LtE in CMO #273

From Jeffrey D BEISH

. . . . . Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 05:10:21 -0400

Subject: dust storm


MOC reports dust storm over Acidalium, maybe heading for Chryse -- go see:


. . . . . .Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 16:52:13 -0400

Subject: The closeness of Mars and Earth


Masatsugu MINAMI et al,


Jim DeYoung ran the integrator for predicting the closest that Mars and Earth came together before 2003 and he came up with the very same results. Both Jim and I both researched the records and found that Jean Meeus originally got 60000 years, and changed his after Myles Standish (JPL) got 73000 years. From inspection of our original plot I get the minimum at 36800 years ago and the last time it was this close as about 59000 years ago


This agrees with the ~60,000 year figure sited in the June Sky and Telescope. I do not have a copy so I can only repeat what someone else told me.


Jim DeYoung wrote me, "Why is JPL getting 73000 years? Probably they have the latest and greatest initial conditions? I am using mean elements not instantaneous epoch initial conditions. Mean elements are a smoothed average typically of recent behavior. One is as good as the other in my opinion because we are going back 100,000 years based on maybe a few hundred years of orbit information, and probably 50 to 70 years of good astrometry going into the orbit. To say the least the orbit is uncertain over 100,000 years, If only Cro-Magnon man had done some astrometry on a wall painting someplace. Didn't have to be great either. I think I'll go find a cave a draw some astrometry so when future peoples of the Earth show up they will have this problem in hand!!!"


Jim again write to me, "Standish used a numerical integration of the solar system just as I did--different method but basically equivalent. The VS theories are analytic theories and if I remember are fits to numerical integration(s) probably the JPL products! It doesn't matter since what we did is correct and I feel there are no gross errors in it. I think I gave an estimate of the error propagation over the 200,000 year window, but those error estimates are not thousands of years of accumulated errors."


So, we stand by our date for the closest approach of Mars and Earth was 59,538 years ago or 57, 537 B.C. I ran my integration program and while mine is not as rigorous as Jim's my results were around 60,000 years ago. So it is when people debate numbers.


To close this issue I will quote the question Swami Ashtasahasrika posed to Buddha: "Is it possible to find perfect wisdom through reflection or listening to statements or through signs or attributes, so that one can say 'This is it' or 'Here it is'?"


The Buddha answered: "No, Subhuti. Perfect wisdom can't be learned or distinguished or thought about or found through the senses. This is because nothing in this world can be finally explained, it can only be experienced, and thus all things are just as they are. Perfect wisdom can never be experienced apart from all things. To see the Suchness of things, which is their empty calm being, is to see them just as they are. It is in this way that perfect wisdom and the material world are not two, they are not divided. As a result of Suchness, of calm and empty being, perfect wisdom cannot be known about intellectually. Nor can the things of the world, for they are understood only through names and ideas. Where there is no learning or finding out, no concepts or conventional words, it is in that place one can say there is perfect wisdom."


. . . . . .Date: Mon, 2 June 2003 17:55:48 -0400

Subject: Sandship of Mars revised


Just added some new dust events to my article, "The Sand Ships of Mars (02 June 2003)," on my web page at:

Interesting developments already this apparition. Plenty of dust activity seen by both spacecraft and ground-based observers.


. . . . . .Date: Wed, 4 June 2003 08:41:17 -0400

Subject: my buddy returned!


WELL! This ain't a small bear by any means! After the big rains last evening and night I took my camera for the morning walk and ran into our friendly garbage can smasher! The front paws indicate a black near of around 300 pound or more. The tracks came out of a sandy road way back of my house where I walk every morning, across the parallel road behind my house and took off to my neighbors direction. I could not find any tracks leading out so he is still back there somewhere! I could smell the SOB and I made quick tracks out of there. Black bears have a distinct smell and I was not about to wait around to see him. It would have been my last photograph! Three weeks ago a smaller one tracked the road, but this mother is huge!


. . . . . .Date: Thu, 5 June 2003 10:20:17 -0400

Subject: wow


Wow, Nix Olympica (orographic cloud over Olympus Mons) were very bright this morning on evening limb. Very nice cloud. Brings back memories of 1988!


. . . . . .・・・・Date: Fri, 6 June 2003 03:15:22 -0400

Subject: NIXO???


Masatsugu, I think the bright cloud I saw on 05 June was not over Olympus Mons but south of there, most likely Arsia Mons or maybe in Phoenicis Lacus. My memory came to me this morning as I woke up that I could see Olympus Mons as a dark patch with a light circular area during those moments of perfect seeing. So, I think I was wrong about the Nix Olympica and now looking at Parker's 05 June image Olympus Mons closely appears as I perceived it. Sorry for the mistake. I am now going out to my telescope to see this cloud again.


. . . . . .Date: Fri, 6 June 2003 14:26:37 -0400

Subject: sad, sad news!


Just received this from Tim Robertson:


"It is with my deepest regrets I am informing you of the passing of Thomas Roland Cave III, well known telescope maker, Mars observer and Life-Time LAAS member. Tom had been in failing health for some time but passed on Wednesday June 4, 2003. Memorial services are pending and will be in Long Beach, CA. Please direct any correspondence to ft.keiser@g... FYI I am Frank Keiser, husband of Davina Keiser, Tom's daughter. An alternate Email address is my work Keiser_Frank@b..."


The last of the classical Martians is gone.


. . . . . .Date: Sat, 7 June 2003 04:48:05 -0400

Subject: Re: RE:Mars - June 06, 2003


I'm sitting here finishing up my Mars drawing and stiff thinking of how Tom and I had observed Mars in the past. That was about the only time he was quite :) He called me a few times inviting me to observe with him using the Hooker 100-inch. When we were out in San Diego in 1998 he called and almost begged me to come up to observe with him. I should have gone. Missed a chance to again observe with him and to use that great 100" telescope on Mars. De Vaucouleurs, Capen, Martin, Tombough, et al, are all up there on Mars somewhere looking back at us! :


W-clouds bright and forming nicely.


. . . . . .Date: Fri, 13 June 2003 07:09:08 -0400

Subject: we win!


Jim, I would say that some voices from the recent past (pun intended) at JPL and et al, are backing off on their assumptions for the 87K year thing-ie. We can take solace in that a couple of amateur/professional computer gurus can get it right too. The merits of technology and persistence get us this:


[Editor's Note: The initial computations that brought this event to light were made by Jean Meeus of Belgium. The above distances, only very slightly refined, were supplied to on Dec. 13, 2002 by orbit expert Myles Standish at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The "nearly 60,000 years" estimate was originally 73,000 years and was updated on May 1, 2003 as new calculations were supplied.]


On Aug. 27, 2003, Mars will be less than 34.65 million miles (55.76 million kilometers) away -- closer to our planet than it's been in nearly 60,000 years. The view will be stupendous. Track Mars' growing brightness with's exclusive Mars viewing maps and charts, updated monthly.


Oh gloat bro Jimbo, gloat!



Jeff BEISH (2721'N' 8120'W Lake Placid, FL, USA)


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