LtE in CMO #284

From William Patrick SHEEHAN

. . . . . . . .Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 12:22:17 -0600

Subject: mars


Dear Masatsugu,


I am sure you will make over 1000 drawings this apparition.

I have started to work on the details of my visit to Japan. When, specifically, would it be convenient for me to arrive?

Meanwhile, I shall continue to send you more of the Mars drawings in the next few days, until you have all of them. I shall also include information about dates, times, and the like. I am very pleased that they are of interest to you. The Lick web site appears to have moved now to

More very soon,


. . . . . . . Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 20:53:13 -0600

Subject: RE: mars


Dear Masatsugu,


Many thanks for your excellent communications.

I shall gladly now supply you with the data for the drawings posted on the web site. They are a subset of the 38 drawings I actually made at Lick. I hope to furnish you with thumbnails of all the others at some stage -- they have not yet been represented with black backgrounds in conformity to the rest, alas.


I shall send you two drawings showing later parts of the planet as well as two from August 28, which was the first night I observed at Lick, commenced at 7:00 and 7:20 UT respectively.


The drawings are presented in the order that they should appear according to the actual rotation of the planet, which means in general backward to the order in which they were obtained.


I shall capture


First row, left to right:

September 12, 2003, 4:35-4:50 UT. Seeing 4/5 on Antoniadi scale. 36-inch refractor stopped to 20 inches, with binocular eyepiece magnifying 644x. Wratten 25 and neutral-density filters.

September 12, 2003, 5:45-6:15 UT. Seeing 3-5. 644x.

September 11, 3003, 5:20-5:40 UT. Seeing 3/5. 644x.

September 12, 2003, 7:20 - 7:40 UT. Seeing 3/5. 644x.

September 11, 2003, 6:20-6:40 UT. Seeing 3/5. 644x.


Second row, left to right:

September 7, 5:45-6:00 UT. Seeing 4/5. 644x.

September 6, 5:45-6:00 UT. Seeing 3/5. 644x.

September 5, 5-5:30 UT. Seeing 3/5. 644x.

September 6, 6:45 UT. Seeing 4/5. 644x.

September 4, 5:20-5:45 UT. Seeing 4/5. Plossl eyepiece magnifying 487x.


Third row, left to right:


September 5, 6:30-7:00 UT. The seeing softened as the wind picked up and was only 2/5 during the time of the drawing. Very jumpy, i.e., usual image. (I have been spoiled by the exquisite seeing until now.) 487x.

September 4, 6:40-7:00 U.T. Seeing 4/5. 487x.

September 3, 8-8:30 U.T. 487x. Seeing 4/5.

September 2, 7:45-8:00 UT. 487x. Seeing 4/5.

August 31, 7:15-7:45 UT. 487x. Perfect seeing.

Fourth row, left to right:

August 31, 7:45-8:00 UT. 487x. Perfect seeing. Planet was essentially motionless -- like a steel engraving.

August 29, 8:20-8:30 UT. 487x. Perfect seeing.

August 29, 8:15-8:45 UT. 487x. 4/5.


. . . . . . . .Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 11:49:49 -0600

Subject: RE: mars


Dear Masatsugu,

I may have mistyped that line -- I will double check the observing notebook and send the correct data.

All the best, yours,

. . . . . . . .Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 12:06:42 -0600

Subject: RE: mars


Dear Masatsugu,

Thank you for finding that error. That last drawing should be given as 7:15 to 7:45 UT, August 29, 2003. I did indeed make an error in transcription.

Meanwhile, the drawings from August 27-28 bounced back to me so I shall try to resend them.

All best, yours,

. . . . . . . .Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 14:43:29 -0600

Subject: RE: Still topsy-turvy


Dear Masatsugu,

Thank you for the message and I appreciate all the information. It sounds excellent and I am wondering if it is time for me to start inquiring about plane tickets to arrive shortly before May 1. I note the itinerary is slightly different from the last message.


I will try to immerse myself in Japanese language and culture beforehand, but I have much to learn.


Meanwhile, the web site, with the Mars drawings, looks marvelous. On the subject of drawing Mars from a left vs. right hemisphere perspective, you may find the following of interest. I had quoted Picasso to Tony Misch, who was trained as an artist, and he responded with a very interesting view:


Mars by Trumpler, Ambrois Vollard by Picasso.


"If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes."


Interesting coming from the father of cubism, an approach to representation with a very self-conscious contribution from the brain. I'd actually been thinking, even before you sent this, about the connection between Lowellian drawings of Mars and the flowering of abstraction in art at about the same time. There are at least superficial resemblances. Just for fun I've juxtaposed a detail from Picasso's 1910 portrait of Ambrois Vollard and a drawing of Mars from a 1931 English dictionary:


Bill SHEEHAN (Willmar, Minnesota, USA )


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