Fourth Report: The CMO/OAA Observations made during the one-month period from
16 January 2003 (λ=124゚Ls) to 15 February 2003 (λ=138゚Ls)

Based on the OAA Mars Section article published in CMO #269 (25 February 2003 )

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese here

THE weather is still dismal. On 28 January (Happy Birthday to Don PARKER) we had snowfall of 26 cm at Fukui. This year however the temperature is rather milder, just around the freezing point, while we experienced a morning in 1999 on 4 February when the thermometer inside the dome of the Fukui City Observatory stood four degrees below the freezing point. In February 1999 we were however be able to enjoy much more observable hours. This time we review the period from

16 January 2003 (λ=124゚Ls) to 15 February 2003 (λ=138゚Ls)

  During this one month, the angular diameter δ augmented from 4.9" to 5.7". The central latitude φ moved from 10°N to 2°N. The phase angle ι increased from 31° to 36°. The apparent declination of the planet went down to -22°45' on 15 February.

The observations received this time are as follows:

        FRASSATI, Mario  (MFr) Crescentino, Italia
            5 Sets of Drawings (18, 27 January; 1, 6, 8 February 2003)     250x 20cm SCT

        ISHADOH, Hiroshi  (Id) Naha, Okinawa, Japan
            4 Drawings (30 January; 2, 13 February 2003)    400, 530x 31cm speculum

       MINAMI, Masatsugu   (Mn)  Mikuni, Fukui, Japan
            13 Drawings 16 Drawings (25 January; 6, 7, 13 February 2003)
                                                       400, 480x 20cm ED Goto refractor*

    MORITA, Yukio  (Mo)  Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, Japan  
           6 Sets of CCD Images (16 January; 2, 6, 12 February 2003) 
                                                   f/50 @ 25cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C

      MURAKAMI, Masami  (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
           12 Drawings (17, 21, 28 January; 6, 7, 12 February 2003)  320x 20cm speculum

      NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan
            2 Drawings (25 January 2003)        400, 480x 20cm ED Goto refractor*

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

                                                                               *Fukui City Observatory
  We first review the observations by FRASSATI (MFr) and PEACH (DPc ) in Europe. On 18 January (when λ=125°Ls, δ=4.8"), MFr detected S Meridiani at ω=022°W while the area of Margaritifer S was vacant. A white cloud was seen preceding M Acidalium. On 27 January (λ=129°Ls) MFr took a drawing at ω=291°W, and on 28 January (λ=129°Ls) DPc took a ccd picture at ω=286°W. The former shows a dark Syrtis Mj with Hellas that was weak at Int 2~1. The latter also shows a dark and broad Syrtis Mj with weaker Hellas. Utopia is definite. On 1 February (λ=131°Ls) MFr watched at ω=237°W: Hellas turned to be very bright on the morning side at 0.5. Syrtis Mj was also caught near the morning limb. Gyndes and Utopia dark. On 5 February (λ=133°Ls), DPc produced a set of good images at ω=205°W where the Ætheria dark patch is quite large and its western side to the limb looks thickly misted. Elysium is quite light in IR. Since ι=34°, the noon line was at around 240°W so that the Ætheria patch should be at noon, and Elysium was on the afternoon side. On 6 February (λ=134°Ls), MFr observed at ω=188°W but did not show the thick morning mist. The noon line lied over Elysium. On 8 February (λ=135°Ls), MFr observed at ω=171°W where the north polar region (npr ) was not so bright (Int:1.5~1.8). MFr is using Wr#21.

  In Japan, MORITA (Mo) produced a set of good images on 16 January (λ=124°Ls) at ω=249°W: Syrtis Mj appears definite in longer wavelengths (R and IR). Hellas is very bright in G and rather dull in B, while Elysium is clear in B near the terminator. Libya is clear in R. The Ætheria dark patch is definite. On 17 January (λ=124°Ls), MURAKAMI (Mk) observed from ω=222°W. He however didn't detect explicitly Syrtis Mj even at ω=241°W. On 21 January (λ=126°Ls), Mk observed at ω=190°W when the morning limb was covered by a bright mist (one rank lighter than the spr). On 25 January (λ=128°Ls), NAKAJIMA (Nj ) and MINAMI (Mn) at Fukui observed at ω=151°W~186°W: The spr was whitish bright, and Elysium was bright near the morning limb though not so white. A small white patch was seen at the terminator, maybe Olympus Mons. Cerberus and Phlegra looked shadowy. On 28 January (λ=130°Ls) Mk observed at ω=120°W where Solis L was vaguely shadowy, and M Sirenum was seen on the morning side. On 30 January (λ=130°Ls), ISHADOH (Id ) took a drawing at ω=125°W where M Sirenum was week. Rather he saw a shadowy band running from south to north near the CM. The morning limb was finely light. The npc might be checked. On 2 February (λ=132°Ls), Mo took ccd images at ω=079°W, and Id took a drawing at ω=096°W. The former isolated Solis L from Auroræ S, and Nilokeras was caught following the sinking M Acidalium. A morning mist is shown. The latter seems to show Solis L in the evening. The spr was not light. The morning limb to the npr looked light.
  On 6 February (λ=134°Ls), it was fine at Yokohama, Hiroshima and Fukui and observations were consecutively made at as follows: ω=021°W (19:30GMT, Mk), 030°W (Mk), 037°W (Mo ), 040°W(Mk), 042°W (Mo ), 043°W (Mn), 047°W (Mo ), 050°W (Mk), 052°W (Mn), 062°W (22:20GMT, Mn). Mk already saw S Sabæus at ω=021°W, and Mo 's images also show it. Mn's and Mk's observations on the day showed that M Acidalium looked fainter than the dark markings on the southern hemisphere. The evening terminator at Chryse was light by Mk from ω=030°W, and whitish misty by Mn at ω=052°W and maybe the mist was over to M Acidalium. However on the longer wavelength R and IR images by Mo , M Acidalium is well dark. Mo 's B image at ω=049°W shows a white Chryse mist. The last set of images of Mo shows the coming of Solis L. The morning limb is pale whitish at ω=050°W of Mk. In naked eyes (Mk and Mn), the spr is whitish. On 7 February (λ=134°Ls), Mn and Mk observed at ω=013°W~052°W and at ω=033°W respectively. At Fukui, the seeing improved at ω=033°W, and S Meridiani was seen isolated. The spr was whitish (Mk and Mn). M Acidalium was weaker than the southern dark markings. Tempe light. The npr was light (Mk) and seen light also thru O56 (Mn). On 12 February (λ=137°Ls), Mk observed at ω=340°W and 349°W, and Mo at ω=350°W: Mk observed that the spr was light, but the seeing was so poor that S Sabæus was faint. The morning mist was whitish. Mo 's images show that Margaritifer S, separated from S Meridiani, looks dark. The spr is light. M Acidalium is coming faintly. On 13 February (λ=137°Ls), Mn at Fukui and Id at Okinawa observed successively at ω=318°W (Mn), 327°W (Mn), 337°W (Mn), 338°W (Id ), 347°W (Mn), and at 348°W (Id ): At ω=318°W, Syrtis Mj was dark and Hellas was white with a core in the evening and the following S Sabæus was also seen. At ω=337°W, Syrtis Mj became weaker, and M Acidalium was coming in. Id also saw S Sabæus. The spr was light (Id remarked it was rather gray and roundish). The npr was also light. Id saw a tip of the npc at ω=348°W and observed Margaritifer S was dark.

  The next issue shall treat the period from 16 February (λ=138&°Ls) to 15 March 2003 (λ=152&°Ls, δ=6.7"). We hope every observation, if emailed, is sent in a .jpg file to M MURAKAMI( as well as to M MINAMI ( . 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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