2001 Mars Observation Reports -- #18--
in the Second Half of November and the First
Half of December 2001
from 16 November (273°Ls) to 15 December 2001 (291°Ls)
based on the article published in CMO #254 (25 December 2001))
Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section
HE apparent diameter of Mars is decreasing, while the dark markings look comparatively apparent since the major dust cloud has dissipated. Furthermore the planet has become located much better in the sky seen from our hemisphere, so that our observable time has not run so short. This time we review the observations made during the period from
16 November 2001 (273°Ls) to 15 December 2001 (291°Ls)
which the apparent diameter decreased from 8.0" to 6.8", while the
apparent declination went up from -18° 26' to -10° 52'. The central latitude
moved from 19°S to 25°S, and the southern hemisphere faces much toward us as in
the coming 2003 case. The phase angle was however still big though it went down
from 44° to 42°.
The great storm of Leonids we met on 18 November was really a memorable event: We were fortunate this year because we didn't need to worry about the red planet at the Leonid time.
The planet Mars runs fast towards east, and it passed by the planet Uranus on 26 November. We hear TSUNEMACHI caught and watched the jade-greenish Uranus by moving the telescope from Mars a bit on 25 November.
On 10 December we had the first snow at
OWARD sunset the planet is near the meridian and its altitude is higher, and so Mars is still an observable figure though the apparent diameter is no longer preferable. Don PARKER (DPk)'s work this period was noteworthy and produced several important points. In our country, the Kwantoh district is seasonally endowed with clear skies so that MURAKAMI (Mk) and TSUNEMACHI (Ts) observed nearly two times more than the previous case. KUMAMORI (Km) also gave timely good images. A total of 281 observations were received just without data on 5 December.
AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak)
10 Sets of CCD Images (23, 24, 25 November; 1 December 2001)
f/70 32cm speculum with a Teleris 2
ISHADOH, Hiroshi (Id)
18 Drawings (17~20, 24, 26~29 November; 3, 4, 9 December 2001)
400, 530x 31cm speculum
KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km)
18 CCD Colour Images (20, 22~24 November; 4, 6~9, 12 December 2001)
60cm Cassegrain $ with a Sony TRV-900
MELILLO, Frank J (FMl)
6 CCD Images (17, 21 November; 1, 15 December 2001)
20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5
MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn)
71 Drawings (19~24, 30 November; 1, 2, 11, 12 December 2001)
480, 400, 600x 20cm refractor*
MOORE, David M (DMr)
1 Set of CCD Images (2 December 2001)
f/40 36cm Cassegrain with an Astrovid
MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk)
29 Drawings (16, 19~25 November; 2, 9, 11 December 2001)
320x 20cm speculum / 300x 10cm ED refractor
NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj)
9 Drawings (23, 24 November 2001) 480, 400x 20cm refractor*
NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr)
12 Drawings (19, 21~23, 27~29 November 2001) 400x 20cm refractor
PARKER, Donald C (DPk)
30 Sets of CCD Images (20/21, 21, 23, 25~27, 29 November; 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 14 December 2001)
f/44 41cm Newtonian equipped with a Lynxx PC
TEICHERT, Gérard (GTc)
4 Drawings (27, 28 November; 10, 13 December 2001) 330, 310×28cm SCT
TSUNEMACHI, Hitomi (Ts)
72 Drawings (16, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 29 November; 2, 3, 8~10, 12, 15 December 2001)
360x 12.5cm Fluorite refractor
VALIMBERTI, Maurice (MVl)
1 Set of CCD Images (21 November 2001) f/92 15cm refractor with a TC245 based camera
LATTER Half of November - from
On 16 November (273°Ls, the apparent diameter=8.0") TSUNEMACHI (Ts) observed six times from LCM=263°W (7:40 GMT) to 312°W:
On 17 November (274°W), ISHADOH (Id) observed at LCM=283°W, 322°W: The sky was fine, but the seeing was too poor to detect Syrtis Mj fully.
On 18 November (274°Ls), Id did at LCM=278°W where he felt the recovery of M Tyrrhenum.
On 19 November (275°Ls), the present writer (Mn) observed eight times from LCM=219°W (at 6:40 GMT) to LCM=287°W (11:20 GMT). At
On 20 November (275°Ls), Mn observed from LCM=231°W: The round continent near the CM was considerably bright. M Chronium was detached from the spc. At LCM=251°W, M Tyrrhenum looked slightly greenish dark compared with the preceding M Cimmerium. The eastern arm of M Tyrrhenum was definite.
On the day the seeing was better at Fukui until 17hJST, but the seeing was more durable at Sakai under a big High, and KUMAMORI (Km) produced a good image at LCM=244°W (composite made of 102 Video frames). M Cimmerium is of the 1975 shape and the northern coast sends down several thorns, and the western spike is also apparent.
On 21 November (276°Ls), Mn's observation at LCM=202°W showed the dark west-end of M Cimmerium popped out from the terminator fog. At LCM=212°W (the MORITA angle), a canal went down from the afternoon M Sirenum. Cerberus seemed present but Elysium was not evident. At LCM=222°W, the desert to the north of M Cimmerium looked rather reddish. The morning mist/fog was also conspicuous at LCM=231°W, and Eridania-Ausonia was bright. Watched upto LCM=263°W. Ts observed at LCM=224°W~263°: A white haze was seen to the right (west) of the spc. At LCM=243°W, the western part of M Cimmerium was dark. The nph was partially bright. Mk observed at LCM=222°W when the seeing was good: The small spc was obvious. The continent belt was made of a chain of bright patches. On the day, VALIMBERTI (MVl) produced a set of good images at LCM=252°W (10:16 GMT), whose angle was comparable with the one by Km on the preceding day. MVl's images (by 15cm refr) show the faint Hesperia and suggest a complex at Ætheria . The simplified configuration in the southern high latitudes reminds us of the one in 1986.
On 22 November (277°Ls), Ts observed from LCM=204°W (7:40 GMT) to LCM=253°W (11:00 GMT): The following neighbour of the spc was faded. The nph was conspicuous declined to the evening side. The afternoon limb was light. At LCM=233°W, Eridania was light. Mk observed at LCM=212°W, and Km at LCM=217°W. Mn was from LCM=229°W where Eridania-Ausonia was light and the western part of M Cimmerium was dark. At LCM=248°W, the east of Eridania, now at the limb, was covered by a small white cloud. Observed until LCM=258°W.
On 23 November (277°Ls), Mn observed from LCM=180°W (6:40 GMT) to 248°W, Mk observed six times from LCM=190°W to 241°W, and NAKAJIMA (Nj) did from LCM=214°W to 243°W. It was hard to see the details, but there was a shadowy segment deep in the northern hemisphere. M Sirenum was quite dark in a tint of dark brown. At LCM=190°W (7:20 GMT), a morning mist was there at the southern continent. Mk also pointed at a blue-whitish tinge. At LCM=199°W, M Cimmerium was dense in general independent of the morning fog. The continent was dull. At LCM=238°W & 248°W, the eastern edge of the southern continent was covered by a white cloud. Mk separated Ausonia at LCM=241°W. Km took images at LCM=208°W (+214°W), where the western part of M Sirenum was well described. The colour nuance inside the southern continent zone looks complexed. Scamander is seen. AKUTSU (Ak) produced images at LCM=210°W, where the afternoon M Sirenum is definite, and the images suggest northern dark markings. Scamander is visible. At
On 24 November (278°Ls), Mn started from 6:40 GMT: At LCM=170°W, the area of Cerberus-Phlegra appeared shadowy. At LCM=180°W, morning misted was Zephyria. At LCM=199°W, the morning continent was fogged. M Cimmerium was already dark, and at LCM=219°W, it was inside and followed by a morning mist. Observed till LCM=238°W. On the day the depth of the spc looked shallow. At
On 25 November (279°Ls), Mk observed 8 times from LCM=151°W to 219°W: He checked the Dædalia dark band. At LCM=170°W, the small round spc was definite. Mk thought the planet showed a ruddy intrinsic colour. M Sirenum and M Cimmerium were distinguished at LCM=189°W. Ak took IR images from LCM=152°W (6:08 GMT) to 174°W (7:35 GMT). Ts observed 6 times from LCM=165°W (7:00 GMT) to 223°W (11:00 GMT): The spc was clearly seen though shallow. At LCM=175°W, the eastern part of M Chronium was dark. At LCM=214°W, the spc's morning neighbour was misty. It seems Scamander was caught.
ISHADOH (Id) observed on 26 November (241°Ls) at LCM=241°W (12:50 GMT), and on 27 November (280°Ls) at LCM=192°W (10:10 GMT) & 204°W. At LCM=192°W, seeing being 6/10, the afternoon M Sirenum was checked. M Chronium was seen. The morning terminator was whitish misty. The nph was active. Id also observed on 28 November (281°Ls) at LCM=189°W, and on 29 November (281°Ls) at LCM=177°W. On 30 November (282°Ls), Mn observed at LCM=133°W~155°W.
Summing up, the details were hard to see, but the dark markings proved variously their presence implying that the atmosphere was quite clear from dust to the extent that even the high thin dust haze at the higher altitudes receded. The meteorological phenomena prove to have revived with a diurnal large frequency of temperature as judged from the activity of the morning mist/fog or frost. The nph was also active.
Latter Part of November by Don PARKER (DPk):
PARKER (DPk) was very active this period and productive.
On 20 November (276°Ls, the apparent diameter=7.8") at LCM=101°W (23:59 GMT) DPk shot clearly the dark singular patch near the CM at the Solis L area. As we measure, its latitudinal position occupies between 16°S and 24°S, and so it is located a bit northward from the classical Solis L. Coracis Portus or Pontica D is nearly at 46°S, and so Thaumasia is normal however. The dark band at Dædalia running to M Sirenum reminds us of the irregularity seen in 1973.
On 21 November (277°Ls) DPk observed at LCM=077°W/081°W where a trace of Tithonius L to Melas L is seen to the EN of the dark patch. Auroræ S is well dark. At the southern region, the Argyre area is light as well as Ogygis R, and the following area of the spc looks misty. In the north, Lunæ L and Nilokeras are a bit shown adjacent to the nph.
On 23 November (278°Ls) more excellent images were made at LCM=068°W
/070°W. The area from Auroræ S to Melas-Tithonius
L and also the area of Nilokeras-Lunæ L are described
in detail. Ogygis R is bright in R, and maybe Nereidum Fr is seen, implying that the light-and-shade are more evident than before the outbreak of the major dust
storm. The light-and-shade inside the dark markings must be due to a fallout
from the lower atmosphere, showing however a clearing of the thin haze at the
The images at LCM=044°W (+046°W) and 049°W on 25 November (279°Ls) are also excellent and the light/shade
configurations of the markings are stable, though the images look immoderately
processed. The dark band from M Serpentis to M Erythræum is conspicuous, and bounds the light region from Noachis to Argyre. The south of Margaritifer
S looks withered. Niliacus L is visible adjacent to
the nph. These images show clearly the morning mist patch at
the Solis L area (due to the B images).
The 26/27 November (280°Ls) images at LCM=036°W & 044°W look slightly unstable, but well show the morning mist following Auroræ S. The morning side of the spc is misty (the size of the spc is different in R & B).
On 27 November (280°Ls)DPk produced at LCM=016°W & 021°W a good classical image of S Sabæus and
The images on 29 November (282°Ls) at LCM=355°W(+358°W) & 002°W show a detail of the dark band crossing Noachis; there being faint vertical shadowy segments crossing the light Noachis portion.
Summing up, DPk's images prove more clearly that the atmosphere has been cleaned as far as seen through R; and may be more transparent than the pre-storm time. The meteorology from night to morning looks recovered. Fallout from the lower atmosphere however shows still some withered areas inside the dark markings. The configurations of the dark markings left are rather classical. DPk's work during the present period is really noteworthy and precious.
The First Half of December:
On 1 December (282°Ls), Mn observed the surfaces
of LCM=113°W~142°W, and Ak gave
images of LCM=143°W. Before the onset of the major storm, Solis L was seen
large and dark at the preceding limb when LCM=113°W, but the area now was
vacant but followed by a new dark smaller patch. It was further followed by the
Dædalia dark area and M Sirenum.
To Int visual eyes they did not appear however so dense as on DPk's R images. Ak's images also mild. MELILLO (FMl) gave R images at LCM=325°W & 340°W, where Syrtis Mj and
On 2 December (283/284°Ls), MOORE (DMr) at Phœnix took images at LCM=013°W (at 01:20 GMT): S Meridiani is depicted comparatively dark, and the new band from M Serpentis to M Erythræum is quite dark (cf DMr's images at LCM=340°W on 15 July (196°Ls), reviewed CMO #248 p3073 line 18), and the area in Noachis to the south of the band is light. In
On 3 December (284°Ls), Ts observed from LCM=103°W (at 8:10 GMT) to 132°W, where she pointed that the colour of the Solis L-Thaumasia region was more reddish than the following morning area: the latter being slightly whitish. The nph was bright declined to the evening side. Id observed at LCM=123°W (9:30 GMT) where the spc was clear but smaller. He detected the dark patch to Dædalia. DPk got the first images at 23:01 GMT with LCM=319°W (+321°W), and then the images at 329°W (+330°W): These are also good and show a white
On 4 December (284°Ls), Km took pictures at LCM=095°W (8:19 GMT), and 111°W: The area between Auroræ S and the dark patch is widely light. At LCM=111°W, the Argyre area is light near the afternoon limb, and Dædalia is dark in the morning. Id observed at LCM=123°W & 137°W: The former was made at the same angle as the day before, but seeing turned better. The dark patch at the Solis L area was darker and the spc looked more clearly. Notable is that Id saw a light belt along to the north of M Sirenum and Dædalia bounded by the
Km, using a 60 cm Cassegrain, produced images on 6 December (285°Ls) at LCM=099°W, and on 7 December (286°Ls) at LCM=064°W & 073°W: the dark patch at Thaumasia is evident, and the light area near Argyre is reminiscent of DPk' preceding images.
On 8 December (287°Ls), Km shot at LCM=044°W (7:30 GMT) & 065°W, where the Argyre area is light. Ts started also from LCM=044°W and observed until LCM=083°W. First Auroræ S was featured and then the dark patch near Solis L. The nph was strong from north to the evening side. The spc was obvious. At LCM=073°W, the following neighbour of the spc is light.
On the day (8/9 December), DPk worked from 22:51 GMT
to 24:45 GMT and produced important images at LCM=267°W (+270°W), 273°W, 285°W, 293°W (+295°W): Syrtis Mj has
returned to a slim figure, and furthermore the images
suggest that Mœris L and Nepenthes faintly revived
after a long absence. As it was witnessed on 28 June (day 4 since the
onset), there was occurred a bright local dust devil from the very morning at
this area, and it was possible the devil caused a wiping of the sand mantle.
The DPk images on 8/9 December provide further information:
On 9 December (287°Ls), Mk observed at LCM=020°W~039°W, Km at LCM=028°W, 038°W, 050°W, Ts at LCM=034°W~063°W, and Id at LCM=073°W & 090°W. At LCM=020°W by Mk, Argyre was rather obscure. Margaritifer S was rather denser. On Km's images, S Meridiani is seen separated from the area of
On 10 December (288°Ls), Ts observed 6 times from LCM=024°W to 073°W: The dark markings were well caught though the details were hard to see. Margaritifer S was rather dark.
On 11 December (289°Ls), observing at LCM=000°W before sunset at 3:30 JST: Mk saw S Sabæus and S Meridiani dark (though the shapes unknown), and
On 12 December (289°/290°Ls), Mn started from 5:40 GMT (=14:40 JST), and observed from LCM=338°W to 046°W. The seeing was preferable at first:
On 13 December (290°Ls), TEICHERT (GTc) observed at LCM=136°W (17:11 GMT).
On 14 December (291°Ls), DPk shot at LCM=223°W, (227°W+) 228°W: These are similar to the images on 12 December, but at LCM=225°W, the morning white fog is not yet thick. The area of Cerberus is complex in R.
On 15 December (291°Ls), Ts observed from LCM=325°W (at 6:50 GMT) to 014°W: Syrtis Mj was visible, but became faint near the afternoon side.
he next report shall
appear on 25 January 2002 and deal with the observations during a one-month
period from 16 December 2001 (291°Ls) to 15 January 2002
Getting close to the end of 2001, we would like to express our gratitude for great contributions we received this year, wishing all to greet happily the New Year.
Reports will be acknowledged if air-mailed to M MINAMI at Mikuni
(ask the mail-address through email@example.com ) .