Third Report: The CMO/OAA Observations made during the one-month period from
16 December 2002 (λ =109゚Ls) to 15 January 2003 (λ =123゚Ls)

Based on the OAA Mars Section article published in CMO #268 (25 January 2003 )

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese here

THE apparent diameter δ being still 4 arcsec, and the cold wave being strong this winter, the observations are now in a hard situation. We are however encouraged by the joint of ISHADOH (Id). PEACH (DPc) at Tenerife already produces detailed images for all such a tiny diameter. We here treat the period

16 December 2002 (λ =109゚Ls) to 15 January 2003 (λ =123゚Ls)

in which δ grew from 4.3" to 4.9". The central latitude φ went down from 18°N to 10°N. The phase angle ι augmented from 25° to 31°. The apparent declination was already toward the south over -19° which will go to the bottom in mid-March.

The observations received this time are as follows:

        FRASSATI, Mario  (MFr) Crescentino, Italia
            2 Sets of Drawings (29 December 2002; 13 January 2003)     250x 20cm SCT

        ISHADOH, Hiroshi  (Id) Naha, Okinawa, Japan
            7 Drawings (1, 12, 13, 15 January 2003)   290, 400, 530x 31cm speculum

       MINAMI, Masatsugu   (Mn)  Mikuni, Fukui, Japan
            13 Drawings (22 December 2002; 2, 8, 12 January 2003) 
                                            400, 480x 20cm ED Goto refractor*

    MORITA, Yukio  (Mo)  Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, Japan  
           16 Sets of CCD Images (22, 29, 31 December 2002; 8, 11, 12 January 2003) 
                           f/50 @ 25cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C

      MURAKAMI, Masami  (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
           11 Drawings (25, 30 December 2002; 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15 January 2003) 
                                                        320x 20cm speculum

      NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan
            4 Drawings (12 January 2003)        400, 480x 20cm ED Goto refractor*

   PEACH, Damian A (DPc) Tenerife, Canarias Is, España
            5 Sets of CCD Images (19, 22, 26, 30 December 2002; 2 January 2003)
                           f/31 @ 28cm Celestron SCT with an ST-5C

                                                                               *Fukui City Observatory
  PEACH (DPc)'s images on 19 December when λ=111°Ls were shot at ω=320°W, and show a dark Syrtis Mj. Notable is that Hellas remains a bit white neat the terminator. On 22 December (λ=112°Ls) DPc produced a good set of images at ω=290°W with Syrtis Mj quite dark and Hellas white bright in B. Utopia is dark and its west looks extraordinarily dark. N Alcyonius appears dark even quite near the terminator. The images on 26 December (λ=114°Ls) was given at ω=244°W where Syrtis Mj moved to the morning side. The Aetheria dark patch is extraordinarily conspicuous, and a shadowy segment is seen running from N Alcyonius southward. Utopia is definite.

  On 30 December 2002 (λ=116°Ls, φ=14°N), DPc produced excellent images at ω=213°W though still δ=4.5". The dark patch in Aetheria is quite dark and broad pinched by the bright Elysium and Cebrenia in a Y shape bounded northward by the Gyndes band. The B image should be associated. In 1999, it was similarly witnessed in more preferable condition from Japan from 31 April (λ=118°Ls) to 5 May (λ=120°Ls) when δ=14.2", and hence this appearance implies the season is normally progressing. In 1999, we also observed its weaker form at the end of February around λ=102°Ls when δ was near 10". This type of the heart shaped brightness was observed in 1997 fromλ=087°Ls (7 Mar 1997) in Japan when φ=23°N and the δ was about 14". Earlier we also observed the Y-shaped brightness conspicuously in 1982 from 29 March (λ=105°Ls) to 6 April (λ=108°Ls, φ=22°N) when δ=14.7". It is really astonishing to see such a marking on a tiny surface of 4.5 arcsecs in diameter.
  DPc's images on 2 January 2003 (λ=117°Ls) was taken ω=178°W where Elysium moved to the morning side, and Olympus Mons is visible near the evening terminator even in IR. How about in B?
  FRASSATI (MFr) made drawings on 29 December (λ=115°Ls) at ω=202°W: The intensity estimate of the northern limb is at 0.5 while the southern end is 1. MFr observed at around 6 h GMT (while DPc on 30 Dec at 7:28 GMT). On 13 January (λ=122°Ls) MFr observed at ω=061°W where Aurorae S and M Acidalium were dark at 4. The northern limb was at 1 while Chryse seems quite misty light at the intensity 1.5. Transparency is good and the temperature at his station went down to -6°C.

  In Japan, MORITA (Mo) gave a series of standard observations. Seeing condition looked similar to Fukui, and so we first introduce the observations by Mo and Mn at the same time. On 22 December (λ=112°Ls), Mn observed at ω=114°W, 124°W, 134°W, & 143°W, while Mo at ω=133°W, 141°W, & 146°W. Mo's G images show Tharsis light near the terminator. Mn also saw the light Tharsis, and a shadowy region on the morning northern hemisphere at ω=124°W. The np region small light. On 29 December (λ=115°Ls), Mo produced excellent images at ω=057°W, 063°W, 069°W, & 075°W (+an IR image at ω=082°W) where the northern dark M Acidalium moves to the evening side with Aurorae S on the southern hemisphere. Chryse near the evening terminator is whitish, showing the water vapour in season. On the night the sky looked preferable at Fukui also, but Mn could not observe because he was sick. On 31 December 2002 (λ=116°Ls), Mo also obtained the images at ω=043°W, 048°W: The former show Nilokeras and M Acidalium as well as the whitish Chryse. Margaritifer S and Aurorae S are also evident. The latter shows Ganges, and the morning Tharsis is slightly light. On 2 January 2003 (λ=117°Ls), Mn observed at ω=009°W, & 019°W. M Acidalium was faint on the morning side. On 8 January (λ=120°Ls), Mn observed at ω=309°W, 319°W, & 328°W: Syrtis Mj was seen at the afternoon side, and Hellas was a bit white. Chryse was whitish on the morning side. Mo took at ω=320°W: The images are slightly unstable, but S Sabaeus and Syrtis Mj are seen, and Utopia dark. The npc in IR? On 11 January (λ=122°Ls), Mo observed at ω=295°W, 302°W, & 307°W where Syrtis Mj is near the CM while Hellas was not so white because it is dim in B (while clearer in R). On 12 January (λ=122°Ls), Mn observed at ω=270°W (at 20:00 GMT), 280°W, 289°W, & 299°W: Hellas was very whitish bright from the outset, and visible also in O56. The evening side at M Tyrrhenum was darker. Syrtis Mj was near the CM, and Utopia was also visible. Mo took pictures at ω=292°W, & 296°W; Hellas is bright in B and so white in colour. The npr looks white. NAKAJIMA (Nj) joined Mn on 12 January, and observed at ω=275°W, 285°W, 294°W, & 304°W with similar results. Mo changed filters and used newly a set of LRGB interference filters of type 3 (Koh-eisha/ICAS-IDAS).
  Hiroshi ISHADOH (Id) at Okinawa started from 1 January whenλ=117°Ls, and δ=4.6". He detected M Acidalium near the CM at ω=042°W, 051°W, and observed that the morning side was light but off-white. The latter observation was made at 7:20 JST (22:20 GMT), but not yet the Sun rose. On 12 January (λ=122°Ls), Id, located most westwards among us, observed at ω=302°W, 312°W both of which were made after the final observations at Fukui and Hiroshima: Hellas was very white and clear. Syrtis Mj was seen but S Sabaeus was weak, and Utopia was no more detected. The npc may be seen. On 13 January (λ=122°Ls) Id watched at ω=290°W where the markings were vague because of bad seeing. On 15 January (λ=123°Ls) Id observed at ω=258°W, 268°W: Hellas was dull rather grayish.
  MURAKAMI (Mk) re-started from Yokohama on 25 December (λ=114°Ls) at ω=099°W, and also observed on 30 December (λ=116°Ls) at ω=041°W, 051°W. M Acidalium was faintly seen. Sky was fine but the temperature was near 0°C. On 5 January (λ=119°Ls), Mk observed at ω=350°W, and on 7 January (λ=120°Ls) at ω=340°W: A shadowy band on the southern hemisphere, and the a slightly light npr was bounded by a shadowy band. On 9 January (λ=121°Ls) at ω=319°W, a bit of Hellas and a shadowy Syrtis Mj were caught. Mk further observed on 12 January (λ=122°Ls) at ω=275°W, 285°W, on 13 January (λ=122°Ls) at ω=275°W, and on 15 January (λ=123°Ls) at ω=241°W, 251°W. They were the surfaces where a weak Syrtis Mj haunted. In winter the weather is fair in the Kwantoh district in general, but generally the seeing is not good if not covered by anticyclonic airs. On 15 Jan, the temperature at Mk's station went down to -3°C. Thus the meteorological conditions at Yokohama, Okinawa , Hiroshima and Fukui are all different from each other: Yokohama has a fair but cold weather with bad seeing in winter, Okinawa is a warm and westernmost island, Hiroshima is along the Japanese Inland Sea, and Fukui belongs to the snow countries suffering from the Siberian winds.

  The next issue shall treat the period from 16 January (λ=124°Ls) to 15 February 2003 (λ=138°Ls, δ=5.7"). 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 is.
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