2001 Mars Observation Reports -- #06--


Mars Observations

made during the period
from 16 March 2001 (131Ls) to 15 April 2001 (146Ls)
based on the article published in CMO #242 (25 April 2001)

by Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

  The present report deals with the Mars observations made during the period from 16 March 2001 (131Ls) to 15 April 2001 (146Ls) and the following are the observers who contributed this time.


AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Karasuyama, Tochigi, Japan

11 Sets of CCD Images (1, 5, 9, 11, 13 April 2001)

f/70 32cm speculum equipped with a Teleris 2


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

1 Set of Drawings (8 April 2001)

305, 355x 20cm Schmidt-Cassegrain


HIGA, Yasunobu (Hg) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

22 Video images (21, 30 March; 10, 13 April 2001)

25cm F6.7 speculum equipped with Sony VX-1000


ISHADOH, Hiroshi (Id) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

23 Drawings (15, 22, 30, 31 March; 1, 10, 12, 13 April 2001)

400, 530x 31cm speculum


MELILLO, Frank J (FMl) Holtsville, NY, USA

2 CCD Images (24 March;14 April 2001)

20cm SCT equipped with a Starlight Xpress


MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Fukui, Japan

84 Drawings (18, 19, 23, 27 March; 1, 3~7, 14, 15 April 2001)

400, 480, 600x 20cm refractor*


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

18 Sets of CCD Images (18, 21, 23 March; 12, 13, 15 April 2001)

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


MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan

17 Drawings (19, 20 March; 1, 4, 6, 11, 13, 15 April 2001)

320, 425x 20cm speculum


NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Japan

35 Drawings (19, 24 March; 1, 3, 4, 5, 13, 15 April 2001)

375, 400x 20cm refractor*


NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

10 Drawings (11, 14, 20 March; 2, 5, 6, 12, 14, 15 April 2001)

400x 20cm refractor


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

14 Sets of CCD Images (24, 26 March; 3, 5, 6 10, 15 April 2001)

f/48~58 41cm speculum or 41cm Meade SC

equipped with a Lynxx PC or an ST-237


TAN, Wei-Leong (WTn) Singapore

1 CCD Colour Image (12 April 2001)

f/16 28cm SC equipped with with an ST-7E


TEICHERT, Grard (GTc) Hattstatt, France

1 Drawing (1 April 2001) 330, 310x 28cm Schmidt-Cassegrain


TSUNEMACHI, Hitomi (Ts) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

18 Drawings (2, 13, 14, 15 April 2001)

360x 12.5cm Fluorite refractor



13 Drawings (19, 20, 23, 25, 28 March; 5 April 2001)

360x 32cm speculum/ 470x 30cm refractor


* Fukui City Observatory





n 15 March (131Ls) the apparent diameter was 8.8", while it increased by 0.1" everyday, and reached 12.0" on 15 April (146Ls). The central latitude (De) moved from 4N down to the opposite hemisphere to 1S. The phase angle decreased from 38 to 34. The apparent declination of the planet was down to -23 26' on 15 April.


we wrongly recorded DPk's CCD camera in the preceding issue: The cooled CCD camera Don PARKER (DPk) used in the previous period was a Celestron PixCel 237 (SBIC ST-237) which was build on TI's TC-237.
  We also missed to record some observations made in March:
On 6 Mar, HERNANDEZ (CHr) observed earlier than Hg at around LCM=175W: Cerberus was evident, and Phlegra was caught dark but narrow. The dark band along Gyndes was broad that bounded the npc on the limb.
  We also missed the record of the observations by MORITA (
On 8 Mar (128Ls), Mo took ccd images at LCM=288W, 298W in which Hellas is bright in G and B while weak in R perhaps due to the poor seeing.
On 10 Mar (128Ls), Mo obtained images at LCM=279W & 284W: Syrtis Mj is near at the CM, and Hellas is brighter in the order of B, G and R.
On 11 Mar (129Ls), Mo took CCD sets of images at LCM=262W, 269W and 273W: The first set is good, and the morning Hellas is bright in R also. In R, Cebrenia is light and the shadowy spot at Utopia is visible. Elysium, light in B, appears white in the colour composite.
On 15 Mar(131Ls), Mo observed at LCM=230W~ LCM=237W and obtained a good set at LCM=233W: In R Elysium and Cebrenia are equally light, but in G and B Elysium more prevails, so that Elysium is whiter. The theria dark patch is evident and looks connected with the spike of M Cimmerium. In B, the f side is lighter, so that the morning Syrtis Mj appears blue in the composite. Hellas is whitish bright, while the preceding sph is off-whitish.


 Observation   :

 16 ~ 31 March 2001

On 15 Mar (131Ls), ISHADOH (Id) observed at LCM=246W where the evening Elysium was much less light than Hellas. He detected a presence of the npc.
On 18 Mar (132Ls, at the same season as we met when the planet was closest to the Earth in 1999), MINAMI (Mn) observed from LCM=151W to LCM=209W, and MORITA (Mo) took images at LCM=175W, 185W, 192W, and 199W. The south polar hood (sph) was large but not so bright. Tharsis was also dull except near the terminator. The area of Olympus Mons was suspected as a faint light spot. Cerberus-Phlegra was definite and the theria dark patch was coming in the morning.
On 19 Mar (133Ls), WASIUTA (MWs) observed at LCM=027W (09:20GMT) ~ 047W(10:40), where the nph was spotted small. Chryse dull. In Japan, Mk observed at LCM=188W, where the area of Olympus Mons was faintly light. At Fukui, NAKAJIMA (Nj) and MINAMI (Mn) made observations from LCM=142W to 200W. The southern edge part of the sph is bright in general, while the brightness inside was not uniform. Phlegra was broad but less dark than M Cimmerium. The theria dark patch could be seen from the f limb. Olympus Mons was faint.
On 20 Mar (133Ls), MWs observed at LCM=018W, Mk at LCM=159W(~178W) and Nr at LCM=188W.

  On 21 Mar (134Ls), Hg took Video images from LCM=144W to 183W: The sph is not definite in his images, while M Sirenum adjacent to it was dark evident. Near the evening terminator, the light parch varies from Xanthe to Tharsis and to Olympus Mons. At LCM=174W, the latter Mons is seen roundish light inside the disk. Propontis I is not identified. Mo imaged at LCM=169W, 175W; The sph being considerably light, Olympus Mons is also light. Prpopontis I is caught.

  On 22 Mar (134Ls), Id observe at LCM=167W where Olympus Mons was detected inside.
On 23 Mar (135Ls), MWs made a series of observations from LCM=345W(9:00) to 003W, where MWS did not feel the sph bright. Chryse-Xanthe in the f side was light. On the day, Mn observed from LCM=104W to 162W, where Xanthe-Tharsis was light near the evening terminator, and the following area of Tempe was reddish shadowy. The sph was definite and its inside was not uniform. Gradually M Sirenum came into sight. Mo took a set of images at LCM=153W where Tharsis is evident and large in B. MORITA's met an earthquake on the day after of magnitude 6.7 (the Kobe earthquake on 17 Jan 1995 JST was of magnitude 7.3 in a new standard), and Mo was forced to quit observing for a while because of a moving of his telescope.
On 24 Mar (135Ls), MELILLO (FMl) took ccd images at LCM=347W, where the sph looks light in R. On the day PARKER (DPk) also produced the images at LCM=348W, and 357W: DPk's Images (by the use of an ST-237) show all of the dark markings quite nicely. The sph appears however differently from different angles in R. There is a roundish light spot in the npr in R (De=2N). The evening mist in ria is thick. In Japan Nj observed at LCM=352W but very poor seeing.
On 25 Mar (135Ls), MWs observed at LCM=340W, where a morning mist in Chryse.
On 26 Mar (136Ls), DPk took images at LCM=317W (by ST-237), 328W (by Lynxx), 338W (by Lynxx; 10:33 GMT). In the first, Hellas and Libya are equally bright, and the sph is weaker but downward to Argyre at dawn. Hellas gradually reduces its brightness and Libya mist becomes thicker and invades Syrtis Mj. Finally Hellas disappears and the sph shows up thick. On the day, at Fukui Mn was late because of cloudy condition, and started from LCM=107W (19:20GMT) and observed till 129W, where Xanthe-Tharsis was not so light.
On 28 Mar (137Ls), MWs observed four times from LCM=298W to 327W, Hellas moved but no explicit observation of the sph. S Sabus became evident, and MWs was finally aware of the Libya cloud.
On 30 Mar (138Ls), Hg took Video images from LCM=052W to 091W, and Id observed from LCM=055W to 094W (each five times): Id noticed that the sph was much downward, and the Video images also show the light sph. Both show Chryse was light near the evening terminator. At LCM=065W, Id pointed out the irregularity inside the sph. Id saw slight brightness at the northern limb. Thirty minutes after the last drawing at LCM=094W, Id noticed Alba was bright. Hg's image at LCM=091W shows that Xanthe is white, and the sph looks to have become larger and thicker.
On 31 Mar (139Ls), Id observed at LCM=045W~065W, where the sph looked to have come down to Argyre, but judged that it reduced its brightness compared with the case on the day before. The npc was visible on the northern edge.


 1 ~ 15 April 2001

  From 1 Apr to 15 Apr, every day somebody observed.
On 1 Apr (139Ls), TEICHERT (GTc) observed in France at LCM=189W, and in Japan, Nj and Mn in Fukui observed from LCM=009W to 077W, Ak took ccd at LCM=023W & 032W, Mk observed at LCM=046W & 060W, and Id at 080W. The sph was bright and large, but varied its brightness and showed some condensation. The evening mist became more evident around from LCM=060W to Chryse. The f limb side following M Acidalium near the spr was considerably bright. The npc was visible on the edge.
On 2 Apr (140Ls), TSUNEMACHI made her first series of observations from LCM=024W to 053W: M Acidalium moved to the east and the following Tempe first looked whitish bright and then the white area were confined down to the npr. Nr observed at LCM=055W, 065W where M Acidalium was weak.
On 3 Apr (140Ls), DPk produced superb ccd images at LCM=244W & 260W; the description of markings of the latter being perfect. The sph is bright in B, while Hellas shows an internal structure. The perimeter of the sph looks irregular and zigzagged and some part beneath it must have been frosted. The evening Elysium Mons is still misty. In Fukui, Nj and Mn observed from LCM=350W to 059W: The sph was conspicuous, but the inside varied in brightness. The Libya mist resident in ria came into Thymiamata/Chryse around from LCM=050W, but not so bright. M Acidalium showed its presence quite early.
On 4 Apr (141Ls), Nj+Mn watched from LCM=338W to LCM=039W, and Mk from LCM=346W to 005W: Mk described the sph was gray having a bluish white tint. Mk saw a long but narrow mist along the equatorial band from the evening ria to the morning Xanthe. At Fukui we noticed that the sph was whiter than the Libya cloud and the mist following M Acidalium was also white at the f limb from LCM=350W, though we could not chase it because the seeing was broken.
On 5 Apr (141Ls), MWs observed at LCM=214W, 224W, 231W; Syrtis Mj finally became apparent though the morning mist was thick at first. He noticed the sph and Hesperia. DPk made an important set of ccd shots at LCM=219W: In R, two medium-sized roundish light patches at Ausonia (to be compared with the images taken the following day). An evening ebm is visible at a plain area from Amazonis/Memnonia to Zephyria. Phlegra is densely reddish. On the day, Nj and Mn at Fukui observed from LCM=329W to 040W, where the sph was dull in general, with some part gray but some bluish white. The evening mist at ria was thick, and the morning mist at Chryse was bright but looked slightly off-white. Noachis/Deucalionis R looked reddish. After LCM=350W, the white cloud was evident following M Acidalium. A light spot on the northern limb. Ak produced ccd images at LCM=349W, 335W, 015W: At LCM=335W, the sph is obvious in B. The limb mist from Chryse to the npr and the ebm at ria are strong. Nr observed at LCM=027W.

  On 6 Apr (142Ls), DPk produced also a high-class set of images at LCM=209W; this shows the same patches as seen on 5 Apr and so we consider these must have been frosted deposits at Ausonia Australis. At Fukui, on 6 Apr, Mn watched from LCM=319W to 018W, every forty minutes: Up until LCM=339W, Hellas was seen, and as it decreased its brightness, the sph became more whitish brighter. The Libya cloud remained conspicuous across and beyond Syrtis Mj until LCM=350W. The morning Chryse became brighter around from LCM=329W. At LCM=358W, S Sabus showed a brownish tint different to S Margaritifer. M Acidalium was definite and Tempe was whitish clouded. Mk observed at LCM=344W, where S Sabus was nicely seen, and the evening mist from ria and the morning one at Chryse were obvious. The large sph has a brighter portion in the west. Nr watched at LCM=017W.

  On 7 Apr (142Ls), Mn repeated from LCM=308W to LCM=018W: The Libya evening was so strong that it overflowed into ria across Syrtis Mj. The morning mist at Chryse was also thick but looked off whitish. Chryse was however mistless inside the disk. The S Sabus was brownish pinched by the reddish/pinkish areas. The Libya mist, if strong, belongs to the one along the equatorial band (eb mist), must look so thick because of the large phase angle. (This is due to the same reason why the Chryse evening mist appeared conspicuous in February.) The sph was rather dull without any clear perimeter though it became lighter as Hellas went out. Tempe was misty white. The morning Niliacus L was separated at LCM=359W. Eos was also cut.
On 8 Apr (142Ls), HERNANDEZ (CHr) made a set of drawings at LCM=188W (+195W): The slit at Cebrenia was obscure.
On 9 Apr (143Ls), Ak produced ccd images at LCM=308W, & 325W: Cebrenia is ground-lit in R. The evening Libya mist and the morning Chryse one light in B.
On 10 Apr (144Ls), DPk obtained a set of images at LCM=174W where the sph shows a brighter part at Ausonia. The northern district is largely misty while under the mist a dark line including Propontis II is seen. A white orographic cloud is on the evening terminator: This must be a cloud following Ascrus Mons, and Olympus Mons is not yet so cloudy. In Japan, Hg & Id observed at LCM=301W~350W, & LCM=336W~355W respectively. At first, Hellas and Libya were bright evident, but Hellas reduced its brightness at LCM=311W. At LCM=321W, Libya mist covers Syrtis Mj, but Hg's images are short of resolutions. Id's drawing at LCM=336W shows that the mist flooded over Syrtis Mj. The sph looked weak and became definite from Hg's LCM=330W. Id's watching showed that the sph was inactive today except a core. Id observed that at LCM=340W, the morning mist from Thymiamata to Chryse were obvious, and at LCM=355W a white cloud was detected to the north of M Acidalium.
On 11 Apr (144Ls), at the Tokyo district, Mk observed at LCM=280W~326W, Ak at LCM=282W, 292W: These images by Ak as well as Mk's image at LCM=297W proved that the Libya mist stayed from the evening terminator to the east coast of Syrtis Mj just like a strong ebm. Mk chased how this mist was squeezed by the rotation of Syrtis Mj: At LCM=326W, Syrtis was almost concealed. Those drawings made earlier at LCM=307W,& 316W are also attractive: The southern area of Hellespontus was cut off by the sph. The sph was at Intensity 3, while Hellas was 3.5, and the inside seems to have a part of 2.5 (BAA scale). The Libya mist was 2.5 at most. At LCM=326W, the bluish-white area following M Acidalium was at 2.

  On 12 Apr (145Ls), MORITA could open his observatory (after the earthquake on 24 March) and shot at LCM=293W, 300W, 308W, 315W: Id observed four times at LCM=307W~ LCM=336W, and Nr only at LCM=321W, and finally we were pleased to receive a nice ccd image from Singapore at LCM=331W by TAN (WTn). Id chased the variation of the Libya mist across Syrtis Mj that nearly sank out. Another important observation was made by Id: a branch of Hellespontus separated Hellas and the following sph after LCM=307W. Id considered that Hellas showed it ground partially. The separation is also apparent on the Mo's Red images. The B images may also show this but any B images are not clear-cut. Any of Mo's B shows the Libya mist thickly. WTn's Syrtis Mj was thickly covered with the Libya Cloud spread, Hellas has become off white, and the sph is whiter (at LCM=331W). Note that DPk's Hellas on 26 Mar (136Ls) at LCM=330W was slightly white. The WTn's sph looks more active than the previous case.

  On 13 Friday Apr (145Ls), a lot of observations were made by Mk, Hg, Ts, Mo, Id, Ak, and Nj: Chronologically, at 259W (Mk, Hg; at 16:40 GMT), 261W (Ts), 262W (Mo), 268W (Hg), 269W (Mo), 270W (Ts), 271W (Id, Ak, Ts), 277W (Ak), 278W (Hg), 279W (Mo), 281W (Id, Ts), 283W (Mk), 290W (Id, Ts), 292W (Mo), 297W (Hg), 298W (Nj), 300W (Id, Ts), 307W (Hg, Nj), 310W(Id), 317W (Hg, Nj), 322W (Id; at 21:00 GMT) (28 observations).
  First half, Mk pointed out that there was witnessed an ebm extension from the evening terminator to the morning Syrtis Mj, and this confirmed the Id's observation at LCM=271W; this mist was related the evening Elysium. Mo's B image LCM=269W also shows this aspect. S Sabus was evident , and on Mo's R at LCM=279W proves M Serpentis to be quite dark. At LCM=291W, Id observed that the Libya ebm already expanded to ria across Syrtis Mj that is still quite inside. Id chased this until 322W.
  The separation of the
sph from Hellas was shown at LCM=291W. Ts' drawing at LCM=300W shows that the upper part of Hellespontus was short cut by the sph. Through Hg's Video images, Hellas is not well obvious at first, while Hellas and the Elysium cloud become equally bright at LCM=278W, and the Libya cloud and the sph (independent of Hellas) as well as the morning npr are conspicuous at LCM=297W. Ak's B image at LCM=271W shows that an evening mist extends to Libya.
On 14 Apr (146Ls), FMl started from 8:30 GMT, and shot at LCM=129W, 136W, & 141W, the last being by the use of Wr#47, and showing the sph. At Fukui, Mn observed from LCM=237W (15:50 GMT) to 315W (21:10 GMT): The sph was broad and thick, but not so bright as the Hellas part. From LCM=247W, the contour of Hellas was clear, and Hellas shows an internal structure at LCM=276W. Noachis was light neat f limb. Elysium and Cebrenia were one-point lighter than the surroundings. Elysium Mons made its shape from LCM=257W but not so light. An evening mist at Zephyria. Syrtis Mj was bluish near the f limb. At LCM=257W, it was dark near noon. The west end of Hellas and Hellespontus were along the vertical line at longitude=300W. At LCM=296W, the vertical bands was blocked by the sph, and a left-hand-side branch separated Hellas and the sph. Yaonis Fr and M Serpentis were dark. Utopia invaded by northern cloud looked normal. Finally at LCM=315W, the Libya cloud brightest and whitest. The morning Chryse did not prevail. Ts observed at LCM=251W~298W, and Nr at LCM=302W.
On 15 Apr (146Ls), DPk took interesting ccd images at LCM=100W & LCM=107W: A sph branch is about to go down to the dark Solis L. The evening Xanthe was white, and as well the northern district is largely whitish misted. In Japan, Nj & Mn observed from LCM=228W to LCM=296W, Ts from LCM=241W to 260W, Mk from LCM=250W to 279W, and Mo at LCM=263W, 275W, 286W, and Nr at LCM=293W (23 drawings/images). Mk chased the ebm including the Libya mist.
Mo's images show the Libya/eb mist. At LCM=286W, S Sabus comes into sight, and Noachis is light in R. At Fukui, roughly we observed that the npr showed the npc on the edge, Yaonis Fr appeared earlier than expected, Elysium's mist was weak while it developed to the Libya cloud, and Hellas reduced its brightness as the seeing improved.


n May, June and July, the CMO shall be published twice a month. The next issue shall review the observations made during a fortnight period from 16 April (146Ls) to 30 April 2001 (154Ls). Our CMO Internet Web-Site has a Gallery Page where some new Mars images are flashed before our reviewing. We hope every CCD image is emailed in a jpg file with a file name beginning with the observer's name to vzv03210@nifty.com 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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