Second Report: The CMO/OAA Observations made during the one-month period from
16 November 2002 ( λ =096゚Ls) to 15 December 2002 ( λ =109゚Ls)

Based on the OAA Mars Section article published in CMO #267 (25 December 2002)

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese here

THE planet Mars rises before 4 o'clock local time, and the Sun does late so that the observation time is longer, but the apparent declination of the planet is going down southward. The apparent diameter grows slowly. The winter weather does never remain preferable in Japan. MORITA (Mo) started from 22 November. We here treat the period:

16 November 2002 ( λ =096゚Ls) to 15 December 2002 ( λ =109゚Ls)

The central latitude φ was from 23°N down to 18°N. The phase angle ι grew from 19° to 25°. The apparent diameter δ proceeded from 3.9" to 4.3".

The observations made this period are as follows:

      FRASSATI, Mario  (MFr) Crescentino, Italia
            3 Drawings (23 November; 1, 6 December 2002)     250, 400x 20cm SCT

      MINAMI, Masatsugu   (Mn)  Mikuni, Fukui, Japan
            13 Drawings (19, 22, 23, 28 November; 14 December 2002) 
                                            400, 480x 20cm ED Goto refractor*

   MORITA, Yukio  (Mo)  Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, Japan  
            6 Sets of CCD Images (22, 23, 28 November; 1, 2, 15 December 2002) 
                           f/50 @ 25cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C

     PEACH, Damian A (DPc) Tenerife, Canarias Is, España
            3 Sets of CCD Images (18, 21 November; 10 December 2002)
                           f/29 @ 31cm Meade SCT & f/31 @ 28cm Celestron SCTwith an ST-5C

                                                                               *Fukui City Observatory
  FRASSATI (MFr) made an interesting observation on 23 November ( λ =099°Ls): The observation time was 9:16 GMT implying that the Sun was already high up. He used 250x, while the altitude of Mars is 35° near Venus. The planet rotated to ω =240°W, and Syrtis Mj was clearly visible. On 1 December ( λ =102°Ls) he made at 7:20 GMT and on 6 December ( λ =105°Ls) at 6:30 GMT with 400x using also Wr21 (orange).

  MORITA (Mo) gave his first set of images on 22 November ( λ =098°Ls) at ω =071°W. The angular diameter was just δ =4.0" while M Acidalium is shot near the evening terminator, and it was proved Chryse was white with the evening mist. The images on 23 November at ω =061°W is less fine, but the area of Auroræ S looks dark. The images on 28 November ( λ =101°Ls) at ω =009°W are mild with faint markings. On 1 December ( λ =102°Ls) Mo observed at ω =332°W: Syrtis Mj is on the evening side and Meridiani S is vaguely seen near the following limb. On 2 December ( λ =103°Ls) he observed at ω =327°W~333°W: S Sabæus is shot dark, and the LRGB image shows a white misty band on the northern middle latitudes from E to W. The following weather remained bad for a fortnight, and Mo missed the observation of Hellas. On 15 December ( λ =109°Ls) the surface proceeded to ω =192°W. This image is unstable, though the north polar region is light. MORITA used older type filters, but was going to employ new ones.

  PEACH (DPc), at Tenerife (28°N), Canary Islands, gave excellent images three times during the period. The images on 18 November ( λ =097°Ls) show the northern band including Utopia clearly at ω =256°W. Syrtis Mj is well dark, and a bit of Hellas seems seen. On 21 November ( λ =098°Ls) DPc obtained a image at ω =223°W which seems to show Syrtis Mj near the morning limb. Don PARKER (DPk) commented about a shadowy marking near the afternoon terminator. See LtE. The images on 10 December ( λ =107°Ls) catches the whole of M Acidalium at ω =036°W. Especially the northern part is broad and darker. The markings on the southern hemisphere are also shot well. Amazingly S Meridiani is clearly isolated near the evening terminater, and Agathodæmon is caught (see LtE). These images should be comparable with the images in March 1997. The season implies now that the northern hemisphere is full of water vapours, and so the images should be accompanied by a B image.

  The present writer (Mn) watched three times if the sky is fine from 5:00 to 7:00 JST. The weather at Fukui is dismal in winter, but if it is fine, we share with MORITA (Mo) though his station is located in a finer place near the Inland Sea. Thus our observation days are nearly identical. Just the night on 1 December it became cloudy at Fukui after midnight while it was fine at Hiroshima. We here omit the details of Mn's observations because not so different from the results by Mo. The npc was sometimes checked, and the morning and evening mists were observed.

  The next issue shall treat the period from 16 December 2002 to 15 January 2003 ( λ =123°Ls, δ =4.9"). We hope every observation, if emailed, is sent in a .jpg file to as well as to The former is for the CMO Internet, and the latter for the edition of the CMO Report (this column). It is preferable every file conveys the observer's name or code: If not, it will turn hard to identify later whose file it belongs.
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