th Report:

The CMO/OAA Observations made during a fortnight period


16 October 2003 (280Ls)


31 October 2003 (290Ls)


An OAA Mars Section article to be published in CMO #282 (10 November 2003 issue)

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese version here


uring this period, the Martian season, passing the southern summer solstice, proceeded from λ=280Ls to 290Ls: The southern hemisphere on Mars became more apparent since the central latitude went up from φ=22S to 24S and the spc has totally been still evident though shown much shrunk. The apparent diameter went down from δ=17.8" (on 16 October) to δ=15.1". The phase angle ι increased from 33 to 38.



he number of the observers has quite decreased, but such Japanese observers as MURAKAMI (Mk), KUMAMORI (Km), AKUTSU (Ak) were increasing the pace of their work; MORITA (Mo) also recovered. Abroad Don PARKER (DPk) in Florida was still active.


AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Tochigi, Japan

13 Sets of CCD Images (16,~19, 24, 29, 31 October 2003)

f/3332cm spec with a Bitran BJ-41L

BENAVIDES, Rafael (RBn) Crdova, Espaa

2 CCD Images (23 October 2003) 24cm SCT with a ToUcam

BIVER, Nicolas (NBv) Versailles, France

1 Colour Drawing (21 October 2003) 51026cm speculum

HERNANDEZ, Carlos E (CHr) Miami, FL, USA

       1 Colour Drawing (30 October 2003)

250, 290, 34023cm Maksutov-Cassegrain

IWASAKI, Tohru (Iw) KitaKyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

      20 Drawings (16, 18, 19, 21, 30 October 2003)

40021cm speculum

KOWOLLIK, Silvia (SKw) Stuttgart, Deutchland

3 CCD Images (16, 24 October 2003)

18cm Starfire Refraktor with a ToUcam Pro

KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan

31 CCD Images (16, 17#, 18,~20, 22#, 24#, 26, 27, 29#, 30# October 2003)

f/70, 8420cm Dall-Kirkham & f/30, 4060cm Cass# with a ToUcam

#Sakai City Observatory


LAU, Patrick (PLa) Hong-Kong

1 Drawing (20 October 2003) 200, 240, 30025cm Dobsonian

MELILLO, Frank J (FMl) Holtsville, NY, USA

  4 Red CCD Images (21, 25, 31 October 2003)

20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5

MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Fukui, Fukui, Japan

76 Drawings (16, ~20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 30 October 2003)

480, 40020cm F/12 ED Goto refractor*

*Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

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

1 Set of CCD Images (25 October 2003)

f/5025cm spec equipped with an ST-5C

MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

      47 Drawings (16, 19, 20, 24, 27, 29, 30 October 2003)

320, 40020cm speculum

NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan

12 Drawings (22, 25, 26, 27 October 2003)

480, 40020cm F/12 ED Goto refractor*

*Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

26 Drawings (16, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30 October 2003)

40020cm refractor

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

20 Sets of CCD Images (16, 18/19, 21, 23, 28 October 2003)

f/55, 5941cm F/6 spec equipped with an ST-9XE or ToUcam

PARKER, Timothy J (TPk) LA, CA, USA

3 CCD Images (18 October 2003)

15cm Jgers Achromat with a ToUcam

PEACH, Damian A (DPc) Buckinghamshire, England

10 Sets of CCD Images (16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 27 October 2003)

f/3128cm SCT with a ToUcam


PELLIER, Christophe (CPl) Bruz, Ille-et-Vilaine, France

9 Sets of CCD Images (17, 22, 27 October 2003)

18cm spec with a modified B&W ToUcam Pro


ROEL SCHREURS, Eric (ERl) Mexico

1 CCD Image (30 October 2003)

f/5025cm TEC Mak/MX70 with a ToUcam

SIEGEL, Elisabeth (ESg) Malling, Danmark

5 Drawings (18, 20, 22, 24, 26 October 2003) 27020cm F/10 SCT

TEICHERT, Grard (GTc) Hattstatt, France

3 Drawings (17, 25, 27 October 2003) 33028cm SCT


VALIMBERTI, Maurice P (MVl) Melbourne, Australia

4 CCD Images (17, 22, 29 October 2003)

f/3435cm SCT with a ToUcam Pro


Van Der VELDEN, Erwin (EVl) Brisbane, Australia

3 CCD Images (19, 22 October 2003)

f/3120cm SCT with a Vesta Pro modified

WARELL, Johan (JWr) Tcuson, AZ, USA

       1 Drawing (25 October 2003) 26025cm SCT (LX200)

9 Sets of CCD Images (17, ~21, 23, 25, 31 October 2003)

f/2425cm SCT with a ToUcam


WILLIAMSON, Thomas E (TWs) Alburquerque, NM, USA

1 Set of CCD Images (23 October 2003)

f/5020cm spec with a Philips ToUcam



This Fortnight: From Japan we could catch the surface from the scene where Solis L stayed at the morning side to the scene the evening M Cimmerium prevailed. In Europe, The regions from M Sirenum to Aurorae S were observed, and in the US, they were able to observe from the morning Syrtis Mj to M Sirenum.


Observations of the Present Writer (Mn) from 16 Oct (λ=281Ls) ~ 20 Oct (λ=283Ls): The seeing was not particularly good during the week (rather better later on 22 October), but there were observed several characteristics of this period. During the period the regions from the morning Solis L to the evening declining Syrtis Mj faced to us, and made us notice that the regions were covered by the white mist especially at the morning side except for the areas where the chocolate- or wine-colour prevailed, maybe implying the decreasing the global airborne dust. We had an impression on 17 Oct (λ=281Ls) at ω=357W that, though the evening side was still yellowish, the northern deserts showed a usual reddish tint (as also noticed by MURAKAMI (Mk) on 16 Oct), the darkish markings from the CM to the morning terminator looked basically dark-wine coloured while the morning white mist was strong. The morning mist was so strong that the morning Solis L was late to be definite. Another feature was that the higher latitude area around the spc, especially its morning side looked very decoloured, sometimes looked frosted (near the terminator), sometimes not so whitish, sometimes light wine coloured, and sometimes dusty (though not so strong as at the evening side). The markings around Bosporos Gemmatus were frequently devoid of the covering mist and looked bare showing the dark wine-colour ground: The area from this place to Aonius S was sometimes the darkest out of whole surface. M Oceanidum was also tinged with a dark chocolate colour. The angular diameter was still 17.5, so that we could catch Juventae Fons on 17 Oct at ω=062W and so on, and on 19 Oct (λ=282Ls) at ω=357W, 007W we were able to detect the light ruin of Novus Mons where no explicit snow remained. Furthermore at ω=016W, there was witnessed a short projection blown out from the edge of the spc toward Noachis. The spc looked as quite deformed on 19 Oct (λ=282Ls) at ω=357W, but the details were beyond the 20cm refractor no longer. From 20 Oct (λ=283Ls), Hellas came into sight from the evening side: It was whitish bright near the limb, while more inside it was rather dull except for the NW corner. The NW corner was constantly bright in a reddish or crme tint, and it was so until the end of the month. During the week, since M Acidalium was facing to us, the nph looked strong.


 Morning Mist at Amazonis: As has been reported from #14 (to the preceding #16), the Canon LAU phenomenon has been one of topics: Don PARKER (DPk) chased it this time especially on 28 Oct (λ=288Ls) at ω=143W, 151W where the de-concentrated part was still witnessed: For instance, the B image made at 01:17 GMT (ω=152W) shows rather definitely the part where the mist was de-concentrated. At 01:56 (ω=161W) it is near the CM. On the day ι=37 so that it was separated from the morning terminator by 53, and hence about 3.5 hrs after the sunrise. The following western Amazonis was still thickly misted. The mist was explicitly shown on the B image by PEACH (DPc) on 16 Oct (λ=281Ls) at ω=159W as well as on the B images of PELLIER (CPl) on 17 Oct (λ=281Ls) at ω=159W, and of DPc on B at ω=167W. The morning mist remains to be explicit more inside as seen on DPks images on 23 Oct (λ=285Ls); especially the series of B images made from 00:35GMT (ω=189W) to 01:24 (ω=201W). Earlier, B images by CPl on 22 Oct (λ=285Ls) at ω=111/112W also show the mist at the morning side (this images were taken by the use of Fuji Filter SP-4 sent kindly from Kunihiko OKANO, Tokyo).


 Morning Mist at Hellas: The morning mist was strong not only at the NH but also in the southern hemisphere: For instance, the mist at the morning Hellas was conspicuous and interesting. Interesting distribution of the mist over the Hellas region is shown on DPks images on 16 Oct (λ=280Ls) at ω=264W~278W. Otherwise the morning mist is seen from Syrtis Mj to Libya and so the distribution looks complex. Also interesting is DPks series of B images on 18/19 Oct (λ=281Ls) at ω=228W, 232W, 241W, 246W, 249W. Cf also WARELL (JWr)s images on 21 Oct (λ=284Ls) at ω=269W, 290W. WILLIAMSON (TWs)s image on 23 Oct (λ=285Ls) at ω=213W already shows the morning mist at SH though the angle is still shallow. As the present writer (Mn) saw on 26 Oct (λ=287Ls) at ω=259W, the morning side of the SH including Hellas was largely whitish. KUMAMORI (Km) chased it on 29 Oct (λ=289Ls) at ω=250W, and on 30 Oct (λ=289Ls) at ω=239W, 249W, 289W, 307W, 324W: MURAKAMI (Mk) on 30 Oct (λ=289Ls) depicted a large zigzagged terminator haze at ω=251W, and described its whiteness and brightness at ω=260W. IWASAKI (Iw) also checked a morning mist patch following Syrtis Mj at ω=275W. AKUTSU (Ak) B images on 31 Oct (λ=290Ls) at ω=256W, 262W are also excellent. Here is shown a difference of configuration of morning haze: one from Kms images (not necessarily B) on 30 Oct and the other from DPks B images on 18/19 Oct.


 Morning Mist at Solis L: Solis L appeared from totally under the morning mist: This is quite a different aspect seen at the area of Aonius S (see the next item). Cf Kms images on 17 Oct (λ=281Ls) at ω=055W, and on 19 Oct (λ=283Ls) at ω=053W. At ω=068W Solis L looks out. DPcs images also provide the similar angles on 27 Oct (λ=287Ls) at ω=059W. CPls images on the same day at ω=070W show a thin mist over the Solis L area. SIEGEL (ESg) took a drawing on 26 Oct (λ=287Ls) at ω=066W where half of Solis L was popped out of the morning mist while the following half was still under the thick mist.


 Wine-Coloured Areas: The area to the east of Solis L, including the dark area of Bosporos Gemmatus looks bared out of the morning white mist and shows a dark chocolate- or wine-coloured hue. This is all apparent on the following images: The images on 16 Oct (λ=281Ls) by Km at ω=055W, 076Ls, by Ak at ω=072W, 084W, and on 17 Oct (λ=281Ls) by VALIMBERTI (MVl) at ω=026W, 078W, by Km at ω=048W, 055W, 060W, by Ak at ω=069W, on 18 Oct (λ=282Ls) by Km at ω=055W, 073W and so on. Any image on 17 Oct shows that M Oceanidum looks quite wine coloured. The images of Van der VELDEN (EVl) on 19 Oct (λ=283Ls) at ω=008W, and 030W show the de-concentration of the morning mist as well as suggest its extension to the Noachis region. Kms image on 22 Oct (λ=184Ls) at ω=314W shows that it extends further to M Australe. On 26 Oct (λ=287Ls) at ω=247W, Mn saw Noachis was rather wine coloured (though faded). Concerning the M Oceanidum area, note that Aks R and IR images on 16 Oct at ω=072W show delicate details of the ground markings.


Surroundings of the SPC: As already noted, Mk noticed on 16 Oct (λ=281Ls) at ω=059W~081W that the high-latitude morning area just outside the spc was decoloured rather to whiter, and made a similar remark on 19 Oct also. On 24 Oct (λ=286Ls) at ω=069W, 078W, KOWOLLIK (SKw)s images show this clearly suggesting a presence of a white condensate/frost mingled with off-white dust. CPls images on 27 Oct (λ=288Ls) at ω=070W, 082W convey a similar aspect suggesting a prevailing of thin dust.

It was possible to consider there were still projections from the spc as suggested by the images of Ak on 16 Oct (λ=281Ls). The short projection from the perimeter observed by Mn (as noted) on 19 Oct, might be the same shown on the images of EVl on 19 Oct (λ=283Ls) at ω=008W, 030W. Mns observation on 26 Oct (λ=287Ls) at around ω=279W showed that the high-latitude area around the spc was totally decoloured or faintly wine coloured.


Division of the SPC: The season when Hypernotius Mons is detached has come. DPks images on 16 Oct (λ=280Ls) at ω=264W ~ 278W prove that the spc is divided to two; one at this foreground side is brighter including Hypernotius Mons, and the other the less bright part at the opposite side. DPcs images 23 Oct (λ=285Ls) at ω=101W, 109W show the crack: the piece at the right-hand (west) side is the one to be left as Hypernotius Mons. It is not known when the other side completely vanishes, but a drawing of E E BARNARD at the Lick in 1894 made on 7 October still shows the doubled spc when the Martian season was λ=296Ls (see the figure here, thanks to Bill SHEEHAN).

Iw visually checked the inside structure of the spc on 30 Oct (λ=289Ls) at ω=285W; however did not see the crack explicitly. In the forthcoming 2005 apparition, the season λ=280Ls will come at the beginning of September 2005 before the opposition and the δ is mere about 14, while at the Barnard season the δ will rise up to 17 at the end of September.


Mare Serpentis: M Serpentis, which was darkened and widened to the east of Deucalionis R after the dust disturbance at the beginning of July 2003, remains still vivid. MORITA (Mo) succeeded in taking a scene from ω=328W on 25 October: This angle is an important angle to be comparable with the preceding several images by DPk, CPl and Mo himself (see CMO Web Faade 2003 News Headlines F). Here is shown Mos images at ω=328W on 15 August, 22 September, and 25 October.


Miscellany: We would like to acknowledge the useful and continual contribution of Silvia KOWOLLIK (SKw) from Stuttgart: She closed her routine observation at the end of this period. The set of the last images on 24 October were still excellent depicting the characteristics of the spc surroundings as well as the nph near Tempe. She started on 12 June (λ=202Ls) and observed a total of 45 nights. Sometimes she made ten or more images every 20 minutes a night and sent us a total of 172 images during the apparition (143 before opposition, +29 after). We would like to express again our thanks to her and sincerely expect her coming activity also in 2005.

MORITA (Mo) was not able to observe for a month because his equator was broken (and the maker had bankrupted), but he came back though not yet in good shape.

KUMAMORI (Km) sometimes took images at the Museum for which he works with a 60 cm Cassegrain, and then he took by the use of his homemade 20cm Dallkirkham back at home. It seems it took about two hours to leave his office and go back to point again his homemade to the planet on the same night.

MURAKAMI (Mk) was very productive this period: On 16 October, he took 8 drawings every 40 minutes from 8:30GMT to 13:20GMT, and on 30 October 7 drawings from 8:00 GMT to 12:00GMT (he further observed twice until 13:30GMT, but due to the disproved seeing he did not count them in). At Fukui on 30 October we observed from 7:20GMT to 12:40GMT. The Sun sets about 20 minutes later in Fukui than in Yokohama, but the refractor at Fukui was set on the equator and so we could find the planet earlier more easily (quite before the sunset).


he next issue shall treat the observations made in the First half of November 2003 from 1 November (λ=290Ls, δ=15.0") to 15 November 2003 (λ=299Ls, δ=12.9").

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