2001 Mars Observation Reports -- #10--


Mars Observations
in the First Half of June 2001
from 1 June 2001 (171Ls) to 15 June 2001 (179Ls)
based on the article published in CMO #246 (25 June 2001)

by Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section


HE angular diameter increased from 19.3 arcsecs to 20.6 arcsecs during the period. The moment the planet could be closest to the Earth (on 21 June GMT) was only ahead. The central latitude retreated from 0.7N to 3.3N. During the present period, the planet was at opposition on 13 June at 177Ls with The central latitude=3N. In 1986, the south polar cap (spc) showed a shadowy area inside indicating the spc had already begun thawing at 176Ls, and hence the opposition time was critical this apparition concerning the behaviour of the spc. The Sun-glint phenomenon at Edom analysed by DOBBINS and SHEEHAN was supposed to occur at the beginning of June since Ds came up at 2N when The central latitude=φ was around 2N.

We acknowledge receipt of the observations this period as follows:

AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Karasuyama, Tochigi, Japan

4 Sets of CCD Images (2, 4, 10 June 2001) f/70 32cm spec equipped with a Teleris 2


ASADA, Tadashi (As) Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan

4 Sets of CCD Images (8, 11 June 2001) 30cm spec equipped with a Lynxx PC



3 Drawings (2, 8 May; 11 June 2001) 270, 360x 18cm refractor $

BATES, Donald R (DBt) Houston, TX, USA

3 Colour Images (3, 11, 12 June 2001) f/120 25cm speculum, Elite Chrome 200


BIVER, Nicolas (NBv) Versailles, France

13 Colour Drawings (18, 19, 25, 28, 30 May; 1, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13 June 2001)

310x 20cm spec, 330x 26cm speculum


CAVE, Thomas R (TCv) Long Beach, CA, USA

2 Drawings (31 May; 11 June 2001) 340, 390, 450x 33cm speculum


CIDADO, Antnio Jos (ACd) Oeiras, Portugal

2 Set of CCD Images (9 June 2001) 25cm LX200SCT equipped with an ST-5C + AO


Di SCIULLO, Maurizio (MSc) Coconut Creek, FL, USA

1 Set of CCD Images (7 June 2001) 25cm Excelsior Optics E-258


FALSARELLA, Nlson (NFl) Sao Jose do Rio Preto - SP, Brasil

4 Drawings (4, 5, 8 June 2001) 325x 20cm speculum

2 CCD Images (8, 11 June 2001) 20cm speculum + AVA ASTROVID 400


GRAFTON, Edward A (EGf) Houston, TX, USA

2 Sets of CCD Images (3, 11 June 2001) f/60 35cm Celestron SC with an ST6


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

3 Sets of Drawings (13 June 2001) 220x 20cm Schmidt-Cassegrain


HIGA, Yasunobu (Hg) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

21 Video Images (2, 10, 12, 15 June 2001) 25cm f/6.7 spec with Sony VX-1000


HIKI, Toshiaki (Hk) Minowa, Nagano, Japan

3 Drawings (2 June 2001) 430x 22cm speculum


ISHADOH, Hiroshi (Id) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

18 Drawings (1, 2, 4, 10, 12, 13, 15 June 2001) 340, 400, 530x 31cm speculum


ISHIBASHI, Tsutomu (Is) Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan

5 Sets of Colour Photos (15 April; 12, 20,29 May; 2 June 2001)

31cm f/6.4 speculum Fujichrome Provia 400


KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan

10 CCD Colour Images (2, 8, 11, 12 June 2001) 20cm Dall Kirkham with a Sony PC-5


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

3 Sets of CCD Images (1, 4, 9 June 2001) 20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5


MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Fukui, Japan

43 Drawings (1, 2, 3, 9, 11, 12 June 2001) 270(filters),340, 400x 20cm refractor *


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

37 Sets of CCD Images (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15 June 2001)

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


MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan

6 Drawings (2, 3 June 2001) 320x 20cm speculum


NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Japan

17 Drawings (2, 3, 9 11 June 2001) 270(filters), 400x 20cm refractor *


NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

4 Drawings (2, 3, 11 June 2001) 290,400x 20cm refractor/ 210x 15cm refractor


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

3 Emails (7, 8, 9 June) on the Edom brightening observations at the Florida Keys

5 Sets of CCD Images (11, 14 June 2001)

f/44 41cm Meade SCT equipped with a Lynxx PC


TEICHERT, Grard (GTc) Hattstatt, France

2 Drawings (5, 12 June 2001) 330, 310x 28cm Schmidt-Cassegrain


TSUNEMACHI, Hitomi (Ts) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

8 Drawings (2 June 2001) 360x 12.5cm Fluorite refractor


* Fukui City observatory

$ Richmond Astro Society Ragland Observatory

  A :  

The biggest and most important topic in this period was the successful detection of the Edom brightening by Don PARKER and others at the Florida Keys. Tom DOBBINS and W SHEEHAN pointed out in the May issue of the S&T (in their article "The Martian-Flares Mystery") that some of the sharp flares hitherto known were possibly due to rare cases of the Sun-glints, and suggested one of rare cases could possibly happen this June at Edom facing to the US. To confirm the hypothesis, they planed an expedition to a good milieu in Florida, and miraculously succeeded in detecting the flares at Edom on 7 and 8 June. To check systematically any instantaneous flare it may be impossible for any lone wolf to do, but it is necessary to organise a team and have a nice milieu to come together to pursuit the long durable observations. More than that the members must have been reliant each other since the whole plan was otherwise possible to sound like another Myth of Sisyphus: In this sense we should pay respects to the first day participants: T&P D'AURIA, T DOBBINS (TDb), R FIENBERG, D MOORE, D PARKER (DPk), and G SERONIK.

  According to DPk (#245 p3016) and TDb in this issue, after two nights passed in vain, they finally encountered with a series of wonderful pulsations at Edom on 7 June from 6:40 GMT ( ω=330W) to 7:20 GMT ( ω=342W): The flares showed about 3 second durations and repeated at 10 to 15 second intervals. They used a 30 cm Meade STC equipped with a Video Camera as well as two 15cm Newtonians for visual observations. The pulsations were witnessed at the eyepieces as well as on the monitor. This success was beyond all praise, and not only justified the forgoing Japanese 'relegated to the fringe' observations, but added an important discovery of 'pulsations'.

Edom thus brightend (D MOORE imaged)

  Don PARKER hurried to his PC, and sent out the news at 7:54 GMT to Japan. The present writer was on the way to the Observatory, and so slightly delayed, but finally the email was forwarded to all of the CMO email recipients. If SAHEKI were alive, the writer would have first of all phoned him up.
  The story did not end, and the success was incomparable since the flares were also observed on the following 8 June: They report there occurred two peaks; the first was from 7:00 GMT (at ω=326W) to 7:20 GMT ( ω=331W), and then the second peak came at 7:53 GMT ( ω=340W) and ended at 8:24 GMT ( ω=347W). See further details
DPk's description in #245 p3016 and TDb's ones at p2020 and in this issue. They tried the observation on 9 June, but the flares was no longer seen.

  On 7 June at 7h GMT, φ read 1.78N while Ds was 2.53N, and hence, if the 'mirror' was laid horizontally (highly possible because of democratic gravitation), the position of the mirror was at 2.16N. On 8 June at 7h GMT, φ and Ds read 1.98N, 2.29N respectively, and hence the position is suggested at 2.13N. On the other hand, there was no detection on 5, 6 June around at 7h GMT and on 9 June at 7h GMT, and so we may say that the latitude of the position of the mirror was between 2.13N and 2.16N, or was not located outside the zone from 2.11N to 2.18N. The value of 2N was really reminiscent of the position of Edom in older maps, but the recently established USSG map puts the Schiaparelli crater or Edom Pr on the southern hemisphere. So we may suppose the mirror was not horizontal or the flared position was not necessarily inside Edom Pr. It is often suggested that the case detected by Tsuneo SAHEKI on 1 July 1954 at 13:15 GMT was similar, but we should remember there are some differences: As noted in CMO #242 p2973, the case in 1954, φ=2.11N while Ds was on the other sphere at Ds=3.40S, and so the virtual position was at 0.65S if horizontal. And in the 1954 case, we can suppose the flare occurred only that once (SAHEKI complained at that time to hear that I TASAKA was observing at the same time with SAHEKI, but did not see the flare. It was however almost impossible, if the spontaneous flare occurred only once, because any visual observer often turns his eye away from the eyepiece down to his drawing book during one session). However the SAHEKI case was unique in that the flash was durable only within a few seconds, while other cases recorded a few minute duration, and so the mechanism must share with the present case. Inquired of the present writer, he is of an opinion (submitted to TDb) that the matters naturally laid down are more easily found from the above, and we can more easily find a mirror or mirrors (if many they more probably face upward) to glare if we locate our position right just above the place where the mirrors are concealed having our back to the Sun. Nature is often not simple, and the mirror may be inside a deep well or mirrors are laid along inside a deep trench. Then probability implies the case Ds=De as the most probable case, and the durations from the same point may imply a presence of convex mirrors. SAHEKI's case is therefore heterodox, and may be quite difficult to predict (if in such a case where a part of the wall of the trench is broken) compared with the simpler case of Sanenobu FUKUI in 1958 (as so done in DOBBINS and SHEEHAN). The present case was the analogue of FUKUI's case, and not of SAHEKI's case.


  B :

  The critical season 176Ls came on 10, 11 June: On 10 June, HIGA (Hg) felt that the south polar region (spr) was free from the hood. The evening side of the spr looked definitely free from the hood. The volatilized trace of Argyre was also observed outside the cap.

  This problem will be considered in another occasion. On 11 June, NAKAJIMA (Nj) and the present writer similarly felt that the top of the spc was already shadowy though the central latitude was still 3N and the Sunshine did not reach the pole yet. KUMAMORI (Km)'s image on the day at ω=042W also show the tendency, but it might have related with a shadowy area inside the spc (the seeing was moderately good to the extent that Iuvent Fons was easily caught at Fukui). ISHADOH (Id) also saw this shadowy band on 15 June at ω=056W (to a 31cm spec, Iuvent Fons was easy).

MORITA (Mo) secured good images (including the detailed LRGB images) on 11June (176Ls) and 12 June (177Ls) at ω=081W and ω=042W respectively, where, the spc appears with some details. Mo took an image of a trace of Argyre on 5 June (178Ls) at ω=022W.

  Don PARKER (DPk), after his return from the historical stays at the Florida Keys, produced interesting and (may-become-important-later) images on 11 June (176Ls) at ω=271W, 289W, 295W, and 305W. They all show strange Hellas and M Tyrrhenum. More prominently than the grey mist over Hellas in 1969, Hellas lost any brightness and its roundish boundary was obscured.

At the western corner of Hellas, a gap of density exists, and if we refer to Ed GRAFTON (EGf)'s R image on the day at ω=301W, it looks to be related with the dust disturbance we observed around 20 May (164Ls). This causes also a light-and-shade inside the spc. The spc was shot by the L channel of EGf's images; this also showing several strange light narrow streaks at M Tyrrhenum.

DPk's images on 14 June (178Ls) show that the western corner of Hellas slightly lighter.

  Around 2 June (171Ls), HIKI, ISHADOH, ISHIBASHI, KUMAMORI, MURAKAMI, NAKAJIMA, NARITA, and TSUNEMACHI observed: Tharsis was whitish bright near the evening terminator while Olympus Mons ceased to show its magnificent cloud. It was observed at the time still a movement inside the nph. Km took the evening Ophir bright on 8 June (175Ls); this might be a diffused reflection since it is located near φ as well as Ds. He also showed it was bright in the morning and noon on 11 June and 12 June.


  C :

  KUMAMORI (Km) and ASADA (As) are veteran observers and our members since the start time of the CMO: ASADA was the Chief Editor of the CMO in 1986 and 1988 when the present writer was absent because he observed Mars in Taipei. He is a professional astronomer specialised in the numerical experiments of the Jovian atmosphere.
JBn) is a member of the Richmond Astronomical Society and is a friend of WHITBY. Di SCIULLO (MSc)'s good images were made on 7 July at ω=302W, slightly earlier than the reported time of the Edom brightening. It shows also the abnormal Hellas as Don's images.
ACd)'s images are made on 9 June at ω=236W, 242W where Ausonia looks bright.
BATES (DBt) is one of the last persons who use emulsions (similarly to ISHIBASI (
Is) in Japan).


he next issue shall review the observations during a fortnight period from 16 June (179Ls) to 30 June 2001 (187Ls). Our CMO 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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