2001 Mars Observation Reports -- #03 --


Mars Observations

made during the period
from16 Dec 2000 (090Ls) to
15 Jan 2001 (103Ls)
based on the article published in CMO #239 (
25 January 2001)


by Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section


s the 20th Century is over and the 15 Years of the CMO has become something of the past, we have thus entered a new cycle. We hope to be given support to as ever.
  The 2001 Mars now comes to the meridian at dawn, but apparently its altitude is already low; the apparent declinations was -14.5 on 15 January 2001, and it is uneasy to know that it will further go down by more than 10 degrees. Welcome are new participants.

  This report deals with the period from 16 December 2000 (090Ls) to 15 January 2001 (103Ls), during which the apparent diameter went up from 4.8 arcsecs to 5.7 arcsecs, the central latitude of Mars gradually changed from 21N down to 16N, and the phase angle increased from 30 to 35. We suffer from dismal weathers in winter, but if the seeing is good, it is now possible to watch the planet from 4:30 local time.


e received the observation reports from the following ten observers while the angular diameter was still under 6 arcsecs.


CIDADO, Antnio Jos (ACd) Oeiras, Portugal

1 Set of CCD Images (14 January 2001)

25cm SCT equipped with an ST-5C + AO


HERNANDEZ, Carlos E (CHr) Miami, FL, USA

1 Set of Drawings (12 January 2001)

290, 410x 20cm SCT


HIGA, Yasunobu (Hg) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

4 Video images (24, 28 December 2000; 1 January 2001)

25cm F6.7 spec equipped with Sony DCR-TR V900


ISHADOH, Hiroshi (Id) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

7 Drawings (18, 24 December 2000; 1, 2, 11 January 2001)

400, 53031cm speculum


MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Fukui, Japan

43 Drawings (16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 29 December 2000; 1, 6, 8 January 2001)

400,480,600x 20cm refractor*


MORITA, Yukio (Mo) Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, Japan

24 Sets of CCD Images

(18, 22, 23, 25, 28 November;

1, 6, 8, 15, 17, 21, 22, 27, 29 December 2000; 10, 11 January 2001)

f/50 25cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C


NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Japan

7 Drawings (19, 29 December 2000)

400,480x 20cm refractor*


PARKER, Donald C (DPk) Miami, FL, USA

2 Sets of CCD Images (28 December 2000)

f/55 41cm speculum equipped with a Lynxx PC


PEACH, Damian A (DPc) King's Lynn, Norfolk, UK

2 Drawings (22 December 2000; 13 January 2001)

410,59031cm Meade SCT



2 Drawings (24, 26 December 2000) 36031cm speculum


* Fukui City Observatory

 16 December~22 December
16 Dec (090Ls) and 17 Dec (091Ls) the present writer (Mn) watched the Martian surfaces from LCM=344W to 027W: In the first half of the session, a misty evening Syrtis Mj was seen. S Sabus was quite dark near the CM and M Acidalium was coming. The light morning mist over Chryse stayed long until Tharsis came in. The north polar cap (npc) was whitish obvious, while the southern limb (s limb) was just dull light ( LCM=027W). Among the images by MORITA (Mo) on 17 Dec the one at LCM=358W shows M Acidalium dark.
Id ) also detected the dark M Acidalium on 18 Dec (091Ls) at LCM=359W, followed by the limb light haze.
19 Dec (091Ls), NAKAJIMA (Nj) and Mn observed from LCM=334W to LCM=003W: S Sabus was definite, and the s limb slightly whitish. The npc was evident. Chryse was morning white, and the long lying broad mist along the equatorial band became certainly to be seen at LCM=003W.
Mn observed on 21 Dec (092Ls) at LCM=295W ~ LCM=344W and on   (093L) at LCM=286W ~ LCM=334W: Used partially was O56. Syrtis Mj rotated from near the CM to the evening side. Hellas looked very bright, brighter than the nps though the latter was quite evident. At LCM=325W Hellas diminished, while Syrtis Mj was still dark. Utopia was dark evident in the former half, and M Acidalium darker in the latter. S Sabus was also evident.
21 Dec and 22 Dec, Mo took images: The evening Syrtis Mj was shot unstable, but the image at LCM=318W on 22 Dec (093Ls) shows it definitely. On the morning of 22 Dec (JST), the temperature at Fukui went down to 1C.

PEACH, WASIUTA, PARKER and others during 22 December ~ 29 December
  On the same day, 22 Dec (093Ls), Damian PEACH (DPc) acquired his first drawing this season at 6:50 GMT, earlier than ours by 15 hours, at LCM=105W where the area of Solis L was shadowy and Xanthe was light near the evening terminator. It seems he saw a light area to the north of Solis L. Used partially Wr21. The apparent diameter grew to 5.0".

  On 24 Dec (094Ls), Myron WASIUTA (MWs) made his first observation at 9:30 GMT: Since LCM=130W, the markings were unfortunately scarce while the npc was seen. In Japan, HIGA (Hg) and Id observed at LCM=302W and at LCM=303W (21:49GMT) respectively: The planet Mars wavers in Hg's Video, but the colour appears good, and Syrtis Mj and Hellas as well as the npc are easily checked. Id especially drew his attention to the bright Hellas.
26 Dec (094Ls), MWs detected the npc together with the dark surroundings at LCM=105W.
27 Dec (095Ls) Mo met a seeing so good that he obtained a sequence of good images at LCM=263W, 268W, 275W and 280W from 22:55 GMT: Every R shows almost all dark markings including Syrtis Mj. The B images are also better to show largely Hellas and a bit Elysium.

  On 28 Dec (095Ls), Don PARKER(DPk) shot at LCM=105W (at 11:05GMT) and at LCM=114W where the Xanthe-Tharsis area looks white strong: Other limb areas and the npc look blurred because of the B enhancement. On the same day, Hg used his Video camera at LCM=256W; the colour is unbalanced because of the shot in the twilight.

  On 29 Dec 2000 (096Ls), Mo was again endowed with a favourable seeing and acquired the images at LCM=242W, 247W, and 252W. The markings to the east of Syrtis Mj are dark definite in R, and M Cimmerium is separated well, and as well the theria Dark patch is shot. Notable is that Cebrenia is an explicitly lighter belt in R at LCM=250W. In B, Elysiun is visible near the evening terminator in addition to the obvious Hellas.

  At Fukui we had a fine morning on the day, and Nj and Mn started from LCM=218W at 19:10 GMT and observed eleven times until LCM=266W (at 22:30GMT). The thermometer pointed to -1C inside the dome. At the former session, the Gyndes band was seen well and at around LCM=247W, Syrtis Mj came out from the morning-to-noon mist, and Hellas became prominent. At the final session, the planet was near the meridian, and the dark Syrtis Mj and the bright Hellas were definite in the twilight. Elysium was still seen and the npc was evident with the light morning mist. the central latitude of Mars was 19N.

As the New Year came in
  As the first year of the New Century came in,
1 January 2001(097Ls) observations were made at LCM=196W (by Mn), LCM=206W (by Hg), LCM=218W (by Id), LCM=220W (by Hg) and LCM=231W (by Id): Hg's images show the dark area of Utopia surrounding the npc, and Id pointed out that the brightness of Hellas became evident at LCM=231W, but he reported that Elysium was not evident near the CM.
2 Jan (098Ls), Id observed at LCM=216W and LCM=226W; in the former the evening terminator had a faint light patch, and in the latter Hellas came in.
6 Jan (099Ls) Mn observed from LCM=155W to 184W; First Tharsis appeared compactly bright near the evening terminator, and at LCM=174W several light and shade areas were visible. The npc looked very roundish.
8 Jan (100Ls) Mn observed from LCM=116W to LCM=164W: At LCM=145W, an evening cloud was seen at Alba while Tharsis was not so light. At the opposite side, a light patch at the SW limb. The npc was whitish evident, and Elysium was morning light.
11 Jan(102Ls), Id took a drawing at LCM=131W where the area of Solis L was shadowy and Xanthe was evening light.
10 Jan and 11Jan, Mo took several images, but no definite features are given due to the poor seeing.

  Carlos HERNANDEZ (
CHr) at Miami produced a set of drawings on 12 Jan (102Ls) at LCM=323W: Syrtis Mj near the evening terminator as well as S Sabus were well seen. It seems there is no comment about Hellas, but the s limb is stated to be light. M Acidalium was coming, and the B image by Wr47 & 64 shows a protrusion of the Chryse morning haze toward the preceding desert.
13 Jan (102Ls), DPc obtained a good drawing at LCM=252W in which Syrtis Mj occupied the main role, and Hellas was bright. The npc is shown to be surrounded by a dark band.
14 Jan (103Ls), Antnio CIDADO (ACd) in Portugal acquired a set of CCD images at LCM=246W where the shape of Utopia is nicely shot. In B, the brightness of Hellas is explicitly shown. Syrtis Mj is outside the morning-to-noon mist. The RGB shows Elysium because of B in the evening. To show the cloud balance, the L-RGB image where L=R proves not appropriate.

  Thus we traced the observations to the effect that the seasonal changes were undergoing normal within a gross scope of the present angular diameter.



he CMO was first published on 25 January 1986, and so the present issue is the first after 15 years. At that time, the CMO did not have a full column of observation reports yet, because we did not have an effective observation system yet. The present writer had however already started his routine work from 8 December 1985 (at 093Ls, the apparent diameter=4.4") at Otsu near Kyoto and went then to Taipei on 25 February 1986 to watch Mars for ten months (Taipei is located to the further south from Fukui by about ten degrees). The first observation at the Taipei Observatory (by the use of a 25cm refractor) was made on 2 Mar 1986 (at 133Ls, the apparent diameter=7.1"), numbered No. 59.

  After 15 years, two things have happened. One is that the we heard the Taipei Observatory was destroyed last year, and the other is that we had this month a heavy snowfall at Fukui similar in 1986. It is officially said the snow was 93cm deep this January, and the deepest we have had for 15 years.
  Many received damages from the snowfall, and one night NAKAJIMA (
Nj) was unfortunately confined in a stuck train for more than ten hours before digging the Observatory. Nj also remembers well the previous heavy snowfall in 1986, but MINAMI (Mn) does not perhaps because he was observing away at Otsu and going to Taipei. (On 31 December 1985 (104Ls) Nj and Mn however made joint observations at the Fukui City Observatory by the use of the same 20cm refractor that we use now. The telescope replaced the old one in 1985 and so it was the first time for Mn to observe Mars by the new refractor.)

  The year 1986 was fruitful to Mn as well as to the CMO despite the troubles in winter, and hence we hope the skies will be promising in the coming summer as well.

  We hear MURAKAMI (Mk) already started his routine observations while his reports have not reached yet.


he next issue shall review the observations made during a one-month period from 16 January (104Ls) to 15 February 2001 (118Ls). We hope every CCD image is emailed in a jpeg file with a file name beginning with the observer's name to vzv03210@nifty.ne.jp as well as to cmo@mars.dti.ne.jp. Drawings are preferred to be sent in an A4 sized format with just one drawing on one sheet.

Reports will be acknowledged if air-mailed to M MINAMI at Mikuni
(ask the mail-address through
vzv03210@nifty.com ) .

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