LtE in CMO #244

From Nicolas BIVER

@. . . . . . . First, I did not succeed in accessing the CMO sub-pages (I see the front page but without any link to sub-pages) - Is it a problem with my Netscape browser?

 Secondly, after 1 month of cloudy weather (at least 90% of cloudy nights and cf Francis OGER comments in CMO #242 about the "nice" weather we have had in France, especially Paris region, since last October) I made new observations of Mars. In the meantime the disk surface increased by a factor of 2!! We finally got about 48h of clear weather this week-end (it's over now), but not very good seeing.

I attach here 2 of the 3 drawings I made in two nights (cf my web page for an update of my drawings, up to these).

The SPH is very prominent now, the NPC was glimpsed during better seeing opportunities, but quite small on the limb. There is a strong bright patch in the region of Tharsis-Chryse near the terminator (North of Solis Lacus- Candor Chasma, if I am right about the labeling).

I hope to find time to send all the drawings to CMO this week, and I wish again some clear weather as we are getting quickly towards opposition.

I will have to move to Netherlands on the first of July (that's where I found a position, but not in France), which will be quite bad for observations, Mars being there even (3-4 degrees) lower in the sky, not talking about weather and light pollution - I hope to come back here on week-ends. Clear and Steady skies!  

(14 May 2001 email)


@. . . . . . . . . . Thank you for keeping on sending me the CMO Newsletter. I must first apologize for not having written you for a while since last century/millennium! Unfortunately my Hawaiian time is over and the opportunities I have had since to observe Mars have been very sparse.

I moved back to France 11 months ago, while Mars was still close to Solar conjunction. Then when it emerged in the morning twilight, it became lower and lower in declination, which makes it not as easy from 48.8 deg N as from 21.3 deg N (Hawaii) to get good images.

In addition, as Francis OGER told you in CMO #242, we got quite bad autumn, winter and spring as regards to the weather. Meteorological statistics for the Paris region say that we got about twice the normal amount of rain between October 2000 and April 2001, while in March and April 2001 we broke the records of the lowest amount of sunshine - about half the average.

I let you draw the conclusion about the number of nights suitable for astronomical observations! Actually, I think we never got more than 48h in a raw of clear weather (last week-end) since September 2000. Most clearings did not last more than 5 hours, and for example, I remember that the sky was overcast and it was continuously raining on the evening before I made the 17 and 19 March drawings!

So you will find here all my drawings since my previous mail. I will send a colour copy of the latest ones, once I have finished the set of 4.

I wasn't successful in getting a permanent position in France, so I will move to the Netherlands on 1 July where observing condition aren't likely to be better. Regards.

(15 May 2001)

Nicolas BIVER (Meudon, France)

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