LtE in CMO #247,248

From  Samuel R WHITBY

@. . . . . . . . Thank you very much for your news of the dust cloud on Mars.

 My work schedule will change, starting this coming Sunday, and I hope to have more time to observe. Best wishes,

(29 June 2001 email)


@ . . . . . . . .Dear Mars observers,

Tonight, observing under beautifully clear and cool sky, with seeing that is so far only fair, I am waiting for the trusty Newtonian to cool down. If tube currents diminish, maybe a drawing or two will become worth the trouble.

Sinus Meridiani is rotating off the disk. There is a prominent north polar hood. There is a bright south polar cap. The dark albedo markings look soft and subdued.


Re-reading the seventh CMO report and Richard McKim's message, I thought that the difference between "globe wholly covered by the mildly bright yellow cloud" and "a general loss of contrast" to be rather small, a matter mainly of semantics.

Thank you for continuing to share your observations and messages with me. Not able to observe as much as I would have liked, I have benefited from your experience nonetheless, and tomorrow there may be more time to observe.

 (3 July 2001 email)


@. . . . . . . .I was able to observe Mars with my reflector this evening for about half an hour. The seeing was good. At 2 UT the planet looked very strange. Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani were unrecognizable. What seems to have been the northern part of Syrtis Major was visible, detached from other dark albedo markings. The preceding limb of Mars was very bright. I made a sketch which I will send to you later. I am not a very experienced observer of Martian dust storms, but it looks like the "easy" side of Mars is largely obscured by dust.


Randy wrote to me recently that he has video taped Mars at the RAS Observatory. I am glad to read that John Barnett has sent you some good observations.



(9 July 2001 email)


@. . . . . . . .I was able to observe Mars again tonight, July 11, at 2 UT. Mars seems heavily obscured by dust, with only a vague Syrtis Major and a dim hint of Sinus Sabaeus visible. The seeing was not as good as last night, but it was still fair. I think the extent and degree of obscuration were greater tonight than last night. I made a sketch and will mail it to you later.


(10 July 2001 email)


@. . . . . . . . With the contrast of the Martian albedo markings being very low, it is difficult to say whether the local seeing has improved or whether the Martian air is clearing, but I tend to believe the latter is the case. Tonight I could easily see Syrtis Major, which seemed detached from the maria south of it and preceding it, and I could also see, with more difficulty, what I take to be Mare Tyrrhenum. A dark marking that I think was Serpentis was noted. I suspected Hesperia, without certainty. A North Polar Hood was noted, not as extensive as what was seen last night.


(16 July 2001 email)

Sam WHITBY (Hopewell, VA,  USA)

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