Great 2003 Mars Coming (02)

Great 2003 Mars Coming

Possible Flashes on Mars in 2003

( CMO Ina Meeting Report (4) )


  THIS is a summary of a talk by Masami MURAKAMI at the 2002 CMO Summer School held at Ina last summer: He reviewed whether there is a possibility of the strange brightening to occur on Mars in 2003, as in 2001. Since the tilt of the south pole of Mars declines more toward the Earth than in 2001, there is no possibility of the Edom flashes in the sense of 2001, but the area of Solis L and Tithonius L comes to us to be a target as in 1958.
  MURAKAMI started to give a brief of the 2001 case: He mentioned the wise prediction by Tom DOBBINS & Bill SHEEHAN which appeared in The Martian-Flares Mystery, S&T, May 2001 (101, No5) p115 and brave expedition to the Florida Keys by Don PARKER, Dave MOORE and others. The former consideration was introduced in CMO #242 p2973 (Forthcoming 2001 Mars. 10) and later was looked back in CMO #260 p3337 ("Interview with Sanenobu FUKUI"), and the later was announced in CMO #245 p3013 (Newsflash), p3016 LtE, and CMO #246 p3025 (CMO Mars Report #10).
  The observing team at the Florida Keys stayed there from 5 June (to 9 June) and spent the first two nights in vain, while on 7 June the members detected the historical flashes (at around 6:40 GMT) endowed with a new pulsation phenomenon; that is, the flashes took place successively. This was readily communicated from Don PARKER to M MINAMI (at 7:54 GMT), and MINAMI forwarded the big news to all members who were enlisted in the CMO emailing list. The similar but more complex phenomenon was also observed on 8 June, but no longer on 9 June. The ALPO team used three telescopes to watch continuously the area of Edom, two 15cm Newtonians were used for the visual observation, and the third (30cm SCT) was equipped with a B&W Video Camera.

  Then MURAKAMI moved on to the similar geometry referring to the Ephemeris for Physical Observation in The Astronomical Almanac for the year 2003: According to the Almanac, the periods where De=Ds shall be attained are recorded twice as follows:

(00h GMT)    De      Ds      App.Diam.  Phase Angle
 01 Aug   20.12°S  19.91°S    22.4"       23.0°
 05 Aug   19.91°S  20.60°S    23.0"       20.3°

(00h GMT)   De       Ds      App.Diam.  Phase Angle
 01 Nov   23.58°S   23.79°S    15.0"      38.0°
 05 Nov   24.01°S   23.38°S    14.3"      38.9°
Since De(=Ds) falls around 20°S and 24°S respectively, the area of Solis L turns out to be a possible candidate if not so damaged by the latest dust (see Note 1). So MURAKAMI saw the time when LCM=90°W will be attained, and then found

  (1)   01 Aug  16h20m GMT LCM=090°W
        02 Aug  17 00      LCM=090°W

  (2)   02 Nov  00h20m GMT LCM=091°W
  The first case is apparently suited for the Oriental area to watch because the area was to be watched at midnight. The latter case will be appropriate for the European stations.
  The former case is good from the point of view of the apparent diameter, phase angle and the weather condition. The time when (De=Ds) may occur according to MURAKAMI's extrapolation is given to be 23hGMT (De=Ds)=20.1°S on 1 August (see Note 2). So the day around 1 August is most plausible. However even in 2001, the event occurred at the days slightly deviated from the time (De=Ds), and so we should be on alert for a longer period. MURAKAMI gave a time table suited for the Japanese observers. MURAKAMI plans to rouse a CMO opinion to set up the team observation around 1 August 2003.

         13:00    14:00   15:00   16:00    17:00    18:00    19:00    20:00   21:00  GMT 
29 July   067°W    082°W   096°W   111°W    126°W    140°W    154°W    169°W   184°W
30        058      073     087     102      117      131      146      160     175
31        049      064     078     093      108      122      137      151     166
01 Aug    040      055     069     084      099      113      128      142     157
02        031      046     060     075      089      104      119      133     148
03        022      037     051     066      080      095      110      124     139
04        013      027     042     057      071      086      101      115     130

  In conclusion, a comment was given about other possibility of the reflection that should occur when an area of the latitude determined by (Ds+De)/2 is watched. However if we allow the cases where the 'mirror' is not slightly lateral, the possibility will be too augmented to pin down, and so he did not take account the case. Furthermore the trial next time in MURAKAMI's mind is to check the generality of the case in 2001.

(Note 1) In mid November 1958, De and Ds were around 12°S~14°S, and so somewhat different from the present case. Note furthermore that the season is different: In 1958, the season was at lambda=325°Ls. In 2003 on 1 August, lambda=232°Ls.

(Note 2) The software "WIMP v4.0" given by Jeff BEISH suggests somewhat different values:

      01 Aug  12h GMT   (De=Ds)=19.5°S.

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