER (DPk) while at the same time he is a friend of our friend Gianni QUARRA's. MFr's first colour drawing was made on 18 October (083Ls) at LCM=171W and shows a faint shadowy band near M Sirenum. The north and south ends were vaguely lit. The observation time was at 5:05 GMT, and so the local time was near at 6 hour o'clock.

At Fukui, Nj and Mn observed for the first time on 25 October (086Ls) at 21:20 GMT (LCM=340W by Nj) and at 21:40 GMT (LCM=345W by Mn). The planet was low and the seeing condition was poor. The sun rose at 21:34 GMT. We expected the north polar cap (npc) should have more shined inside the northern limb, but was quite dim. Even the Syrtis Mj appeared obscure. The defect of illumination was also a bit. The apparent diameter was 3.7". It was fine, but still 12C. On 30 October (088Ls), Mn observed at LCM=281W & 296W: The npc was slightly seen but weak. The central Syrtis Mj was also vague.


  MURAKAMI (Mk) stayed at Fukui from the beginning of November for a week, but the weather remained bad. He went to Anamidzu with NISHITA (Ns), Nj and Mn on 3 November, and to Ashikura with Mn on 5 November when the area turned to be white snowy. We heard the Fukui area had also the first snow the day. At last on 6 November (091Ls), he could catch the planet at the Fukui City Observatory and observed three times from 20:30 GMT at LCM=210W to 21:50 GMT at LCM=230W. Mn observed between. The seeing was poor (the apparent diameter=3.9") without explicit surface features. The Sun rose at 21:35 GMT.


  Damian PEACH (DPc), who stays from this September at Tenerife, Canary Islands to observe the planets, started to obtain the Mars images from 13 November (094Ls). He captured a good LRGB image with an IR image on the day at LCM=304W (6:51 GMT): The images clearly show Syrtis Mj together with the northern band including Utopia. The area of the npc is no more than a bit light. On the succeeding 14 November (095Ls), he produced also good images at LCM=299W (7:06 GMT): The northern end of Syrtis Mj is like the bottom of a ship as in the former images. Utopia is dark. The central latitude pointed to 23N.


  The ccd images as well as MFr's interesting drawings are exhibited on a new web page "2003 Mars Gallery" of the CMO Internet (first uploaded on 18 November). Yukio MORITA (Mo) started from 22 November and his images also are currently shown on the Web.


 The next issue shall treat the period from 16 November to 15 December (109Ls). We hope every observation, if emailed, is sent in a .jpg file to

as well as to

at the same time. The former is for the CMO Internet, and the latter for the edition of the CMO Report (this column). It is preferable for every file to convey the observer's name or code: If not, it will turn hard to identify later whose file it is in our file list.

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