The apparent diameter δ grew rapidly from 8.4" to 10.6" during the period. The defect illumination was maximal with ι =43.1ﾟ. The central latitude φ was from 14°S to 19°S, and the Martian Southern Hemisphere came to us after a long interval. The season now proceeded to the time the 2001 great dust storm started.
A total of more than 20 observers came to contribute. We welcomed Eric NG (ENg) and K C PAU (KPa) from Hong Kong, and KUMAMORI (Km) and MOORE (DMr) started. These observers use Philips ToUcam, but at present trial and error are needed to refine the results since the Martian images should be serious in colour. We also newly welcomed observers from Europe (C. PELLIER (CPl) from France and P LAZZAROTTI (PLz)). BIVER (NBv) now returned home in France. Jeff BEISH (JBs) is a veteran and is sending to us his visual observations from 23 April.
BATES, Donald R (DBt) Houston, TX, USA 1 CCD Image (26 April 2003) @f/21 25cm speculum with a Philips ToUcam Pro BEISH, Jeffrey D (JBs) Lake Placid, FL, USA 10 Drawings (23 April; 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 15 May 2003) 440, 570, 650, 870x 41cm F/6.9 speculum BIVER, Nicolas (NBv) Versailles, France 4 Colour Drawings (16 April; 3, 12, 15 May 2003) 410x 26cm speculum HERNANDEZ, Carlos E (CHr) Miami, FL, USA 1 Drawing (8 May 2003) 250, 370x 23cm Maksutov-Cassegrain HIKI, Toshiaki (Hk) Minowa, Nagano, Japan 6 Drawings (28 April; 3, 4 May 2003) 430, 390x 20cm speculum ISHADOH, Hiroshi (Id) Naha, Okinawa, Japan 7 Drawings (2, 10, 11 May 2003) 290, 400, 530x 31cm speculum IWASAKI, Tohru (Iw) Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan 8 Drawings (2, 3 May 2003) 400, 480x 20cm ED refractor/ 260x 25cm Meade at Fukui* KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan 4 CCD Images (2, 5 May 2003) @f/28 20cm Dall-Kirkham with a Philips ToUcam Pro LAZZAROTTI, Paolo R (PLz) Toscana, Italia 2 CCD Red Images (6, 12 May 2003) 18cm Maksutov-Cassegrain with a KC381 MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Mikuni, Fukui, Japan 55 Drawings (16, 17, 18, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30 April; 1, 2, 3+ , 9, 13 May 2003) 400, 480, 600x 20cm ED refractor* / +also 260x 25cm Meade MOORE, David M (DMr) Phnix, AZ, USA 7 Sets of CCD Images (24, 25, 27 April; 1, 12 May 2003) @f/35 25cm speculum with a Philips ToUcam Pro MORITA, Yukio (Mo) Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, Japan 12 Sets of CCD Images (12, 21, 26, 30 April; 1 May 2003) @f/50 25cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 8 Drawings (16, 17, 18 April; 3+ May 2003) 320, 400x 20cm speculum / +400, 480x 20cm ED refractor/ 260x 25cm Meade at Fukui* NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan 9 Drawings (2, 9 May 2003) 400, 480x 20cm ED Goto refractor* NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan 8 Drawings (27, 28 April; 1, 3, 9, 13 May 2003) 400x 20cm refractor NG, Eric (ENg) Hong Kong 2 CCD Images (19, 27 April 2003) @f/35 25cm Royce spec with a Philips ToUcam Pro PARKER, Donald C (DPk) Miami, FL, USA 21 Sets of CCD Images (16, 18, 21, 22, 24, 29 April; 2, 4, 10, 15 May 2003) @f/60 41cm F/6 Newtonian equipped with an ST-9XE PAU, K C (KPa) Hong Kong 2 CCD Images (23, 25 April 2003) 21cm spec (CN212) with a ToUcam Pro PELLIER, Christophe (CPl) Bruz, Ille-et-Vilaine, France 5 CCD Images (16, 17 April; 3, 10, 13 May 2003) 18cm spec with a Philips ToUcam Pro TAN, Wei-Leong (WTn) Singapore 2 CCD Images (5, 6 May 2003) @f/27 25cm Meulon with a Philips ToUcam Pro TSUNEMACHI, Hitomi (Ts) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 5 Drawings (3 May 2003) 400, 480x 20cm ED refractor/ 260x 25cm Meade at Fukui* VALIMBERTI, Maurice P (MVl) Melbourne, Australia 7 CCD Images (17, 18, 22, 29 April; 5, 6, 15 May 2003) @f/34 35cm SCT with a Philips ToUcam Pro * Fukui City Observatory
The SPC : As reported in the preceding issue, the south polar cap (spc) popped out at around λ=160°Ls as in 1986 (the trend of φ was similar). However a residual of cloud seems still to appear, and Mo observed on 21 April (λ=172°Ls) at ω=024°W that Argyre was haunted by a cloud matter. At the period ofλ=170°Ls, two other characteristics became explicit: one was the appearance of a fine dark fringe and the other the shadow seen at the southern limb of the spc. To our naked eye, the dark fringe was seen finely from the end of April (~λ=175°Ls). At the observation-time of the CMO Meeting held at the beginning of May (λ=179°Ls), TSUNEMACHI (Ts) et al saw it to the south of Hellas precedent to Depressiones Hellesponticæ. The depression of the southern limb of the spc was checked by Mn on 17 April (λ=170°Ls), and frequently observed from the end of April to the beginning of May. It should be noted the shadowy area began to be visible beforeλ=180°Ls. A delicate distribution is seen inside the spc of DPk's image taken on 22 April (λ=173°Ls) at ω=242°W. KUMAMORI (Km)'s images on 2 May (λ=178°Ls) at ω=261°W, 278°W also show the depression. It was quite apparent on 9 May (λ=182°Ls) at ω=225°W, and so on. BEISH (JBs) observed a shadowy marking inside the spc 10 May (λ=182°Ls) at ω=054°W~059°W, and then drew clearly the depression on 12 May~15 May. ISHADOH (Id) checked it on 10 May (λ=183°Ls) at ω=216°W, 228°W.
Hellas : DPk's images on 22 April (λ=173°Ls) at ω=230°W~242°W and on 24 April (λ=174°Ls) at ω=212°W & 221°W show a morning cloud or frost at the coming Hellas. Mo's images on 1 May (λ=177°Ls) at ω=292°W~300°W show that the western area of Hellas is light: This is an earlier important observation, since this area was so in 2001 at λ=176°Ls: This stayed longer in 2001 confined inside Hellas even after the emergence of the dust cloud in Hesperia. This is also seen Km's images on 2 May (λ=178°Ls) at ω=261°W & 278°W and on 5 May (180°W) at ω=245°W ~254°W. This was not so bright however if seen through the naked eyes as observed at Fukui. Id on 2 May noted the inside of Hellas is rather generally dusty. On 6 May (λ=181°Ls) at ω=244°W, MVl also produced the image of Hellas whose western part is whitish light. The colour may be dubious of the defenceless ToUcam, but this should be rather ground-based. TAN (WTn) also enhanced this western swath on the images on 5 May (λ=180°Ls) at ω=289°W and on 6 May (λ=181°Ls) at ω=277°W.
Hellespontus : DPk's images on 16 April (λ=169°Ls) at ω=300°W & 304°W are quite detailed, though δ=8.4", and separated the dark band of Yaonis Fr from Hellespontus. The former is connected to Depressiones Hellesponticæ. The latter looks rather bent to Noachis, and may be so slightly different from the classical Hellespontus.
Mare Hadriacum : M Hadriacum is still devastated as shown on DPk's images on 22 April (λ=173°Ls) at ω=242°W. So on MVl's images on 5 May (λ=180°Ls) at ω=234°W and on 6 May (λ=181°Ls) at ω=244°W. The landscape looked strange to naked eyes: On 2 May, 3 May and 4 May, IWASAKI (Iw), Ts, MURAKAMI (Mk), HIKI (Hk) similarly pointed out. Ts's drawings were standard on 3 May atω=244°W & 264°W.
Morning Syrtis Mj : Syrtis Mj should be apparent around from ω=218°W in naked eye or R. It is however under a morning mist and unseen on DPk's B image made on 22 April (λ=173°Ls) at ω=230°W, but vaguely it appears at ω=242°W. This is normal. ToUcam's images are confusing on this point. Syrtis Mj is apparent on the B channel of DMr's image on 25 April (λ=174°Ls) at ω=237°W as well on MVl's B on 5 May (λ=180°Ls) at ω=234°W (MVl used Schott's WG295/KG3, the former is like UV-30, and latter is R blocking IR). The observation from Fukui on 9 May (λ=182°Ls) until ω=225°W still showed us a morning mist. Id recognised the morning Syrtis Mj by naked eye on 10 May (λ=183°Ls) at ω=228°W.
Eridania : The naked eyes separates the area of M Cimmerium from the dark band of the spc (e g on 13 May (λ=184°Ls) and so on).
Elysium : DPk's images on 24 April (λ=174°Ls) at ω=212°W, 221°W show a faint white mist over Elysium. However later Id observed that Elysium was never light on 10 May (λ=183°Ls) at ω=216°W & 228°W. Similar result on 9 May at Fukui.
Evening Tharsis : DPk's images on 2 May (λ=178°Ls) at ω=133°W show a roll cloud along the evening Tharsis ridge. Olympus Mons is near the CM and free from cloud, but shines. DPk's B images on 4 May (λ=179°Ls) at ω=116°W & 125°Ware marvellous with a large W shaped evening cloud. In R, the dark spot of Phnicis L and the summit of Arsia Mons are seen, the latter being covered by the thin cloud. The three upper points of the W cloud seem to be located 1) at Arsia Mons, 2) at Syria Planum and 3) at Tithonius L. The LMT of Arsia Mons when ω=116°W is about 2.5 o'clock (σ=43°). MVl's image on 15 May (λ=186°Ls) at ω=137°W shows clearly the Arsia cloud.
Area around Solis L : DPk's images on 10 May (λ=183°Ls) at ω=049°W, 060°W & 066°W are also excellent, and Solis L appears to be different from the usual one (since apparent from 1986) in that its western half looks quite faded, and so the general shape is like the one observed in 1926 (this is also hinted by the images by Mo on 16 April (λ=169°Ls) at ω=089°W or by PELLIER (CPl) on 3 May (λ=178°Ls) at ω=053°W). On DPk's images, Bathys is explicit and Phasis is dark and rather broad. DPk's images together with those on 4 May further show another spike at Dædalia near Araxes down from the eastern end of M Sirenum. The area is much fainter than the case observed in 1973. The latter spike is already seen on Eric NG (ENg)'s image on 19 April (λ=171°Ls) at ω=079°W and so forth.
Around M Erythræum : DPk's images on 15 May (λ=185°Ls) at ω=010°W, 014°W and 018°W prove that the area between M Erythræum and the dark parts of Margaritifer S and Auroræ S is broadly faint, and also the eastern part of M Erythræum is faded. This must be because of fallout of dust. Argyre light. Argyre was shot in R by LAZAROTTI (PLz) on 6 May (λ=180°Ls) at ω=009°W. The devastated area of M Erythræum was also seen earlier on those images by KC PAU (KPa) on 25 April (λ=174°Ls) at ω=014°W or by ENg on 27 Apr (λ=175°Ls) at ω=359°W. Here Aram is light.
The NPH : The npr is mostly out of sight so that it is difficult to describe the north polar haze at present, but there were seen sometimes southward cloud protrusions from mid-April. For example, a cloud core was seen at the evening side of the npr on 17 April (λ=170°Ls) at ω=071°W & 081°W. As well Chryse was evening misty light. The nph in B became more evident around from 22 April (λ=173°Ls) as shown by DPk. At Fukui the CMO members all checked the nph. HERNANDEZ (CHr) on 8 May (λ=181°Ls) at ω=056°W estimated the intensity of the nph to be at 1/11 (the spc was 0/11). From the side of Japan it was thick on 9 May (λ=182°Ls). JBs described the nph clearly on 13 May (λ=184°Ls) at ω=011°W~015°W. On DPk's images on 15 May (λ=185°Ls) at ω=010°W, the nph is considerably thick (φ=19°S).