LtE in CMO #246,248,249

From Alan HEATH

@. . . . . . . At last I have managed to see Mars but with great difficulty.


The planet is very low and I have to observe it between houses. I cannot get the planet from the observatory so have to use the Celestar-8 which is portable. Looking at the planet between houses and with nearby sodium street lights does not make for good observing.

For what they are worth, I enclose three drawings with notes and I do not expect do much better than this at this apparition. However I will try for as  long as I can in the hopes that perhaps I may be favoured with one reasonable  view. I can but hope!

Thank you for continuing to send me the Mars Bulletin which is always a joy to read.

Very Best wishes to you all

23 June 2001

@. . . . . . Just a few more observations though of little real use I am afraid.

 Tom DOBBINS (USA) phoned to tell me there is a major dust storm in operation.

 Very best wishes to you all

 (8 July 2001)


@ . . . . . . . For what they are worth I enclose my final observations of Mars for this apparition. Very disappointing really and, despite 18 observations, there is little of any use from me.

 Hoping all is with you and I enjoy reading about the observations of Mars which others have had with more favourable skies and seeing conditions,

 With Very Best Wishes  

(4 August 2001)


(Note)  According to HEATH's Summary and Observing Notes, the planet was very low in the sky, barely 10above the horizon. So it was necessary to use the portable SCT-8 throughout as the planet was not visible from his Observatory (see CMO #211 p2387). Even so observation was between houses and trees, views often being limited to a few minutes at a time. The portable C-8 was taken on to a nearby flood bank to gain a slight improvement but this was kept to a minimum since competition with street lights reduced the value of observations to almost nil. A total of 18 observations were made between 18 June 2001 and 1 August 2001. He says he was fortunate to see all the way around the planet, something he had never expected to do.

  Dust storm activity had been reported to him by Tom DOBBINS of Ohio, but he found no real obscuration. All dark features were weak, rarely more than int 5 at best often much less, but he felt this was due to poor seeing and the low elevation of the planet. He could thus confirm that M Cimmerium was still visible on 14 July: The observations of 14 and 19 July both of which were very poor conditions, did reveal dark features. (Ed)

 Alan HEATH (Nottingham, UK)

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