LtE in CMO #280

FromChristophe PELLIER


. . . . . . . .Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 20:52:41 +0200

Subject: Mars, september 25 2003


Hi all, here is the latest. Again a good night (now it's going to be rainy here). Again some thick morning mists, already visible on the G raw frames.

Best regards


. . . . . . . .Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 17:58:36 +0200

Subject: Mercury on september 25, 2003


Hi all, I've finally managed to take some images of Mercury on september 25. They have been made with a C14 under poor seeing (but relatively good given the low altitude). I've used an IR-pass filter and the RG610 red plus an IRcut, both in order to try getting an image as "steady" as possible ;-). A manual selection of around 300 raw frames out of several thousands has been needed, the usual softwares used for registration were totally unable to process the highly variable image...

Frank : the three images seem to show dark markings near terminator : one south, one north, one in the middle, so maybe we could have hope that they are real but on this topic I will rely totally on your knowledge of the planet. The problem is that this C14 may not be correctly collimated.

Best regards to all,


. . . . . . . .Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 01:06:49 +0200

Subject: Re: [ALPO_Mercury] Mercury on september 25, 2003


Thanks Frank, I'm happy to have imaged it again, planned Mercury observations cannot be taken for granted... However the weather here will not allow me to take more pictures, I'm afraid. Something I have forgotten to say, the north is up on the images.



. . . . . . . .Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 12:44:51 +0200

Subject: Re: Mercury on september 25, 2003


Hello John : I have understood it this way. "Terrible" in french can be understood in a positive sense also...


----- Original Message -----

From: <>

To: <>

Cc: <>; <>;

<>; <>; <>;

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Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 4:30 AM

Subject: Re: Mercury on september 25, 2003



> Christophe,

> I am sure he meant to say "you are terrific."

> Regards,

> John W. McAnally




. . . . . . . .Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 12:43:28 +0200

Subject: Re: Re:Mercury on september 25, 2003


Hello Toshihiko Ikemura : thank you for your message. Indeed Mercury look sharp and well defined in those pictures... However I think that if we were able to get some pictures of Mercury in really good conditions as we can for the others planets, we would surely be aware than my last images are not so good !

The day when our Mercury images be so much detailed as Mario's drawings...

Best regards

----- Original Message -----

From: "Ikemura" <>

Cc: <>; <>;

<>; <>; <>;

<>; <>; <>;

<>; <>;

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<>; <>; <>;


Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 3:03 AM

Subject: Re:Mercury on september 25, 2003


> Dear Christophe Pellier and all.

> This is Toshihiko-Ikemura


> Mercury on september 25, this picture is the sharpest I seems at inside which from the earth.

> You are terrible.

> It is a precious picture which we can not to get even if we have getting image for meny years.

> I expect you all the time.

> Regards,

> Toshihiko-Ikemura Japan

> ----------------------------------------------------------

> E-mail

> Toshihiko Ikemura

> 1-1211 Umegaoka Tenpaku-ward Nagoya-City

> Aichi-Prefecture 468-0004 JAPAN

> ----------------------------------------------------------


. . . . . . . .Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 18:39:30 +0200

Subject: Mars october 7 2003


Hello everyone

Last night I've managed to take a few images in a three hours gap in several days of clouds and rain ! As expected, the sky was superbly transparent but quite turbulent. However the minimum is caught : all the markings are there so there is no dust storm, and clouds are shot. Also imaged is the yellow tint of the morning Hellas, something that have been observed for several monthes I think.

I have made a first try with a deep blue filter with transmission pic at 380 nm and bandpass 300-500 nm, however better conditions would be required to make a real evaluation.

Good luck for your own observations,


. . . . . . . .Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 00:21:45 +0200

Subject: CMO news ?


Dear Masatsugu,

How is going your 2003 Mars ? I hope that everything is fine with you and all the CMO team. I keep on checking the OAA Mars homepage everyday, but it seems that the number of submitted images have quite decreased since a few weeks. On my side this is only because autumn seems to be fully there now, after this unusual hot and sunny summer that has been a real luck for Mars. Bad weather won't last forever anyway so I should be there for many weeks, hopefully.

Have you any news about possible next CMO issues ? The last one was published in may, and I remember once that you eluded to eventually stop it. Is there anything planned on this topic ? I'm still looking for reading those analyses.

I have also another thing to ask you: recently, I have written a page for my website where I try to determine the "best" way to process CCD images of Mars. This is the result of the few experience I have with my own images.

The page is at:


What I would like to ask you is if you would be kind enough to allow me to add to this page two quotations from you. Recently, I have been looking again at your "Director's Reports" of the 2001 Mars apparition, and I have read two passages that I have found to be most interesting:


"There have been produced a lot of RGB or LRGB images since the start of the dust storm, while we do scarcely come across with the images that may reproduce the realistic tint of 'yellow' intrinsic to the expanding airborne dust cloud. Especially it was strange to us some of LRGB images continued to produce some 'normal' surfaces regardless of the obvious fact that the yellow dust had already proved globally covering the same surfaces. It seemed it was claimed that it was just abnormal only when some bright local dust bursts occurred or some dark markings were definitely obscured or deformed in the enhanced images. Obscuration is a matter of degree, but when we are to discuss how the storm will turn out, we should pay much attention to the subtle obscuration due to the expanding yellowish airborne dust, without depending much on the ability of the infrared penetration. The LRGB image is sometimes powerful, but as is widely known, it has not been well established yet as far as the Martian images are concerned, and we should sometimes refrain from saying something concerning the atmospheric matters if any depends only on the LRGB images." (DR 10)


"I was told from NAKAJIMA that the Martian disk covered wholly by the yellow cloud was branded on his mind even after he went home on 2 July late at night. It was not simply a disk, but it appeared to us as a glossy globular planet in beautiful perspective. We are of the opinion that the yellow cloud should not be observed with the use of the thick filters. The distribution is not necessarily made of the bright parts only, and if one can check it by a red filter, he will more easily be able to find it by the integrated light. Red or Infrared image may unearth the fainted dark markings, but the scale can more be checked by the naked eyes. We should say at least that the present beautiful disk with bright yellow cloud should be watched through the naked eyes." (DR 8)


This would be to feed some thoughts about CCD images of Mars but also about visual observations. I'm deeply in agreement with those two statements.


On the following days it seems that the weather should improve a bit, so hopefully I will be able to resume seriously my Mars observations.


With best regards

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

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