th Report: The CMO/OAA Observations made during a fortnight period from

16 June 2003 (204Ls) to 30 June 2003 (213Ls)


An OAA Mars Section article to be published in CMO #274 (10 July 2003 issue)

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese version here


rom this month we shall detail twice a month. From 15 June 2003 to 30 June 2003, the Martian season proceeded from λ=204Ls to λ=213Ls and the apparent angular diameter grew from δ=14.4" to 16.5". The central latitude was around φ=21S. The phase angle ι decreased from 41 to 37. The apparent declination slightly recovered from 15S 13.6S.



uring the period the observation time each night was about four hrs possibly from 2 oclock, the local time, to the time of Sunrise (at Okinawa it was 5:45 JST at Naha on 28 June), and hence the Martian surface angle observable from one fixed station was just about 190 degrees: From Asian and Oceanian regions the areas from M Cimmerium to Solis L were observable, while in Europe they could catch the areas from Noachis to M Sirenum, and in America from Solis L to Syrtis Mj. The tripod thus nearly completes to cover globally the surfaces.


lready the Japan islands were suffering from the rainy days, and so the domestic observations were not so fruitful. Just the rainy season ended only at the Okinawa district on 21 June. The present writer (Mn) flew to Okinawa and there restarted observing Mars from 23 June: there were no rain for the succeeding fortnight and could catch Mars every night (on 25 June however Mars was too vibrating to sketch because it was terribly windy). From 26 ~ 29 June the writer observed seven or eight times a night every forty minutes. As judged from the activity of Jeff BEISH (JBs), the weather must have been very good at Florida, but Don PARKER (DPk) produced less (though every image produced was excellent). Ed GRAFTON (EGf)s work was made continuously and the images are all impressive. Eric NG (ENg) and LAZZALOTTI (PLz) were similarly active. KOWOLLIK (SKw) was in growing condition. WARELL (JWr) also chased continuously the planet from the hot Arizona. Other persons who observed this period are listed in the following (31 observers in total):

AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Tochigi, Japan

11 Sets of CCD Images (20, 21, 21, 29 June 2003)

f/3232cm speculum with a Bitran BJ-41L

ASADA, Tadashi (As) Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan

1 Set of CCD Images (25 June 2003)

30cm SCT equipped with a Panasonic NV-MX5000

BALDONI, Paolo (PBl) Genova, Italia

1 Set of CCD images (23 June 2003)

20cm SCT with a Philips ToUcam Pro


BATES, Donald R (DBt) Houston, TX, USA

4 CCD Images (18, 19, 24, 28 June 2003)

f/2125cm speculum with a Philips ToUcam Pro

BEISH, Jeffrey D (JBs) Lake Placid, FL, USA

12 Drawings (16,~20, 22, 23, 25,~27, 30 June 2003)

440, 570, 650, 87041cm F/6.9 speculum

BUNGE, Robert (RBg) Bowie. MD, USA

4 Drawings (25,~27, 30 June 2003)

150, 250, 41031, 43, 50cm specula

GRAFTON, Edward A (EGf) Houston, TX, USA

6 Sets of CCD Images (17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 28 June)

f/2735cm Celestron with an ST5

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

       1 Drawing (26 June 2003) 250, 37023cm Maksutov-Cassegrain

ISHIBASHI, Tsutomu (Is) Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan

3 B&W and Colour Photos (19 June 2003)

31cm F/6.4 speculum; FCP400F, NP400P, HIE &TP


KOWOLLIK, Silvia (SKw) Stuttgart, Deutchland

8 CCD Image (16, 17, 21, 22, 25, 26, 30 June 2003)

18cm refractor with a Philips ToUcam Pro

KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan 

4 CCD Images (20, 26 June 2003)

f/4720cm Dall-Kirkham with a Philips ToUcam Pro

LAZZAROTTI, Paolo R (PLz) Massa, Toscana, Italia

5 Sets of CCD Images (19, 22, 24, 25, 30 June 2003)

         18cm Maksutov-Cassegrain with an Astromeccanica KC381

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

      4 Red CCD Images (16, 24, 25 June 2003)

20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5

MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Fukui* Naha, Okinawa, Japan

50 Drawings (20*, 21*, 23, 24, 26, ~30 June 2003)

*40020cm refractor*/420, 53025cm F/8.5 speculum

*Fukui City Observatory, Fukui


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

5 Sets of CCD Images (17, 19, 21, 25 June 2003)

f/5025cm speculum with an HX-5 or a Philips ToUcam Pro

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

7 Sets of CCD Images (10, 25, 26, 28, 30 June 2003)

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

MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

       3 Drawings (20 June 2003) 320, 40020cm speculum

NARITA, Hiroshi (Nr) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

2 Drawings (29 June 2003) 40020cm refractor

NG, Eric (ENg) Hong Kong

10 CCD Images (17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 June 2003)

f/3525cm Royce speculum with a Philips ToUcam Pro

PACE, Ben (BPc) Darwin, Australia

2 CCD Images (19, 20 June 2003)

f/2415cm Makstov with an HX516

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

7 Sets of CCD Images (16, 19, 24 June 2003)

f/5541cm F/6 Newtonian equipped with an ST-9XE


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

9 Sets of CCD Images (16, 21, 24, 28 June 2003)

18cm Newtonian with a Philips ToUcam Pro

SEIP, Stefan (SSp) Stuttgart, Deutchland

2 CCD Images (22, 27 June 2003)

25cm Mak-Cass with a Philips ToUcam 740k

TAN, Wei-Leong (WTn) Singapore

2 Sets of CCD Images (18, 21 June 2003)

f/61,6825cm Meulon with a Philips ToUcam Pro

TEICHERT, Grard (GTc) Hattstatt, France

3 Drawings (19, 22, 23 June 2003) 33028cm SCT


Van Der VELDEN, Erwin (EVl) Brisbane, Australia

1 CCD Image (27 June 2003)

f/3120cm SCT with a Vesta Pro modified


VALIMBERTI, Maurice P (MVl) Melbourne, Australia

3 CCD Images (22, 23 June 2003)

f/3435cm SCT with a Philips ToUcam Pro

WARELL, Johan (JWr) Tcuson, AZ, USA

       7 Drawings (16, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29 June 2003)

260, 40025cm SCT (LX200)

WHITBY, Samuel R (SWb) Hopewell, VA, USA

3 Drawings (25, 26, 30 June 2003) 31015cm speculum


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

2 Sets of CCD Images (27, 28 June 2003)

f/4520cm speculum with a Philips ToUcam Pro

ZANOTTI, Ferruccio (FZt) Ferrara, Italia

2 Sets of CCD Images (21, 23 June 2003)

            40cm(17cm) spec with a Philips ToUcam Pro



orning and Evening Mists and Yellowish Haze: The phase angle ι was so large that it was hard to catch the evening whitish mist, while it was rather thick near the evening terminator as observed by Mn on 27 June (λ=211Ls) at ω=095W. The morning mist became quite evident from around 20 June (λ=207Ls): As Mn noticed on 20 June, the Martian surface appeared not reddish but rather yellowish. In fact, the image made by VALIMBERTI (MVl) on 22 June (ω=208Ls) at ω=140W seems to show an expansion of a yellowish haze over the morning brighter side. It is thus quite possible for the white morning mist regarded as composing of water vapour to be mixed now with the airborne dusts. On a different angle, PELLIER (CPl)s image on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=241W also shows that a white yellowish matter prevails over the morning Hellas area. GRAFTON (EGf)s image on 23 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=010W seems to show that a dust occupies Protei R in addition to the yellowish morning haze. Furthermore, it proves that the morning side of the north polar white hood is yellowish. On 27 June (λ=211Ls) GASKELL (MGs) at Nebraska saw an off-white covering from the southern M Erythrum to Argyre (see LtE). On 30 June (λ=213Ls), Mn observed at ω=018W, 028W that Niliacus L was quite dark (independently as dark as S Sabus seen by the use of an R60 filter) and it was separated by the northern M Acidalium. MORITA (Mo)s G images on the day at ω=028W shows this with a light dusty matter at Achillis Pons. His RGB images also show the yellowish morning mist.


Evening Mist at ria: The evening mist sent to Aeria by an un-slope wind was reported in a previous report, while this time the white cloud belt was also observed along the northern coast of S Sabus by PARKER (DPk) on 19 June (λ=206Ls) ω=019W, and further westward by MOORE (DMr) on 25 June (λ=210Ls) at ω=004W.


Iapygia Viridis: WHITBY (SWb) made an important observation on 26 June (λ=210Ls) at ω=323W that an evening mist, may be whitish, strongly covered the southern Syrtis Mj area. He also observed on 30 June (λ=213Ls) at ω=286W that Iapygia Viridis, quite inside of the disk, was locally quite faint, maybe covered by a thick haze. BUNGE (RBg) also drew the faded area of Iapygia on 30 June (λ=213Ls) at ω=276W. These phenomenon was not pursued personally at intervals of eg every 40 minutes, but can be considered to have an intrinsic relation with the dust observed 22 June (λ=208Ls) onward from the area of Isidis R to Libya (to be detailed below).


Dusts at Isidis Planitia: On 21June (λ=207Ls) at ω=284W, 290W, CPl made images where a light dusty matter is visible to the east side of Syrtis Mj. On the following 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=259W, TEICHERT (GTc) in France visually detected a white cloud patch near the east coast of Syrtis Mj. This must be the same dust cloud as the one imaged by CPl on the previous day and by LAZZALOTTI (PLz) on the same 22 June slightly later at ω=267W. This is located nearly at Osiridis Pr (286W, 15N); the nomenclature employed by SCHIAPARELLI (in 1877). This dust was raised again on the following 23 June (λ=208Ls), and is shown on the image by BALDONI (PBl) at ω=262W. CPl traced it on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=241W, 252W, 263W where the dust is clear and may have been raised more southerly. PLz also shot it on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=251W. PLzs image on 25 June (λ=209Ls) was made at ω=238W: Though the place was quite at the morning side, the dust was apparently raised. A bit earlier KOWOLLIK (SKw) shot the place on 25 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=216W where Syrtis Mj was not yet this side, but it seems the area was already morning dusty bright. Somewhat vacant were the observations from the side of the Atlantic Ocean, while the dust must have been related with the observations made by SWb on 26 June (see above).

 Later (on 7 July) they published the image of the area of Isidis R to Libya made by the MGS-MOC on 29 June (λ=212Ls):


where the dust clouds at Isidis Planitia as well as at Elysium. This also shows a spread of water vapour at Iapygia (at 2 oclock PM); this corresponding to the observation by SWb on 30 June (see above).


Hellas: The bright swath at the western edge of Hellas previously reported was also apparent this period. CPls images on 16 June (λ=204Ls) at ω=317W is representative. Also a bright spot at the EN corner of Hellas is very apparent on the images by CPl on 21 June (λ=207Ls) at ω=276W, 290W, as well as on PLzs images on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=267W. The details of the area with its south can be checked on the excellent image of EGf on 28 June (λ=211Ls) at ω=302W. One can contrast this with the description of Hellas of the above-mentioned MGA-MOC on 29 June.


Yaonis R and M Serpentis: EGfs image on 28 June above cited depict as well the bright aspect of Yaonis R as well as the dark spots of M Serpentis. These aspects are also comparable with the ones on the image made by MGS-MOC.


Details of M Cimmerium: It became now rather apparent that M Cimmerium was of quite the same shape including several spikes northward as observed in 1988: This period this fact is proven in the images of ENg on 19 June (λ=206Ls) at ω=195W and of PLz on 30 June (λ=213Ls) at ω=194W, and so on.


Eridania: Related with the report on Eridania in the preceding issue, a thick morning mist patch near Eridania was caught by AKUTSU (Ak) on 21 June (λ=207Ls) at ω=159W. According to Mns observations along this angle on 20 June, the morning mist patch was considerably bright.


Region around Solis L: DPks images on 16 June (λ=204Ls) at ω=048W~062W might be the first to scoop out newly the details of the dark markings around Solis Lacus when δ=14.4". The eastern part of Solis L (including Helli Depressio?) is darker than the other side, and the canal called Bathys is definite. Phasis is dark, broad, rugged and curved, reminiscent of the aspects seen after the 2001 dust event. Phoenicis L is definitely identified and Noctis L is shown up as a dark spot. Notable is that Nectar is clearly curved down to Nia, and to its east, a light plateau, previously noted, is more evident. This particular rectangular light area may correspond to Aurea Chersonesus (or Aurea Cherso if we employ the nomenclature of SCHIAPARELLI). It looks however slightly extended to the south and Nia may be differently situated from the one in the ANTONIADI-EBISAWA case [the present configuration is however not so different from the one shown on the HST 1990 Red image filed as F673N which was taken on 14 December 1990 when λ=349Ls, φ=12S, and δ=16.3". This was taken one month after the November 1990 dust cloud at Marineris Valles. In 1988, Aurea Cherso was seen (checked by MIYAZAKI (My) and others) but the area did not usually look so contrast]. On the same day MELILLO (FMl) produced images from the similar angles, but the details of the markings are not stable. EGfs image on 17 June (λ=205Ls) at ω=055W, on 19 June (λ=206Ls) at ω=038W, and on 20 June (λ=206Ls) at ω=035W are all excellent, and show the same aspects as shown by DPk.

The area of Aurea Chersonesus came into sight of our Oriental side observed around 26 June. The present writer (Mn) caught a detail of the area on 28 June (λ=212Ls) at ω=057W when δ=16.2", and on 29 June (λ=212Ls), he was blessed with a favourable seeing condition to observe the area continually at ω=037W, 047W, 057W, 067W, 076W, 086W and 096W. Otherwise Juvent Fons and a detail of Ophir were easily caught. Phasis was dark and broad and curved to Solis L through Acampsis. The ccd images were similarly produced by KUMAMORI (Km) and Mo on 26 June (λ=210Ls) at ω=071W, 081W (both by Km) and at ω=075W (by Mo). On 28 June (λ=211Ls), Mo took images at ω=057W, and on 29 June (λ=212Ls) and 30 June (λ=213Ls) ENg produced excellent images at ω=094W and ω=070W respectively.

 A detail of Auror Sinus, showing several canyons in a Lowellian way, is shown on the images by DPk on 16 June (λ=204Ls) at ω=048W and the image of EGf on 19 June (λ=206Ls) at ω=038W.


M Erythrum: As suggested in the preceding report, the dark markings from Margaritifer S to its south-west look withered, and M Erythrum is narrower especially at the eastern part. This is best shown this period on the image of EGf on 22 June (λ=208Ls) ω=013W.


Swelling of Orestes: There are visible several spike-like projections along the northern coast of Margaritifer S to Auror S. Out of them, Orestes looks slightly expanded if we scrutinise the area on EGfs images on 19 June (λ=206Ls) ω=038W and on 20 June (λ=206Ls) ω=035W as well as DPks images on 19 June (λ=206Ls) ω=019W (more mildly processed).


Arsian White Cloud: The roll condensate cloud associated with the evening Arsia Mons has been still active during this period, and they were shown on the images made on 20 June (λ=207Ls) by Mo at ω=140W as well as by Km at ω=147W and 151W, and on 21 June (λ=207Ls), Aks B showed it at ω=159W. Similarly ENg at Hong Kong clearly showed it on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=143W, and on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=149W, and MVl at Melbourne caught it on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=119W~140W as well as on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=127W. The latter image of MVl also shows Mons Olympus clearly without any speck of cloud (might have been much better if R and B were separately shot). On 28 June (λ=212Ls) at ω=057W the present writer (Mn) saw a bright stain near the morning limb which must have been Olympus Mons judging from the apparent longitude & latitude angles.

The Arsia condensate cloud appeared quite early in the afternoon: Mn saw it as a roundish white spot on 26 June (λ=210Ls, ι=38) at ω=114W, while the Arsia summit is located at Ω=120W and so it was about 2 oclock LMT taking the phase angle into account. Van der VELDEN (EVl)s image on 27 June (λ=211Ls) at ω=099W, and ENgs image on 29 June (λ=212Ls) at ω=094W also show a more inside white cloud patch, so that it is possible to conceive for the roll cloud to start to rise at around 13 hrs LMT. We note ASADA (As)s B images made on 25 June (λ=210Ls) at ω=110W and 120W prove that the water vapour up-slopes a broad belt from the evening northern terminator to the area of Arsia Mons while it is vacant at the area of Olympus Mons (also very vacant near the circumpolar band). As uses an Omega Optics made interference B filter with a peak at 435nm having a breadth 46.5nm.


The SPC: a) Parva Depressio: As reported, the inside area of the south polar cap (spc) has shown an interesting structural shadowy marking. To a naked eye, it is sometimes caught not as just a shadowy dent but rather as a denser but narrower rift segment which is confined quite inside. In the case of 1988 apparition, it was on 3 June 1988 (λ=208Ls) at ω=161W that the present writer (Mn) first saw the rift inside the spc (at Taipei, Taiwan, by the use of a 25 cm refractor). The season just fits in with the present case, though the apparent diameter in 1988 was yet δ=10.5" (while φ=23S ~24S). In fact this time Mn noticed a similar dark rift on 21 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=143W, 153W, and 163W though the transparency was poor. In 1988, Mn further observed on 7 June 1988 (λ=210Ls, δ=10.8") at ω=129W and 139W that the rift showed a structure like a tadpole whose head was a dark patch. On 8 June 1988 at ω=119W, rather this patch was more explicit (however at ω=129W, the tad pole appeared). This time the shadowy marking inside the spc on the image made by MVl on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=127W really shows this tadpole-like shape, and the head is depicted to be a considerably explicit dark patch. We shall be able to identify this with Parva D (after ANTONIADI in 1924). On the same day, ENg also produced this marking at ω=149W. See also MVls images on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=119W~140W, and also ENgs at ω=143W and 165W. Referring to these images, we understand that the depression of the spc seen on the Kms images on 20 June (λ=207Ls) at ω=147W and 151W is also Parva D. Further in the evening, Parva D looks as a darker area inside the spc of ENgs image on 19 June (λ=206Ls) at ω=195W: This shadow is also visible on the images made by PLz on 30 June (λ=213Ls) ω=194W (milder but at the same angle than ENgs).

If, as ANTONIADI specified, Parva Depressio is located at around Φ=75S, it could be caught from the rear side since φ=21S. In this respect, DPks images on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=328W and 331W are very interesting and important. The spc on these images shows two groups of dark areas: One is related with Rima Australis (to be detailed below), but the other marking must be Parva D. As a preceding case, also interesting is the configuration of the shadowy details inside the spc on the image of EGf on 23 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=010W.

b) Thyles Mons: On 24 June (λ=209W) at ω=126W, Mn detected a bright protrusion from the perimeter of the spc near Parva D, and considered that this corresponded to a rudiment of Thyles Mons. MVls images on 24 June further show that the protrusion is made of two bright lumps.

c) Rima Australis: The rift next observed in 1988 was Rima Australis. In this apparition, this was already remarked by DPk on a previous occasion. This time the image by EGf on 28 June (λ=211Ls) at ω=302W show clearly Magna D and Rima Australis. These are also apparent on BATES (DBt)s image on the same day at ω=314W and otherwise HERNANDEZ (CHr), BEISH (JBs) and WHITBY (SWb) observed visually on 26 June (λ=210Ls) at ω=289W, ω=314W, and ω=323W respectively. In Europe, PLz showed it on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=267W and so on. PLzs image on 25 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=238W seems to show the further eastern part of the rift.

d) Novus Mons: That Rima Australis is present implies an appearance of Novus Mons. EGfs image on 28 June (λ=211Ls) at ω=302W further shows that there is a fragment attached to the outside of Novus Mons. The fragment may be soon melted away, but interesting and it calls further observations. DPks images on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=328W and 331W also suggest the fragment.

e) Rudiments of Argenteus Mons: According to ANTONIADI, Argenteus Mons should be located around Ω=030W and from Φ=62S to 78S. The images of EGf on 18 June, 19 June, 20 June and 22 June show the rudiments of Argenteus Mons and further his image on 23 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=010W more clearly shows the germ of Argenteus Mons. From Japan, it came to sight around from 27 June: The present writer (Mn) caught visually on 28 June (λ=212Ls) at ω=047W, 057W, 066W on the evening side, and also on 29 June (λ=212Ls) at ω=028W~057W, and on 30 June (λ=213Ls) at ω=018W, 028W: It was easy visually.


The NPH: DPks R image on 19 June (λ=206Ls) at ω=019W does not show well the north polar hood (nph), but B image shows the nph thickly (he uses the SBIG interference B filter having the range 392 - 508nm). In general, however, the nph does not make a clear difference from the western limb light since ι is large. An exception is the mildly processed MVls image on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=119W ~140W. As described above, EGf (ST-5C) showed the white nph as well as the yellowish haze covering the morning limb side (partly the haze mixes with the white cloud of the nph) on 23 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=010W.

PELLIER (CPl) has wisely begun from the beginning of June in using the interference B filter of Type II (German made) to produce fruitful results (CPl uses the ToUcam in a B&W way, See LtE). On 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=241W, he thus clearly separated the nph.

To shoot the nph, LRGB or RRGB is not appropriate. It is also not good to skip the G ingredient. PEACH (DPc) and others invented a good method to compensate by the use of a Magenta filter, and ENg tried to employ the method on 17 June at ω=202W, but we dont hear further news.


Images of this period: PARKER(DPk)s set of images made on 16 June (λ=204Ls) at ω=048W ~ 062W is impressive. Among many excellent images of GRAFTON (EGf), the image made on 22 June (λ=208Ls) at ω=013W should be representative.


Okinawa: Mn took a flight to the Okinawa island on 23 June and was met by ISHADOH (Id), and started to observe from the night on a rooftop of a nine-storied building at Naha. The telescope used was a Newtonian having a 25 cm f/8.5 speculum polished by WAKUGAWA (Wk) and was the same one that we used in July/August 2001. We needed a few days to tune up the circumstances, but on 27 June JST (26 June GMT) Mn could trace the surface at 1:30, 2:10, 2:50, 3:30, 4:10, 4:50, and 5:30 JST. At 5 oclock, it became twilight and the planet came to the meridian. The rainy season ended at Okinawa on 21 June, and we did not have any rain drop for a fortnight until 8 July: just came the first shower at about 3 oclock PM on 8 July. Uniform wind stream here day and night during the fortnight.


The next issue shall treat the period from 1 July (λ=213Ls) to 15 July 2003 (λ=222Ls, δ=19.2").

Back to the CMO #274 / Back to the Faade