th Report:

The CMO/OAA Observations made during a fortnight period from


16 August 2003 (242Ls) to 31 August 2003 (252Ls)


An OAA Mars Section article to be published in CMO #278 (10 September 2003 issue)

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese version here


T long last the long-awaited period of the Martian closest approach visited that was the rare case as well we shall never experience through our life until 2050. We are saying about the period from 16 August to 31 August 2003. On 16 August the apparent diameter δ was 24.5", and from 22 August it went up to 25" on 22 August and remained above 25" for ten days. On 27 August the planet was closest to the Earth with δ=25.1". During the fortnight period the Martian season proceeded from λ=242Ls to λ=252Ls. On 27 August, the season was λ=249Ls. The central latitude φ was 21S. The apparent declination was -16 but better than the case in 2001 (if seen from the northern hemisphere). The planet was at opposition on the following 28 August: The phase angle ι was 12 on 16 August but rapidly decreased, though did not vanish because the northern limb was slightly defected on 28 August: On 31 August ι was 6.



T was said the rainy season already ended over the Japan main land, while it was still under the cold summer: we heard they coordinated every public astronomical observatories to be open to the public but not always successful because of the bad weather. We were communicated that the Observatory of the Fukui City Museum of Natural History planned to open the dome and other telescopes for the citizens on the occasion of the big opportunity for a week, but no more than a few days were successful, but once it was open the crowd was big with an outreach. In Okinawa, however, the weather continued to be fine, and for example we heard every Mars party in Naha was successful including TABATAs with a large crowd. WAKUGAWA (Wk) opened his observatory having a 40 cm Newtonian to children several times during the period. ISHADOH (Id) also opened his observatory to his neighbours on 27 August.



HE contributions were made by nearly 80 persons this period, by all of whom the highlight have been longed for. In Japan however because of the unstable weather, the Martian observations were in poor condition. In Europe we heard the hot good summer condition turned poorer from mid-August, and we were afraid whether the activity in the first half of August could be continued or less. In Asia, we were happy to welcome the work by Eric NG and Wei-Leong TAN back again.



ADCOCK, Barry (BAd) Melbourne, Australia

1 CCD Image (19 August 2003)

36cm Schiefspiegler with ToUcam Pro

AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Tochigi, Japan

14 Sets of CCD Images (21, 23, 25 August 2003)

f/3332cm spec with a Bitran BJ-41L

ASADA, Tadashi (As) Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan

37 CCD Images (18,~23, 27 August 2003)

30cm SCT with a Panasonic NV-MX5000

BALDONI, Paolo (PBl) Genova, Italia

6 CCD images (20, 22, 23 August 2003)

18cm Intes-Micro Gold F6 with a ToUcam

BARNETT, John H (JBr) Richmond, VA, USA

2 Drawings (20, 25$ August 2003)

24015cm Mak-Cass / 36018cm refractor$,

$ Richmond Astronomical Society Ragland Observatory


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

6 CCD Images (17, 20, 23, 24, 28, 29 August 2003)

f/24,3225cm spec with a ToUcam Pro

BEISH, Jeffrey D (JBs) Lake Placid, FL, USA

11 Drawings (18, 21, 22, 25,~28, 30, 31 August 2003)

390, 590, 670, 117541cm F/6.9 spec

BENAVIDES, Rafael (RBn) Crdova, Espaa

4 CCD Images (17, 20, 26, 31 August 2003)

24cm SCT with a ToUcam

BERRY, Peter (PBr) Panama City, FL, USA

2 CCD Images (26, 30 August 2003)

f/3023cm SCT with a TRV-900

BIVER, Nicolas (NBv) Versailles, France

4 Colour Drawings (23, 24, 27, 28 August 2003)

70040cm spec, 51026cm spec


BUDA, Stefan (SBd) Melbourne, Australia

5 CCD Images (19, 20, 22, 25, 28 August 2003)

f/4825cm Dall-Kirkhams with an evolved TC211

BUNGE, Robert (RBg) Bowie, MD, USA

6 Drawings (18, 20, 22, 26*, 29**, 30 August 2003)

48043cm F/7.8 spec/*27010cm spec/**28015cm spec

CAPARRS, Angel (ACp) Mlaga, Espaa

7 CCD Images (19*, 21, 23, 24, 25, 27*, 28* August 2003)

*F/4.8 25cm spec/ F/6 25cm spec with a ToUcam

CARLOS CASADO, Juan (JCs) Figueres, Espaa

10 CCD Images (20, 23, 26/27* August 2003)

f/3615cm spec/

*50cm Tel Mons (Observatorio del Teide) with ToUcam

CHAIKIN, Andrew (ACk) Miami, FL, USA

3 CCD Images (27, 28* August 2003)

25cm Meulon/ *41cm spec with a ToUcam chez D PARKER

CHAVEZ, Rolando (RCv) Powder Springs, GA, USA

5 CCD Images (19, 23, 24, 31 August 2003)

23cm SCT, 20cm F/7 spec, 32cm F/6 spec (Cave) with a ToUcam

CIDADO, Antnio Jos (ACd) iras, Portugal

6 Sets of CCD Images (16, 17, 19, 26, 27, 31 August 2003)

25cm SCT with an FLI CM7-1E + AO2

COLVILLE, Brian (BCl) Ontario, Canada

5 CCD images (18, 20, 23*, 27, 31 August 2003)

f/18,34,3730cm SCT/*f/3720 cm Mak-Cass with ToUcam

COOPER, Jamie (JCp) Northampton, UK

2 CCD Images (20,30 August 2003)

f/3018cm Intes-Micro Mak-N with ToUcam


CRUSSAIRE, Daniel (DCr) Champigny-sur-Marne, France

4 Sets of CCD Images (19, 27, 28, 30* August 2003)

10cm Fluorite L with a Vesta Pro

*25cm Cass (named Caroline) with a Vesta Pro at Meudon

DIJON, Jean (JDj) Sillans, Isre, France

9 CCD Images (16, 26*, 27* August 2003)

50cm spec (*down to 20cm) with a KAF400 chip camera

FAWORSKI, Sheldon (SFw) Miami, FL, USA

3 CCD Images (17, 18, 19 August 2003)

            f/3625cm Meulon with a ToUcam chez D PARKER

FRASSATI, Mario (MFr) Crescentino (VC), Italia

3 Drawings (19, 22, 26 August 2003) 40020cm SCT

FUMEGA UCHA, Camilo (CFm) Ourense, Espaa

5 CCD Images (17, 20, 24, 27, 31 August 2003)

f/25, 30, 3531cm spec with a ToUcam

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

11 Sets of CCD Images (17, 19,~24, 26, 27, 29 August 2003)

f/39, 3535cm SCT with an ST-5C

HALL, George (GHl) Dallas, TX, USA

4 CCD Images (17, 22, 23, 29 August 2003)

30cm SCT with a ToUcam

HANON, David (DHn) Ringgold, GA, USA

3 CCD Images (24+, 26, 29 August 2003)

+18cm refr/41cm spec with Sony VX-2000

HARADA, Yasuhide (Hd) Nagasaki, Japan

5 CCD Images (21, 23, 24 August 2003)

15cm Zeiss refr/70cm Zeiss RC* with a ToUcam

*Nagasaki City Science Museum

HEATH, Alan W (AHt) Nottingham, UK

6 Drawings (17, 19, 20, 21, 29, 31* August 2003)

             180, 28025cm spec/120, 20020cm SCT*

ISHIBASHI, Tsutomu (Is) Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan

13 Set of B&W and Colour Photos (22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30 August 2003)

31cm F/6.4 speculum; FCP400F, NP400P (B390)

IWASAKI, Tohru (Iw) KitaKyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

      12 Drawings (20, ~24, 27 August 2003) 40021cm speculum

KARRER, Michael (MKr) St Radegund, sterreich

2 CCD Images (22, 26 August 2003)

f/3518cm Meade Refraktor with a ToUcam


KOWOLLIK, Silvia (SKw) Stuttgart, Deutchland

12 CCD Images (19/20, 21/22, 23, 28 August 2003)

18cm Starfire Refraktor with a ToUcam Pro

KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan 

11 CCD Images (18, 21, 22#, 24, 28, 31 August 2003)

f/8420cm Dall-Kirkham/f/3060cm Cass# with a ToUcam

#Sakai City Observatory


LAU, Patrick (PLa) Hong-Kong

3 Drawings (17, 29, 30 August 2003)

300, 340, 40025cm Dobsonian

LAZZAROTTI, Paolo R (PLz) Massa,Toscana, Italia

19 Sets of CCD Images (16, 19,~24, 27, 31August 2003)

             18cm F/15 Mak-Cass with Astromeccanica KC381


LORENZ, Johachim (JLr) Hormersdorf, Deutchland

2 CCD Images (21, 22 August 2003)

f/2730cm spec with a Philips ToUcam

MASS MILLEIRO, Flix (FMr) La Cora, Galicia, Espaa

3 CCD Images (29, 30, 31 August 2003) 25cm spec with a ToUcam

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

 12 Red CCD Images (16, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 29 August 2003)

20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5

MELKA, James T (JMl) St Louis, Mo, USA

1 CCD Images (16 August 2003)

f/13031cm speculum with Canon D60

MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

99 Drawings (16,~18, 19*, 20*, 21, 22(+), 23, 24*, 25*, 26, 27(*), 28,~30 August 2003)

350, 420, 530, 55025cm F/8.5 speculum,

+partly48040cm speculum chez WAKUGAWA,

*480, 600, 63040cm speculum chez MIYAZAKI,

MIYAZAKI, Isao (My) Gushikawa, Okinawa, Japan

1 CCD Image (30 August 2003)

f/5040cm speculum with ToUcam Pro

MOORE, David M (DMr) Phnix, AZ, USA

2 Sets of CCD Images (17, 22 August 2003)

f/5025cm speculum with ToUcam Pro

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

25 Sets of CCD Images (19, ~23 August 2003)

f/5025cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C

MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

      34 Drawings (21, ~25, 27, 29, 30 August 2003)

320, 40020cm spec / 240, 30010cm refr

NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan

7 Drawings (20, 31 August 2003) 40020cm ED Goto refractor*

* Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

12 Drawings (22, 24, 25, 29 August 2003) 40020cm refractor

NG, Eric (ENg) Hong Kong

5 Sets of CCD Images (27, ~30 August 2003)

             f/27, 3432cm Royce spec with ToUcam

OKANO, Kunihiko (Ok) Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan 

4 Sets of CCD Images (22, 23, 30 August 2003)

31cm F/5 spec with an ST-7XME

OSA, Kanehiro (Oa) Nonoich, Ishikawa, Japan 

9 CCD Images (19, 21, ~24 August 2003)

15cm spec with a COOLPIX990

PACE, Ben (BPc) Darwin, Australia

3 CCD Images (22, 23, 24 August 2003)

f/3415cm Maksutov with a ToUcam

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

18 Sets of CCD Images (17, 19, 22, 24, 25, 27*, 30 August 2003)

f/55, 5941cm F/6 spec equipped with an ST-9XE/*ToUcam

PEACH, Damian A (DPc) La Palma, Canary Islands, Espaa

9 CCD Images (20, 22, 23, 24 August 2003)

f/5525cm SCT with a ToUcam


PELLIER, Christophe (CPl) Bruz, Ille-et-Vilaine, France

12 Sets of CCD Images (20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 31 August 2003)

18cm Newtonian with a modified B&W ToUcam Pro

QUARRA SACCO, Giovanni A (GQr) Valmontone, Italia

3 CCD Images (17, 21 August 2003)

f/4813cm Starfire refractor with a ToUcam


Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Espaa

5 CCD Images (23, 26, 27, 30 August 2003)

20cm SCT with a ToUcam

ROEL SCHREURS, Eric (ERl) Mexico

4 CCD Images (23, 29 August 2003)

f/5025cm TEC Mak/MX70 with a ToUcam

SNCHEZ, Jess R (JSc) Crdova, Espaa

9 CCD Images (19, 21, 26, 27, 30/31* August 2003)

f/4528cm SCT/ *f/4524cm SCT with a ToUcam

SCHMUDE, Richard W, Jr (RSc)  GA, USA

8 Drawings (18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 August 2003)

23010cm refractor/250, 38025cm spec/310, 46051cm spec

SCHULZ, Robert (RSz)  Wien, sterreich

1 CCD Image (20 August 2003)

14cm TEC Apo refr with a ToUcam

SEIP, Stefan (SSp) Vicua, Chile

2 CCD Images (22, 25 August 2003)

f/3625cm Mak-Cass with a Philips ToUcam

SHEEHAN, William P (WSh) Mt Hamilton, CA, USA

4 Drawings (29, 31 August 2003)

48791cm refractor at the Lick Observatory

SHERROD, P Clay (CSr) Aso Sky Observatory, AR, USA

23 CCD images (16, ~27, 29 August 2003)

f/3541cm SCT with a ToUcam Pro

SIEGEL, Elisabeth (ESg) Malling, Danmark

8 Drawings (16/17, 17/18, 9/20, 23, 24, 27, 30, 31 August 2003)

27020cm F/10 SCT

STGER, Jrgen (JSt) Katzelsdorf, sterreich

2 CCD Images (17, 26 August 2003)

f/3018cm Mak-Newton (MN76) with ToUcam

SURO, Jos (JSr) Tierra Verde, FL, USA

4 CCD images (16, 17, 23, 27 August 2003)

28cm SCT with an Olympus C4000Z

TAN, Wei-Leong (WTn) Singapore

8 Sets of CCD Images (20, 22*, 24*, 25, 31August 2003)

f/53, 4225cm Meulon/*f/3440cm Cass with a ToUcam Pro

TATUM, Randy (RTm) Tuscon, TX, USA

2 CCD Images (20 August 2003)

36 cm SCT with a ToUcam chez Rik HILL

TEICHERT, Grard (GTc) Hattstatt, France

7 Drawings (20, 22, 23, 25, 27 August 2003) 33028cm SCT

TSUNEMACHI, Hitomi (Ts) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

13 Drawings (23, 25 August 2003)

260, 36012.5cm Takahashi Fluorite refractor


VALIMBERTI, Maurice P (MVl) Melbourne, Australia

3 CCD Images (19, 25 August 2003)

f/3435cm SCT with a Philips ToUcam Pro


Van Der VELDEN, Erwin (EVl) Brisbane, Australia

4 CCD Images (19, 22, 29 August 2003)

f/3120cm SCT with a Vesta Pro modified


WALLER, Skip (SWl) Dallas, TX, USA

2 CCD Images (16, 30 August 2003)

f/5025cm SCT (LX200) with a ToUcam Pro

WARELL, Johan (JWr) Tcuson, AZ, USA

       5 Drawings (21, 23, 28, 29, 31 August 2003)

260, 40025cm SCT (LX200)

13 CCD Images (21, 23, 25, 28, 29, 30 August 2003)

f/2325cm SCT with a ToUcam

WHITBY, Samuel R (SWb) Hopewell, VA, USA

2 Drawings (20, 22 August 2003)

205, 31015cm speculum


WIENECKE, Marcus (MWn) Frndenberg, Deutchland

1 CCD Image (16 August 2003)

f/3025cm SCT with ToUcam Pro


WILLIAMSON, Thomas E (TWs) Alburquerque, NM, USA

5 Sets of CCD Images (18, 21, 24, 27 August 2003)

f/4520cm spec with a Philips ToUcam

ZANOTTI, Ferruccio (FZt) Ostellato (FE), Italia

2 Sets of CCD Images (23, 27 August 2003)

45cm spec with a ToUcam                




eneral: Almost all Japanese observers were silent until around 20 August, and it was unfavourable even on 27 August. In Europe even the industrious observer Silvia KOWOLLIK (SKw) in Stuttgart, perhaps mainly because she was terribly busy with the openings of the Observatory to the public, lessened the amount of observations compared with the case during the previous period. KUMAMORI (Km) here was also busy on 27 August at the City Observatory though the sky was rather cloudy: No more than a few visitors could see the big planet by the use of a 60cm Cass in a lull, while Km could not produce any image. Maurice VALIMVERTI (MVl), located at the winter Melbourne, was unfortunately endowed only with a few good nights.

 Indifferent to the weather, the planet Mars became quite large and showed us its real surface more detailed than expected while the surface was still yellow hazed by the airborne dust so that the obscuration still slightly prevailed. The dust disturbance at the beginning of August at the area of Capri Cornu was weak and the density of airborne dust looked stable or showed less shade areas to the extent that some southern higher latitude regions showed a wine colour and as well some desert area turned to show a ruddy colour. However the planet was near at perihelion, and so it was no wonder if some new dust storm burst out again since the reason why as well as the prediction how such a global dust storm as in 2001 is caused to be entrained has still been obscure and not clear.

The following tells such an atmosphere of that time: According to the present writer (Mn)s Observing Note on 23 August (λ=247Ls) at 13:40 GMT, ISHADOH (Id) phoned up by his mobile from his observatory to Mns observing site that there looked to have occurred a dust disturbance at Eridania. Surely Eridania was clearly light with a pinkish tint, and if there was a slight disturbance inside the continent it was hard to say yes or no. Both were watching, but his is a 31cm and Mns was a 25cm, and so Mn phoned up by a mobile MIYAZAKI (My) how he was observing the area. Fortunately he was at the eyepiece of the 40cm, but soon replied he did not think so. On the day there was seen a small clear dust disturbance at the higher latitude shadowy region (see below), and so we could have said there was really a tendency of further dust. This was similar to the case in the calm 1988 when somebody in Japan made a fuss that Ausonia was too bright for them to deny a possible dust occurrence (it was when Mn was away at Taiwan, and heard this fuss quite later).

By the way, Isao MIYAZAKI (My) started earlier also this season to watch Mars; especially he was occasionally attentive about the terminator line because he wished to detect some deep fine valley-like streak dark or bright which he had detected several times in 1988 when the phase angle ι was rather large. Unfortunately we hear however he has not been able to find this time any rifts clearly. This might have possibly been partly because this 2003 case the atmosphere was more dusty than in 1988, maybe the valleys being rather full of dusty air. Otherwise the seeing in 2003 was less favourable than 1988 because the altitude at meridian was lower by about 13 degrees than in 1988.

 Hellas-Trinacria: The Hellas basin was reddish light at the northern part as well as at the western swath, while the eastern part looked unclear with the faded and deformed M Hadriacum so that it did not look roundish. The images of MORITA (Mo) on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=258W ~ 302W show locally a dusty colour from Hellas to Trinacria. This might have not been the airborne dust but been a fallout or influence of the July 2003 dust cores. The different colour nuance is also shown on the images made on the same day by VALIMBERTI (MVl) at ω=236W ~ 276W and Van der VELDEN (EVl) at ω=274W. See also ASADA (As)s image on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=266W. The image by KUMAMORI (Km) by the use of a 60cm Cass on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=207W & 214W seem to show it earlier morning time mingled well with the condensate. Few images were obtained during the opposition time, but the image by PELLIER (CPl) on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=353W shows that the dust prevails there. Still even the later image by CPl on 31 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=294W also shows the strange colour difference, and hence this might be due to a fallout. Visually the present writer (Mn) saw a sandy colour core several times at Trinacria from 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=303W to 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=260W, while Ausonia was ruddy light. Similarly IWASAKI (Iw) detected a sandy colour areas at the northern end of Ausonia and inside Trinacria on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=240W, 250W and chased until 23 Aug (λ=246Ls).


Ruddy Deserts: From the previous period, ria began to appear to be reddish, perhaps partly because the angular diameter increased and partly because the density of airborne dust became stable or less dense on the deserts. Mn recorded the ruddy ria on 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=303W, and also noted that the desert to the north of M Cimmerium was ruddy on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=238W. Same on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=232W. On 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=223W, the observing note remarked that Zephyria was ruddy while Eridania and Ausonia were pinkish and under the yellow haze. However the surface as a whole looked still covered by the yellow haze.


Wine Coloured Shadowy Markings: Beginning of this phenomenon was also reported in the preceding report, but some shadowy areas appeared to look quite wine coloured, though majority of the surface looks yellowish dusty or the limb side white misty. We apologise in advance because the following description is somewhat boring, but we dare to report: on 17 Aug (λ=243Ls, ω=284W, 293W etc), the shadowy markings from the eastern upper Hellas to AusoniaEridania was largely wine coloured, on 18 Aug (λ=244Ls) the Trinacria dark lines (at ω=265W) and the southern higher latitude east side area (at ω=284W) were so, on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=285W, the southern high latitude, on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=267W, 286W the higher latitude dark markings (outside of the spc) were wine coloured or reddish dark, on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=238W the outskirt of the spc, on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) the higher latitude wine (at ω=232W, 288W), while ria was ruddy, on 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=243W the higher latitude looked wine coloured. On 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) however, the whole surface looked dusty yellowish, and on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) the wine colour at the higher latitude was weak at ω=232W, though the area near Novus Mons was wine coloured at ω=257W. On 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) the outskirt of the spc was slightly wine but quite weak at ω=236W while the north of Novus Mons was wine. On the day 27 Aug (λ=249Ls), the higher latitude area showed less wine at ω=197W, while generally yellowish though white misty at the morning side at ω=207W. On 28 Aug (λ=250Ls), the higher latitude looks slightly wine coloured but weak at ω=179W, 228W. On 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=190W, the morning side at the higher latitude looked wine coloured. On 30 Aug (λ=251Ls), no description about the wine coloured areas though the seeing was not so poor; dusty in general. It was suspected that the wine coloured areas are less covered by the airborne dust.

Such a delicate difference of colour may not be trusted on the variable ccd images, but we suppose the images made by TAN (WTn) on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=294W & 309W seem to show this difference. Similarly the higher latitude areas on the images on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) by NG (ENg) at ω=206W, 227W, by WTn at ω=225W seem to show this distribution as well as the images on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) by Km at ω=194W, and by ENg at ω=226W.


 A Higher Latitude Dust (?): The excellent image of BUDA (SBd) on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=233W clearly shows newly a bright dusty core at a southern higher latitude nearly at Ω=210W as easily seen if we compare it with frequently cited GRAFTON (EGf)s image on 11 Aug (λ=239Ls) at ω=231W. MVls images on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=236W~276W also recorded this. At the time 12:35 GMT (SBd) or 12:45 GMT (MVl) at Melbourne (nearly 145E) the planet was too low yet to observe in Okinawa (nearly 128E), but on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at 13:30GMT the present writer (Mn) caught it at ω=238W. Similarly Iw detected it at ω=240W. The ccd image made by Mo on the day at ω=258W clearly shows it. Wisely SBd shot it on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at the same angle as the day before. Fortunately on the following 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) AKUTSU (Ak) took the core at the same angle as SBd as shown here. On 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=201W, MURAKAMI (Mk) noticed it and chased the area at ω=211W, 221W, 231W. Iw also observed it at on 23 Aug at ω=213W, 223W, and on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=195W, 205W, 214W. This phenomenon of disturbance can be considered to have been caused locally by the rapid melting of the spc at this angle and the records should be precious. This core did not so develop but the image by WTn on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=254W seems to prove that the dust disturbance was varying. The preceding status of the area can be chased otherwise as follows: The images by WALLER (SWl) on 16 Aug (λ=242Ls) at ω=208W, by MOORE (DMr) on 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=194W, by HALL (GHl) on 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=198W show a small crater-like spot. On 18 Aug (λ=244Ls), WILLIAMSON (TWs) shot at ω=185W where the core is not explicit. The image of the core on 19 Aug by SBd was thus clearer and larger. The following dense observations are precious: those by Ak on 21 Aug, and 23 Aug (λ=247Ls), as well as those by Mo on 19 Aug, 20 Aug , 21 Aug, 22 Aug, and 23 Aug. Here we cite Mos images from 19 Aug to 22 Aug at ω=258W. ASADA (As) also produced an image at ω=258W on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls). On the day HARADA (Hd)s image at ω=238W et al and later Kms image at ω=265W still show the core. SBd also shot it on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=228W. See also Kms images at ω=207W, 214W. On the day, though later, it was recorded on images by WTn at ω=261W and by OKANO (Ok) at ω=264W. Iw visually observed the core on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=205W, 214W. On 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) it was still seen by Mn at ω=232W, and caught by WTn at ω=246W. The present writer (Mn) observed it slightly larger on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=206W, 216W, and also visually checked on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=197W, 207W, 217W. The image by WTn on 31 Aug (λ=252Ls) at ω=182W ~ 218W shows it was faded or dispersed, while the images on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) by WTn at ω=225W, by ENg at ω=227W, as well as ENgs on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=226W show it weakly.


The South Polar Cap: 1) Novus Mons: In the preceding report we had a set of excellent images of Novus Mons made by MVl on 15 Aug (λ=242Ls) at ω=287W ~ 310W, and so we expected more excellent, more angled images will appear this period, but not so much. The angles worthy of attention were those where we could check the forward preceding area of Novus Mons, the part of which was expected to soon thaw away. The preceding rapid melting part was still seen on the images by EVl on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at the good angle ω=274W. The images by WTn on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=294W, 309W are excellent and show the light and shade of the part. This part looks weak on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at the more morning side on SBds image at ω=228W: Some further details are seen on WTns image at ω=261W. The present writer (Mn) paid attention to this area from the preceding period: This period, especially on 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=243W, and on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=241W, he noticed still a bright small spot midway on the part which was a bit preceding the brighter main part of Novus Mons. On 24 Aug it was quite separated from the main part at ω=251W. On this day, WTn produced a good image at ω=254W. The main part itself looked to begin more bent from 22 Aug. The small bright spot was also checked on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=232W (16:10 GMT): This was made at the Miyazaki Observatory (see below), and it was clouded at 16:50, 17:30, but from 17:50 GMT we could chased the last stage of the preceding part from ω=257W to 266W, 276W. On 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) the part was very weak. The area went then to Europe. CPls image on 31 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=294W (R) shows only the bent main part of Novus Mons.

2) Thyles Mons: It was the season when Thyles Mons drastically changed. The protrusion of Thyles Mons was represented by the excellent images on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) by Don PARKER (DPk) at ω=122W ~ 129W, and by EGf at ω=154W. See also BATES (DBt)s image at ω=143W, and EGfs at ω=148W on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls). Notable was also a light area beyond the tip of the protrusion which was very evident on the image by EGf on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=126W, 143W; This may be also seen on the Meulon image on 18 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=123W by FAWORSKI (SFw) and DPk. This image of the last stage of Thyles Mons was beautifully caught by MIYAZAKI (My) in 1988: here is cited his interesting drawing in 1988 at the season λ=254Ls. Similar angle this period was obtained by EVl on 29 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=138W, but under poorer seeing. This period My himself shot the protruding Thyles Mons and a light area beyond the tip by the use of a ToUcam on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at around ω=166W.

Note that Thyles Mons looked weaker on 23 Aug (λ=248Ls) on EGfs at ω=115W and GHls at ω=116W. Visually Mn observed that Thyles Mons was more yellowish than main part of the spc at the evening side on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=213W, and concluded that Thyles Mons was detached from the spc on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=169W. The melting looked to hasten and lost brightness with a yellowish tint on 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=190W. The images by Ok on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=175W shows that its neighbourhood is weakened. The image by ENg at ω=194W does not so much, while the images on 31 Aug (λ=252Ls) by Km at ω=172W, 186W, and by WTn at ω=182W, 196W (the latter being excellent) show that it was really weak. Visually it was still caught: Mk recorded it on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=152W, 161W, 171W and LAU (PLa) at ω=198W.


 3) Detachment of Argenteus Mons: To the south of Argyre, Argenteus Mons was bright at the periphery of the spc, but began to deviate from the main part of the spc. It did not mean it became independent, but just began to detach from the main part which could survive as the part including Hypernotius Mons. This was announced on 25 August at the CMO-Web DN. The small bright spot reported before at the periphery at Ω=090W still shined (not found on ANTONIADIs polar map). Argenteus Mons with the crack and the spot are well shot by the following four from the good angles: DBts image on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=058W, GHls on 29 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=056W, EGfs on 29 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=059W, SWls 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=052W. Two taken at Dallas look similar including the processing. Otherwise, the images on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) by CPl at ω=051W, and by KOWOLLIK (SKw) at ω=065W show the rift as well as PEACH (DPc)s R image on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=064W. About this rift, SIEGEL (ESg) noticed it on 23 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=350W (not seen however the next day). WARELL (JWr) also saw it visually on 29 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=074W.


 4) Parva Depressio: We remarked the development of Parva Depressio from λ=207Ls to 223Ls in #276, and also checked it also in #277. At this period, it was also at the final stage because the deviation of the centre of the spc was rapid. DPk took the area from good angles on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=122W ~ 129W. It is interesting to summarise the rise and decay in relation with the development of Thyles Mons.


 5) Deviation of the Centre of the SPC: As repeatedly noted, the angle around ω=150W is appropriate to observe the rapid deviation of the centre of the spc. The images on 16 Aug (λ=242Ls) by SURO (JSr) at ω=163W and by MELKA (JMl) at ω=169W prove the recession. DPks images on 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=146W show well the recessing part. The image by CHAVEZ (RCv) on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=165W emphasises too highly the part. There are other several images from the angles, but some did not pay attention to the area. EGfs image on 23 Aug (λ=246Ls) was from a somewhat different angle at ω=115W, but well shows the detail of the rapid recessing part. EVls image on 29 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=151W shows no longer the vanishing part.

On the other hand, adding 180W to 150W, we know the angles around ω=330W show the deviated form of the spc from the rear side, but we have no preferable report to check the recessing process. As seen on the image by SANCHEZ (JSc) on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=330W, the deviation cannot be felt any longer.

If we add 90W to 150W, we should be to observe the narrow spc from around 240W. To show the deviation, as Mo did on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=235W ~ it is a good idea to show a series how the spc becomes fatter as the planet rotates. Another method is to compare the scenes when Thyles Mons is located at the evening side: We cited SWls image on 16 Aug at ω=208W in the CMO-Web DN on 18 August. This time we had a number of images at similar angles: SWl:16 Aug (λ=242Ls) at ω=208W, Km: 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=207W, ENg27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=206W, 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=207W. Compare these with CPls spc on 1 Aug (λ=232Ls) at ω=206W, and on 4 Aug (λ=234Ls) at ω=202W, as well as with DPks on 13 Aug (λ=240Ls) at ω=204W.

The present writer (Mn) recorded that the rapidly recessed part still looked to show a tint of ochre on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=277W~. The part looked weaker on 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=270W, while it could not be said to have vanished even on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls). See also the image at ω=178W on 25 Aug made by MVl who processes the images meticulously. The remnant was also seen visually at ω=196W. See also the image by WTn at ω=246W.


 Morning Limb Mist or Frost at the Southern Higher Latitudes: Most of the ccd images reported are not well processed to produce the limb and the terminator side, but the following images show explicitly a morning frost or mist on the limb near the spc: WTn: 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=261W; Hd: 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=251W; WTn: 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=254W. The image by MVl on 19 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=259W seems to show it. As far as Mns visual observations are concerned, the angles were much wider and the phenomenon was frequently detected from around 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=316W: On 21 Aug (λ=238Ls) it was bright at ω=238W, 248W, and similar also on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=278W. The following are some of records: on 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=213W, 223W, 233W, 243W, 260W (bright), 270W, 279W, 289W; on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) it was spotted from ω=200W, and noted frost at ω=251W (16:50), 273W (18:20) (especially the latter, cloudy at 17:30, poor seeing at 18:10). On 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) it was checked seem at ω=223W, 232W, 257W, 266W, 276W, and on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) it was bright at ω=253W, 263W. However no record on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) upto ω=240W. On 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) it was thinly seen at ω=218W, 238W but not thick. The frost or mist thus was seen at the angles from ω=230 ~ 280W, so that it was located at Ω=320W~010W. Since this was caused by the melting or decay of the periphery of the spc, and located around the belt from Novus Mons to Argenteus Mons. It is also worthy to be checked on other images: On 21 Aug (λ=238Ls) Aks at ω=221W~; Hds at ω=238W, 261W; on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) Kms at ω=207W, 214W, SBds at ω=228W, Mos at ω=235W276W. See also Ass at ω=253W, 265W, 274W, and EVls at ω=247W. As noted, WTns at ω=261W shows it most definitely. On 23 Aug (λ=247Ls), refer to Aks at ω=213W ~ 269W, and Mos at 225W ~ 237W, and further we comment that ISHIBASHI (Is)s emulsion NP400P images with B390 also show the limb frost clearly at ω=211W, 227W (especially latter). See also the images by PACE (BPc) at ω=233W, and by Ok at ω=243W, 256W as well as Hds image at ω=251W as already noted.

 Similar phenomenon must have occurred along other angles: CPls B image on 20 Aug (λ=244Ls) at ω=053W shows the morning limb frost or mist thickly. The image by SKw on the day at ω=065W also shows it clearly as seen if compared with the preceding images. See also DPcs on the day at ω=093W as well as EGfs B image on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=081W. TWss image on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=091W should also be referred. If it is concerned with the LCM ω=060W ~ 90W, the location must have been at Ω=150W ~ 180W so that it must have been related with the decay of Thyles Mons and the melting of the following area at dawn.


 Morning and Evening Mists: Since the phase angle ι rapidly decreased and was under 10 from 19 August, the both side were to be observed equally covered by the white mists, though still the yellow obscuration was severe. On 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=274W, the morning side was still whitish yellow, while on 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=238W (13:30 GMT at the Miyazaki Observatory) the morning side looked whitish as well as the evening side, though otherwise yellowish hazed. Especially the west follower of Syrtis Mj was thickly white. On 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) the white limb was evident at ω=219W, and on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) the morning white mist was in good contrast with preceding yellow haze at ω=187W, and the morning mist at the continent was quite thick and looked mixed with the airborne dust at ω=197W, etc. MURAKAMI (Mk) made similar comments from 22 Aug (no observation before) and Iss B emulsion images also show the morning white mist (thick on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=182W), The ccd images on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) by MVl at ω=178W, and by Ak at ω=202W, 228W also show it well. See also WTns on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=225W as well as ENgs on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=226W and on 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=207W (too whitish). Oks B image on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=175W shows the limb of a non-drastic area but remarkable in depicting the delicate nuance of the morning mist. In Europe and America, CPl shows attractively the morning Solis L area covered by the white mist on 24 Aug (λ=247W) at ω=018W, and the following CPls images on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=354W, 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=354W are also cool. See the image by EGf on 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=059W. DPks B description of the morning Solis L area on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=002W is quite detailed. Visually, ESg recorded the morning and evening mists every time. On 31 Aug (λ=252Ls) at ω=262W, she detected a light area by Green, light Blue et al more inside the Int bright limb along a mid-latitude.

As to the evening mist, the evening Libya when Syrtis Mj was to set was very white misted. It is shown for example on the drawing by ESg on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=339W, on the images by CRUSSAIRE (DCr) on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=341W, on the drawing by BIVER (NBv) on 28 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=332W, on the images by SKw on 28 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=333W, and by CPARROS (ACp) on 28 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=341W.


Dark Markings at the Morning Side and near the Northern Limb: The morning Syrtis Mj was seen from Asia and Oceania. On 20 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=238W, the morning Syrtis Mj looked slightly greenish since the following ria was very white (the afternoon M Cimmerium was dark greenish), while on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=238W it looked very black. This must have been because of the floating of the yellow dust. On 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=232W, it did not show the green colour though it was more morning. On 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=219W, the weak Syrtis Mj was slightly greenish though the rest was yellowish, but it soon recovered to be black. The dark marking in general showed a tint of dark blue mingled with yellow. Among these, the theria dark patch passed the CM along the northern limb showing a brownish colour (very in contrast with M Cimmerium) at the same moment on 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=219W. This must have been because the northern high latitudes were richer with the condensate than the dust. The theria dark patch was conspicuous from the morning time, as well N Alcyonius looked dark when it passed the CM (for instance on 26 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=263W etc). On the preceding 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=248W, it was located more morning side, but it was darker than the theria dark patch and its surrounding looked light. From the observations on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls), the dark density changes from the theria dark patch to N Alcyonius around from ω=238W. Mk observed the theria dark patch was conspicuous on 23 Aug at ω=231W. It was possible the morning side was less dusty at the northern higher latitudes. On 25 Aug (λ=248Ls), when the theria dark patch was located at the morning side (at ω=213W), there was associated with it a light matter to the northern preceding area. It was supposed a dust devil, but might have been a white cloud. On 23 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=270W, 279W we detected a dark W-E line of Utopia to the north of N Alcyonius. This is seen on the images by Mo on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) at ω=245W~294W, by EVl on 22 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=247W, and by WTn on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=254W. Finally Propontis I was seen clearer but showed the yellow-blue dark colour.


 Arsia Mons White Cloud and Olympus Mons: The white cloud at the evening summit of Arsia Mons was still active, and seen on the images on 16 Aug (λ=242Ls) by SHERROD (CSr) at ω=169W, and by SURO (JSr) at ω=163W and others. An excellent detail of Arsia Mons is shown on the image of SBd made on 28 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=165W. Olympus Mons was bright not meteorologically but by physical reflection, and these are shown on the natural images by MVl on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=178W and by Ok on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=175W. One of the important subjects in this period was to check Olympus Mons when it was close to the terminator: These were given by TWs on 18 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=185W, by SBd on 25 Aug (λ=248Ls) at ω=195W, and by ENg on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=194W. These seem to show no cloud over the summit even near the sunset time. The present writers observation on 27 Aug (λ=249Ls) at ω=197W showed the Arsia cloud to be like projecting but Olympus Mons was unclear. WTns image on 31 Aug (λ=252Ls) at ω=196W was made from a good angle but a little embossed. Emulsion B image by Is on 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=157W as well as one on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=162W show the white area of Arsia Mons to be largely expanded (however on 27 Aug at ω=182W the cloud is spot-like).

Olympus Mons was physically roundish light from the morning: See the images by CIDADO (ACd) on 17 Aug (λ=243Ls) at ω=079W, by RCv on 24 Aug (λ=247Ls) at ω=103W etc.


 The North Polar Hood: The trend of the north polar hood (nph) is decisive to the meteorology of the northern hemisphere, while in 2003 the tilt of axis brought the north pole away from us, and thus it was difficult to reduce good observations. If we were given many of such a good description of the nph on EGfs image on 29 Aug (λ=250Ls) at ω=059W or on DPks on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=002W ~ 025W, or at least on Mos on 23 Aug (λ=246Ls) at ω=228W, we may be able to conclude something meaningful, but not so much. On 24 Aug visually the nph showed an interesting movement but no useful ccd images are found on the day. Another point is concerned with the image processing: The images on 21 Aug (λ=245Ls) by JSc and CPl show the aspect of the nph overhung on M Acidalium, but there are some others that do not show the nph.


M Cimmerium (bis): From Asia and Oceania, M Cimmerium was well watched when the planet was at opposition. The leg of the grasshopper was easily shown to the smaller-sized telescope. Iw also detected by using a 20cm spec the light and shade mottled marking of M Cimmerium. Any ccd images show both. A second point in question associated with the grasshopper is the eye. This was just nearly visible to a 25cm, and so MIYAZAKI invited the present writer (Mn) to watch it by his 40cm Newtonian. Yes it was easily seen (noted as an eye of the ant instead of grasshopper in Mns notebook) constantly on 24 Aug and 25 Aug (δ=25.1"). This is barely shot on Mos R image on 21 Aug (δ=24.9") at ω=245W, and Kms on 22 Aug at ω=214W. On the other hand, WTns image on 22 Aug (δ=25.0") at ω=261W more clearly shows the eye of the ant. The third point is the antenna of the ant or grasshopper. This is also shown well on the WTns image above cited. The northern tip of the spike (antenna) is slightly blurred (and connected with M Tyrrhenum) this year and different from the aspect in 1988, but the root part of the antenna looks the same as in 1988 (compare with the details of the 1988 drawing by My cited in the preceding report).


Impressive: This period most impressive to us were the images taken by BUDA (SBd). Since it was in the midst of winter in Australia, no more than a few images were made, but the images all on 19 Aug at ω=233W, 22 Aug at ω=228W, 25 Aug at ω=195W, and on 28 Aug at ω=165W are stable and RGB images show several important items from our point of view. The R image on 20 Aug at ω=232W should also be mentioned as a strenuous work made in a lull at a good angle.


 Phobos and Deimos: Any great opposition time it is given an opportunity of seeing the satellites. As far as we heard, MELILLO (FMl) took the images of Phobos and Deimos by a 20cm SCT on 19 Aug (δ=24.8"), and on 20 Aug (δ=24.9"). Ak also shot them on 23 Aug (see LtE). NBv visually detected the two satellites on 24 Aug (δ=25.1") by the use of a 41cm reflector. The ccd image of Phobos taken by Hd on 24 Aug (δ=25.1") by the use of a 70cm RC at the Nagasaki City Science Museum looks excellent. TATUM (RTm) also watched the satellites in New Mexico (see LtE). The present writer (Mn) saw them several times guided by My by the use of his 40cm Newtonian on 20 Aug, and on 24 Aug. Once phobos was seen just separated by 15" from the terminator.


Final Fortnight at Naha (Mn): My (Mns) stay in Okinawa ended on 31 August and I returned home at Fukui on the day. Spending 70 days there, I obtained a total of 436 drawings from Mn-244D on 23 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=094W at 16:30 GMT to Mn-679D on 30 Aug (λ=251Ls) at ω=200W at 17:00 GMT. ISHADOH (Id) and WAKUGAWA (Wk) helped and took thoughtful care of me during my stay to whom I am very thankful.


The weather was amazing, and it was just only three nights that it was impossible to observe. In the case of 1988, I made an expedition to Taipei, Taiwan and spent half a year to observe the planet Mars there, while I could just observe only fifty days at the same summer period (from 23 June to 30 Aug). So the case of Naha in 2003 seems very exceptional.


At the end of August, Isao MIYAZAKI (My) invited me to spend some nights at his Observatory equipped with the famous 40cm Newtonian inside a good dome. His place is somewhat far from Naha by about 40km, but since he works week days for a Governmental Office in Naha, on 19 August he came to my apartment after his work to fetch me by his car to his place, and I was able to observe seven times from 14:20GMT to 18:50GMT. The following night, I was also allowed to observe nine times there from 13:30GMT to 19:30GMT. The beauty of the 40cm consists of its stoutness. It is quite stable against the wind, and any time we manipulate it moves very smoothly. The inside and rooftop outside are cosy enough to spend a whole night. (The photo here was taken inside the dome of the Miyazaki Observatory on 27 August: My at right, Mn at left, or young My and old Mn)


I heard later KUMAMORI (Km) flied to Okinawa on 19 August to Nago which is farther northward from Naha by about 100km to take images by the use of a 40cm Dall-Karkham at Nago on 19 and 20 Aug, but because of poor seeing he was not able to produce any useful images. Perhaps it was because of the local air current of Nago near the mountainous area. Returning Sakai, Osaka, Km took good images on 21 August.


On 24 August MIYAZAKI and his daughters took me for an excursion to the southern area of Okinawa along the sunny sea side, and the night I spent also at the Miyazaki Observatory to watch the planet seven times. It was also fine on the next day (25 Aug) and I observed there nine times up until 19:10 GMT (4:10 JST). Every morning My comes quite early to his office in Naha before the road becomes crowded. Every occasion so I enjoyed an excellent drive by Mys driving early in the morning from Gushikawa to Naha.

On the afternoon of 27 August, MIYAZAKI fetched me earlier than usual, and we caught the rising Mars by the 63040cm at nearly at 10:00 GMT (19:00 JST) when Mars was closest to the Earth ( la Jean MEEUS). Later since I also wanted to watch the biggest Mars by the use of the 25cm telescope which I used mainly for the routine observations this summer, after making a couple of drawings, I returned back by bus to the usual place to continue the observation of the closest Mars. According to My, a Japanese Web-Side was saying the planet would be closest to Japan islands at around 14:30 GMT (23:30 JST), and surely I was observing the surface at the very moment at the usual site. (The left-hand side long tube telescope is the one Mn used in Naha which has a 25cm spec polished by Wk.)


It was still summer, but at the end of my stay when the planet declined to the west, Sirius was seen to rise up over the eastern Shuri, and at the same time I saw once the bright Achernar for the first time shining bright quite low on the southern sky.


On 31 August, Id and Wk kindly destructed the observation site on the rooftop and fetched me to the airport where we met again My and his daughters (the right photo: from left to right: Id, Mn, Mys daughters, and Wk: Photo by My at the Naha Airport). I was seen off at 15:00 JST and arrived 17:10 at Komatsu, from where Mikuni is one hour by car. On 1 September I re-started my routine work at the Observatory of the Fukui City Museum of Natural History.


Finally I would like to express my sincere thanks to all for the great help and kindness they showed me during my stay in Okinawa including an old medical doctor who cared for me.


he next issue shall treat the observations made in the first half of September 2003 from 1 September (λ=252Ls, δ=25.0") to 15 September 2003 (λ=261Ls, δ=23.6").

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