2001 Mars Observation Reports -- #21--


CMO Mars Observations

in the Second Half of February 2002 and the First Half of March 2002
from 16 February 2002 (328°Ls) to 15 March 2002 (342°Ls)
based on the article published in CMO #258 (25 March 2002)

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section


HE days have been getting so longer, that the planet Mars became quite late to appear in the evening. Its apparent declination has been higher located, but Mars shows up just above the setting Sun, and so the surface appears quite low in contrast. We here treat the period

16 February 2002 (328°Ls) to 15 March 2002 (342°Ls)

  The apparent diameter has much decreased, and thus the observable season looks quite close to the end. The apparent diameter was 5.1" on 16 February, but went down to 4.6" on 15 March. The apparent declination went up from +8° to +15° during the period. The season preceded from 328°Ls to 342°Ls. The central latitude went down from 24°S to 17°S, and the phase angle recovered from 32° to 28°.
  This spring, the climate in Japan has undergone an extraordinary trend; the cherry blossoms happened to be in full bloom quite earlier than usual, and we suffered often from strong yellow sand streams vastly from the China continent.


HE observations were carried as follows: D PEACH (DPc) in UK produced several stable images as the planet ran up higher in the sky.

       ISHADOH, Hiroshi (Id)   Naha, Okinawa, Japan                        

          10 Drawings (22, 26 February; 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 March 2002)

                                      340, 400, 530x 31cm speculum


      KUMAMORI, Teruaki  (Km)  Sakai, Osaka, Japan                             

       7 CCD Colour Images (16, 20, 22 February; 9, 13 March 2002)           

                                    60cm Cassegrain# with a Sony TRV-900


      MINAMI, Masatsugu  (Mn)  Fukui, Japan                                 

            14 Drawings (16, 20, 22 February; 3 March 2002)                     

                                     600, 480, 400x 20cm ED Goto refractor * 


      MOORE, David M  (DMr)  Phœnix, AZ, USA                

              1 Set of CCD Images (23 February 2002)                     

                         f/40 36cm F/13.5 Cassegrain with a Starlight Xpress HX5


      MORITA, Yukio  (Mo)  Hatsuka-ichi, Hiroshima, Japan              

             12 Sets of CCD Images (22, 24, 25 February; 3, 8, 13 March 2002)        

                                   f/50 25cm speculum equipped with an ST-5C


      MURAKAMI, Masami  (Mk)    Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan                    

            3 Drawings (24 February; 10, 13 March 2002)   320x 20cm speculum


      NAKAJIMA, Takashi  (Nj)  Fukui, Fukui, Japan                         

             8 Drawings (16 February; 3 March 2002)   480, 400x 20cm ED refractor *


      PARKER, Donald C  (DPk)   Miami, FL, USA                 

            1 Red Image (12 March 2002)

 f/44 41cm F/6 Newtonian equipped with a Lynxx PC


      PEACH, Damian A  (DPc)   Rochester, Kent, UK                 

            3 Colour CCD Images (16 February; 1, 2 March 2002)

                                   f/29 31cm Meade SCT with an ST-5C                                                   


                                      # Sakai City Observatory, Osaka

                                      * Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

Reports from PEACH (DPc):
  The planet now was caught in England at the altitude of 30° to 40° and Damian PEACH (DPc) at Kent enjoyed good seeing conditions to produce good Mars images though the diameter is small: DPc's images on 16 February (328°Ls) at ω=216°W clearly shows the spc that is small and surrounded by the southern darkish part of M Chronium. Eridania bounded by Scamander is described quite well to the south of the definite M Cimmerium. M Sirenum is dark but looks shorter than expected.

  On 1 March (335°Ls), DPc produced a set of excellent images at ω=091°W (17:44 GMT): The darkened Solis L is near the CM, being located around 27°S with its lower border at 20°S as we measured. The shape is still singular, and followed by the Dædalia dark patch. In the evening a streak parallel to Nereidum Fr is dark down to Auroræ S while Auroræ S shows another following faint spot. Thaumasia looks complexed. The spc is clear and round though quite small. The altitude is recorded 40° at 17:44 GMT.

  On 2 March (335°Ls) DPc also obtained another set of good images at ω=078°W: Solis L looks duller than the day before, but Auroræ S is featured to consist of two spots, if not over processed. There is a light patch between Solis L and Auroræ S.

Observations in the US:

Dave MOORE (DMr) observed on 23 February (333°Ls) at ω=273°W and got R and G good images. His Syrtis Mj reminds us of the shape usually seen on the occasion of great oppositions, and the new feature of the fainted Trinacria is shot. It should be said that the west end of M Cimmerium quite extends down to the north.

  Don PARKER (DPk) obtained one R image on 12 March (342°Ls) at ω=093°W (00:42 GMT): It shows the area of Solis L and Auroræ S both of which are dark. Melas L is visible.

Observations in Japan:
On 16 February (328°Ls) Teru-aki KUMAMORI (Km) produced an image at ω =083°W (08:29 GMT) that precedes those given later by DPc on 1 & 2 March and by DPk on 12 March in the sense Solis L and the following Dædalia patch are well shown. Auroræ S is dark shown mildly, and it describes well the shadowy area preceding Thaumasia. The slit between Solis L and Auroræ S is singularly light. On 16 February, Takashi NAKAJIMA (Nj) and Masatsugu MINAMI (Mn) at Fukui observed from ω=074°W to ω=108°W. The dark markings were comparatively distinct, and out of all, Auroræ S was the darkest following the limb haze. The area of the spc looked slightly light, and the area of Argyre was hazed. At ω=094°W, preceding Solis L and Dædalia, a dark band including Aonius S ran.

  On 20 February (330°Ls), Mn just watched the planet at ω=020°W, 030°W annoyed by cloud passing, while Km produced good images at ω=045°W, 052°W & 059°W (made of 74 to 106 frames). During Mn's times, S Sabæus was seen, while Km's show such dark markings distinctly as Margaritifer S, Auroræ S, and separated from them, M Erythræum.
  On 22 February (331°Ls),
Km obtained an image at ω=033°W where a faint patch is shown at Auroræ S (maybe a ghost-like ? though made of 93 frames). On the day, Mn observed at ω=015°W, 025°W, but ended earlier than usual because of clouding. Hiroshi ISHADOH (Id) observed at ω=035°W (9:10 GMT), but the seeing was poor, and got no detail. The spr is hazy white. Yukio MORITA (Mo) took images at ω=058°W: the IR images show similar configurations to that of Km on 20 February.

  On 24 February (332°Ls), Masami MURAKAMI (Mk) observed at ω=020°W and checked a broad dark band from S Sabæus to Margaritifer S, and saw a darker part near S Meridiani. The afternoon limb light. Mo produced images at ω=020°W, 027°W, and 032°W. The central latitude was 23°S, and S Sabæus appears to run down well to the lower hemisphere. Margaritifer S looks dark. Mo then observed on 25 February (333°Ls) at ω=034°W: the images were unstable but show normal markings, though it is hard to compare them with Km's on 22 February.

  On 26 February (333°Ls), Id observed at ω=010°W where Hellas might be light at the ES limb. A dark band seen from S Sabæus to M Erythræum. The morning terminator misty.

  As noted in CMO #134 (25 June 1993 issue) at p1251, Hellas usually shows a second/ weaker peak of activity just before the southern autumnal equinox, and hence Hellas should be checked until May.

  On 2 March (335°Ls), Id observed at ω=328°W where Hellas was generally dull and did not show particular brightness, but the border from Noachis was evident (Hellespontus?). M Serpentis was quite dark, and S Sabæus was definite. The morning terminator was slightly whitish misty. The nph was visible.

  On 3 March (336°Ls) Nj & Mn watched from ω=277°W (at 7:10 GMT) to ω=325°W: Hellas was slightly light until around ω=286°W, but vague compared with Syrtis Mj and S Sabæus that remained long distinct. Hellas was not identified at ω=316°W. Libya was light near the afternoon limb preceding Syrtis Mj. Misty was the early morning side. Mo produced images on the day at ω=320°W and 326°W: Hellas is rather light in R, and indistinct in B.

  On 4 March (337°Ls), Id observed at ω=316°W: Hellas was just dull light. Syrtis Mj and S Sabæus were caught. White mist near the morning terminator. A light area at the spr.

  On 7 March (338°Ls), Id observed at ω=286°W: Hellas was not light. Syrtis Mj was also faint even near the CM.

  On 9 March (339°Ls), Km observed at ω=247°W, and Mo at ω=254°W, 259°W, 264°W, and 272°W. Id then at ω=266°W. Every shows a fat M Cimmerium. The R images of Mo at ω=259°W look stable and suggests that the west end of M Cimmerium goes down to the north. He obtained several IR images on the day. Id also enjoyed a steady atmosphere, but the markings appeared faint to him. No judgement about Hellas.

  On 10 March (340°Ls) Mk observed at ω=247°W, and Id at ω=247°W and 259°W: Both were annoyed by poor seeing, but Mk noticed that the dark band was darker on the morning side, and Id that the western part of M Cimmerium was dark. Both checked the presence of the nph. Id felt that Hellas was slightly whitish.

  On 11 March (340°Ls) Id observed at ω=247°W, but just saw the dark band and on 13 March (341°Ls) seeing slightly improved but Id just caught M Cimmerium at ω=227°W. He thought the disk was too yellowish.

  On the same day (13 March) Mk observed at ω=210°W and checked the band from M Sirenum to M Cimmerium. Km also obtained an image at ω=213°W where a dark area was near the CM. Mo took images at around ω=239°W: M Cimmerium is distinct in R and IR.

Further Received:
Tsutomu ISIBASHI (Is) reported some emulsion-made colour images:

      ISHIBASHI, Tsutomu (Is)  Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan              

           8 Colour Images (16, 17, 27 August; 12, 18, 29 September; 23 November 2001)

                             31cm f/6.4 speculum; Fujichrome Provia 400F (RDF III)

  The image on 16 August 2001 (215°Ls) was made at ω=120°W and faintly shows a shadowy area at Dædalia. No detail though the apparent diameter = 15".   On 12 September (232°Ls) he got images at ω=207°W, and 218°W where the nph is definite under better seeing. The image on 23 November (277°Ls) at ω=210°W shows faintly M Cimmerium when the apparent diameter= 7.7".


HE next report in #259 shall deal with the observations during a one-month period from 16 March 2002 (343°Ls) to 15 April 2002 (358°Ls).

Reports will be acknowledged if air-mailed to M MINAMI at Mikuni
(ask the mail-address through vzv03210@nifty.com ) .

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