11

th Report:

The CMO/OAA Observations made during a fortnight period from

 

16 July 2003 (222Ls) to 31 July 2003 (232Ls)

 


An OAA Mars Section article to be published in CMO #276 (10 August 2003 issue)


Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section


Japanese version here


T

his time, we shall review the surface aspects of Mars in the latter half of July 2003; that is a fortnight period from 16 July to 31 July. The Martian season proceeded from λ=222Ls to λ=232Ls. On the other hand, the angular diameter δ increased from 19.2" to 22.2", big enough diameter we have not experienced hitherto for a while. The central latitude φ was from 21S to 20S, and the phase angle ι was from 32 down to 24 during the period. The altitude at the meridian was once maximal in mid-July (when app decl = -13), but began to decrease again.

 

T

he observers recorded, including the new faces, amounted to 45 persons, while we have heard nothing from several veteran observers. WARELL (JWr) was going to change to use the ToUcam. TAN (WTn) and NG (ENg) were preparing to make an inopportune trip to the US. Some Japanese who live in the Kwantoh District were obstructed by the cold summer. In the hot Europe, however, they were all active.

 

 

ADCOCK, Barry (BAd) Melbourne, Australia

2 CCD Images (20, 31 July 2003)

36cm Schiefspiegler with ToUcam Pro

AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Tochigi, Japan

7 Sets of CCD Images (16, 30, 31 July 2003)

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

ASADA, Tadashi (As) Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan

18 CCD Images (16, 26, 31 July 2003)

30cm SCT with a Panasonic NV-MX5000

BALDONI, Paolo (PBl) Genova, Italia

3 CCD images (19, 27 July 2003)

18cm Intes-Micro Gold F6 with a ToUcam Pro

At Monte Giogo, Massa, Italia

BARNETT, John H (JBr) Richmond, VA, USA

1 Drawing (26 July 2003) 36018cm refractor$,

$ Richmond Astronomical Society Ragland Observatory

 

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

6 CCD Images (17, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30 July 2003)

f/2125cm spec with a ToUcam Pro

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

11 Drawings (16, 19, 21,~24, 26,~30 July 2003)

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

BIVER, Nicolas (NBv) Versailles, France

2 Colour Drawings (19, 20 July 2003) 41026cm speculum

BUNGE, Robert (RBg) Bowie. MD, USA

4 Drawings (18, 20, 25, 26 July 2003)

150, 250, 41031, 43cm specula

COLVILLE, Brian (BCl) Ontario, Canada

2 CCD images (25 July 2003)

30 cm SCT with a ToUcam Pro

COOPER, Jamie (JCp) Northampton, UK

2 CCD Images (26, 28 July 2003)

f16, 2418cm Intes-Micro Mak-N with ToUcam

  

CRUSSAIRE, Daniel (DCr) Champigny-sur-Marne, France

4 Sets of CCD Images (19, 22, 28, 31 July 2003)

10cm Fluorite refr with a Vesta Pro

FRASSATI, Mario (MFr) Crescentino, Italia

2 Drawings (21, 24 July 2003) 250, 40020cm SCT

FUMEGA UCHA, Camilo (CFm) Ourense, Espaa

5 CCD Images (18, 21, 25, 28, 31 July 2003)

f/2531cm spec with a ToUcam

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

12 Sets of CCD Images (17, 19, 21, 22, 27, 29, 30, 31 July 2003)

f/2735cm SCT with an ST-5C

GRAHAM, David L (DGh) North Yorkshire, UK

1 Colour Drawing (20 July 2003) 17010cm refractor

HANON, David (DHn)  Ringgold, GA, USA

1 CCD Image (21 July 2003) 18cm refractor with Sony VX-2000

HEATH, Alan W (AHt) Nottingham, UK

5 Drawings (16, 20, 22, 26, 28 July 2003) 200, 28025cm spec

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

      4 Drawings (16, 27 July 2003)

250, 37023cm Maksutov-Cassegrain

 

KOWOLLIK, Silvia (SKw) Stuttgart, Deutchland

35 CCD Images (18, 19, 20, 23, 27, 29, 30 July 2003)

18cm refractor with ToUcam Pro

IWASAKI, Tohru (Iw) Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

    6 Drawings (26, 27, 31 July 2003) 40021cm speculum

KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan 

23 CCD Images (16, 19, 21, 20, 23, 27, 29, 30 July 2003)

f/4720cm Dall-Kirkham with a ToUcam

LAU, Patrick (PLa) Hong-Kong

3 Drawings (17, 28, 31 July 2003) 300, 34025cm Dobsonian

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

7 Sets of CCD Images (16, 19, 20, 22, 25, 27, 30 July 2003)

         18cm Maksutov-Cassegrain with an Astromeccanica KC381

18cm Intes-Micro MN76/Celestron C9.25

at Monte Giogo, Massa, Italia

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

     6 Red CCD Images (17, 18, 20, 26, 31 July 2003)

20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5

MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Naha, Okinawa, Japan

107 Drawings (16, ~29, 30+, 31++ July 2003)

420, 530, 55025cm F/8.5 speculum

+400, 53031cm spec chez ISHADOH,

++43035cmSCT chez TABATA

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

5 Sets of CCD Images (20, 29, 31July 2003)

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

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

9 Sets of CCD Images (16, 24, 25, 26 July 2003)

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

NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan

9 Drawings (16, 27 July 2003) 40020cm ED Goto refractor

Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

NG, Eric (ENg) Hong Kong

6 CCD Images (16, 17, 18 July 2003)

f/3525cm Royce spec with ToUcam

 

NIKOLAI, Andr (ANk) Weil der Stadt, Deutchland

1 CCD Image (30 July 2003) 18cm refractor with ToUcam Pro

PACE, Ben (BPc) Darwin, Australia

2 CCD Images (24, 27 July 2003)

f/3415cm Maksutov with an HX516

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

15 Sets of CCD Images (16, 19, 21, 22, 26, ~29, 31 July 2003)

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

         f/2425cm Meulon equipped with a ToUcam

(from 26~29 July at Cudjoe Key)

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

1 CCD Image (31 July 2003)

31cm Springfield Cass with a ToUcam

PEACH, Damian A (DPc) Herts, UK

4 CCD Images (19, 20, 26, 28 July 2003) f/3520cm spec

  

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

20 Sets of CCD Images (18, ~23, 28 July 2003)

18cm Newtonian with a modified B&W ToUcam Pro

ROEL SCHREURS, Eric (ERl)  Mexico

1 CCD Image (24 July 2003) 25cm TEC Maksutov with a ToUcam

SNCHEZ, Jess R (JSc) Crdova, Espaa

3 CCD Images (17, 27, 29 July 2003) 28cm SCT with a ToUcam

SCHMUDE, Richard W, Jr (RSc)  GA, USA

2 Drawings (10, 28 July 2003) 153, 23010cm refractor

SEIP, Stefan (SSp) Stuttgart, Deutchland

2 CCD Images (19, 29 July 2003)

25cm Mak-Cass with a Philips ToUcam 740k

SHERROD, P Clay (CSr) ASO Sky Observatory, AR, USA

11 CCD images (16, 27, 18, 28, 31 July 2003)

41 cm SCT with a ToUcam Pro

SIEGEL, Elisabeth (ESg) Malling, Danmark

6 Drawings (16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 30 July 2003) 27020cm F/10 SCT

TATUM, Randy (RTt) Richmond, VA, USA

2 CCD Images (18, 26 July 2003) 25 cm spec with a ToUcam

TEICHERT, Grard (GTc) Hattstatt, France

3 Drawings (24, 25, 30 July 2003) 33028cm SCT

  

VALIMBERTI, Maurice P (MVl) Melbourne, Australia

4 CCD Images (16, 20, 31 July 2003)

f/3435cm SCT with a Philips ToUcam Pro

  

Van Der VELDEN, Erwin (EVl) Brisbane, Australia

7 CCD Images (17, 21, 27 July 2003)

f/3120cm SCT with a Vesta Pro modified

 

WALLER, Skip (SWl) Dallas, TX, USA

2 CCD Images (29, 30 July 2003)

f/5025cm SCT with a ToUcam Pro

 

WIENECKE, Marcus (MWn) Frndenberg, Deutchland

1 CCD Image (29 July 2003) 25cm SCT with a ToUcam Pro

 

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

3 Sets of CCD Images (16, 23, 29 July 2003)

f/4520cm spec with a Philips ToUcam

ZANOTTI, Ferruccio (FZt) Ferrara, Italia

5 Sets of CCD Images (16, 18, 20, 27 July 2003)

40cm(17cm) spec, 18 cm MC with a ToUcam Pro

18cm Intes-Micro MN76/Celestron C9.25

at Monte Giogo, Massa, Italia

R

anges: Now the planet Mars was visible from midnight to dawn, and so it was possible to watch at least six times every 40 minutes, at most nine times if the sky remained clear. From Japan (also from Australia and Hong Kong) the surfaces from the morning Syrtis Mj to the sinking Solis L were observable during this period. In Europe they observed the surfaces from the morning Solis L to Syrtis Mj near the CM. In the US the surfaces from the evening Solis L to S Sabus at the CM were observed.

Argyre: The images of LAZZAROTTI (PLz) on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=027W, of SANCHEZ (JSc) on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=016W, of PELLIER (CPl) on 18 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=017W and so on look to show a yellow veil over Argyre. Since it is not so evident at the more inside rotated Argyre as shown in PLzs images on 19 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=011W, the veil must have not been so thick and looked more apparent just from the oblique angle enhanced by the ground colour of Argyre. The image of Argyre by JSc reminds of SIEGEL (ESg)s image of Argyre made on 15 July (reported previously) as well as the one on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=017W (here cited).

 

Hellas: The basin of Hellas showed also a tint of sandy colour as Mn observed from 16 July (λ=223Ls) to 20 July (λ=225Ls) at around ω=233W~235W. However since the eastern border was clearly seen, and the basin also showed some details inside as it more rotated in, the veil must have been thin as in the case of Argyre (the border looked however blurred at the same angles on 21 July (λ=226Ls)). The aspect of Hellas is shown in MORITA (Mo)s RGB images on 16 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=245W, Van der VELDEN (EVl)s on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=230W, 238W, NG (ENg)s on 18 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=234W, and KUMAMORI (Km)s on 19 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=236W and so on. VALIMBERTI (MVl)s image on 16 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=273W shows the more inside Hellas, but conveys still a sandy colour inside the basin. There is seen a bright swath at the western corner of Hellas as usual if the basin is set at noon near the CM.

 

Yellowish Veil over the Martian Surface: ENgs image above cited (made on 18 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=234W) also shows a thicker veil made of airborne dusts at the morning side in addition to the dusty coloured basin. This aspect was intentionally and skilfully described by CPl and MVl: CPls images on 20 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=338W~007W show the overall airborne dust, and just thicker at the following side, and MVls image on 20 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=187W also manages to show the veil (see Directors Notes-Window on 22 July 2003). ADCOCK (BAd)s image a bit earlier at ω=177W also shows the atmosphere. See also images on 21 July (λ=226Ls) by CPls at ω=343W, EVls at ω=205W, and AKUTSU (Ak)s at ω=171W~191W. Furthermore this is evident on CPls images on 22 July (λ=226Ls) at ω=304W~354W, and on 23 July (λ=227Ls) at ω=315W. The overall thin air pollution by airborne dusts may be proven by the ToUcam simple images by Don PARKER (DPk) produced from 22 July, 26 July, 27 July, 28 July and 29 July (taken between seafood and pina coladas on the Cudjoe Keys). The LRGB or RRGB images are not appropriate to reveal the aspect though they show details of the markings. By the naked eyes, we were easily able to see the global yellow veil.

 

Dusts at Chryse and Eos: Several images made on 29 July (λ=231Ls) show a dust streak across M Acidalium and a dust haunts to the east of Achillis Fons: See WILLIAMSON (TWs)s image at ω=014W, MOORE (DMr)s at ω=014W~033W and GRAFTON (EGf)s at ω=017W as well as WALLER (SWl)s. The dust raising condition continued to be available the following day, and the images by EGf and BATES (DBt) at ω=006W and ω=007W respectively as well as SWls on 30 July (λ=232Ls) show a dust cloud over Chryse which looks to stay at more upper altitude than the day before. This trend from 29 July is reminiscent of the phenomena observed from Oriental hemisphere from 2 July (λ=214Ls) (as reported in #275, there were made observations by Km, MVl, PAU (KPa) and ENg) in addition to the phenomena observed more recently by PLz on 15 July (λ=221Ls) at ω=044W, 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=027W, 19 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=011W, 20 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=000W. CPls images on 18 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=356W~037W also suggest this phenomenon as a precursor.

 On 31 July (λ=232Ls), the dust cloud showed a new development from Chryse to Eos: This was clearly caught near the morning limb, and hence the cloud must have been the one just raised at dawn. See EGfs image at ω=346W, DPks at ω=344W~356W, SHERROD (CSr)s at ω=002W, DMrs at ω=003W, 007W. At the west coast, Tim PARKER (TPk) made a shot at ω=033W, but the dust is not so bright more inside. This cloud was chased at Oceania and Asia: ccd images at ω=069W were simultaneously made by ADCOCK (BAd), MVl, ASADA (As), Km. Ass series of images show the dust at Eos until around ω=098W. Ak also caught it at ω=078W. Km also made a shot at ω=083W. By naked eyes, IWASAKI (Iw) observed the not-glossy dust expansion at Eos at ω=064W, 074W on 31 July. The present writer (Mn) started from 22:30 JST (13:30 GMT) at ω=056W, though the planet was low yet, and felt that the dust core was declining. Ophir was weaker the day, and the atmosphere was more yellowish. The subsequent trend of the cloud at the beginning of August shall be treated in the next issue.

We shall close this corner by noting the Eos dust was previously observed around 29 May (λ=194Ls): See MVls observation.

 

Other Dusts?: Another dust at Isidis Planitia (similar to the one observed by CPl on 21 June (λ=207Ls) which had a significant consequence) was observed by PLz on 25 July (λ=228Ls) at ω=298W: This was also depicted on the images on 27 July (λ=230Ls) by BALDONI (PBl) at ω=279W as well as those made by PBl, PLz and ZANOTTI (FZt) at ω=285W. Images on 28 July (λ=230Ls) by CPl at ω=260W, and PEACH (DPc) at ω=281W show this. The images on 29 July (λ=231Ls) by SEIP (SSp) at ω=272W, and by WIENECKE (MWn) at ω=272W also show the core at the same place, but there was not known further development, and therefore it is difficult to tell it was dust or ground-lit. Already the similar brightening was shown on the images by MORITA (Mo) on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=229W~273W.

 

The SPC and Its Surroundings: Since the apparent diameter δ has increased, and the thaw has governed the south polar cap (spc), the details of the spc has become much observable inside and outside. The dark fringe has been shown not so simple.

1) Parva Depressio: The head of the tadpole of Parva Depre as shown on the image of MVl made on 24 June (λ=209Ls) at ω=127W as well as on the image of CPl on 8 July (λ=217Ls) at ω=125W has become larger because of the thawing. The R images by DPk on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=125W show well its enlarged detail. See also TWss images on the same day of 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=143W. The image at ω=125W of EGf on 17 July (λ=223Ls) also shows the detail. The area to the west of this tadpole will make a rapid thawing. Kms image on 27 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=127W shows a later image of Parva Dep.

2) Thyles Mons and Thyles Collis: Seen from the angles cited above, the edge of the spc revealed a bright spot facing to us. Since this was located at around Ω=150W, this must be Thyles Mons. It is evident on the images taken on 27 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=129W by Km and at ω=153W by EVl. EGfs image cited above (made on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=117W~142W) shows that it consists of three spots. Patrick PAU (PLa)s drawing on 31 July (λ=232Ls) at ω=145W also shows Thyles Mons from a good angle. We further note EVls images on 17 July (λ=232Ls) at ω=230W, 238W show a series of light spots at the edge of the spc, and suggest a bright one near Ω=210W: This was observed vividly from Japan from 18 July to 26 July. This bright spot must have been Thyles Collis. MVls image on 20 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=184W also reveals several ice spots at the edge. Kms image on 21 July (λ=226Ls) at ω=227W also shows Thyles Collis.

3) Deviation of the Centre of the SPC: From Okinawa, the surface westward from ω=160W began to be seen around from 24 July (λ=228Ls), and the following/morning side of the spc have began to be less bright than the other/preceding side: At ω=140W seen on 25 July (λ=228Ls) the following half of the spc looked more shadowy than the preceding half; the shadowy half including Parva Depressio, and Thyles Mons made a divide. From around 28 July (λ=230Ls), a bright ridge from Thyles Mons looked to run to the opposite side and the western/following skirts looked to be shadowy down. On 31 July (λ=232Ls), the present writer (Mn) chased upto ω=154W, but the following icy part was still present though quite shadowy. The ccd images did not however produce well the contrast, while Mos images on 26 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=138W appears to show this (though the angle in short). EVls images of the spc on 27 July (λ=270Ls) at ω=141W, 151W are also good. This contrast should have been seen from the opposite side: JScs image on 27 July (λ=270Ls) at ω=292W really shows the preceding half of the spc has been less bright contrarily.

4) Novus Mons: The sharp tip of Novus Mons has begun to be detected on the images on 18 July (λ=224Ls) by CPl at ω=356W, and as well on PBls on 19 July at ω=355W. See a later image on 28 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=340W made by DPk. The eastern extension of Novus Mons is made of a series of several icy spots and looks to be separated by Rima Australis. See ENgs image on 18 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=234W, as well as Kms on 21 July (λ=226Ls) at ω=227W. As later good images, see those made at Mt Giogo by PBl, PLz and FZt on 27 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=279W or at ω=285W. Visually, BARNETT (JBr) detected Novus Mons on 26 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=357W following Argenteus Mons.

5) Argenteus Mons: This bright and big edge Mons was often visually checked: for instance by SIEGEL (ESg) on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=017W (see above), and on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=004W, by BIVER (NBv) on 20 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=353W, by JBr and BEISH (JBs) on 26 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=357W and ω=020W respectively, by HERNANDEZ (CHr) on 27 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=329W and so on. By ccd, PLzs image on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=027W, CPls on 19 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=020W, HANON (DHn)s on 21 July (λ=226Ls) at ω=040W, DPks on 26 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=021W, EGfs on 27 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=040W all show this bright Mons.

6) Eruptions or Cascades from the SPC: Already on 4 July (λ=215Ls), an eruption of the white stream down from the edge of the spc was observed by ISHADOH (Id) and Mn as reported previously. This kind of eruptions must have been blown down from the icy spots located at the spc edge, and sometimes they are seen in the form of cascades. Here we cite the case observed by the present writer (Mn) on 24 July (λ=228Ls) at ω=169W. Otherwise we also caught another blowing down from Thyles Collis on 20 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=196W, and also similar one from Thyles Mons or its preceding one on 25 July. It must probably be decays of the water ice crowds near the edge as revealed as the dry ice sublimates. [Incidentally, our understanding of the brighter spc edge is as follows: After the southern spring equinox, the centre of the spc receives more insolation than the perimeter region, and gradually the shadowy area appears inside because of rapid thawing while the edge remains under colder condition and remains bright. The perimeter region must however become governed by the temperature of the circumpolar soil, and the sublimation of the dry ice is accelerated. Thus the spc is led to much thaw and retreat. At the same time, this implies the frozen water at the perimeter region will be bright disclosed by the CO2 sublimation, and the edge/outer ring made of water ice shines much brighter. The variation of albedo of the sp region at the period λ=222Ls is as shown in the Figure (which is cited from H H KIEFFER article in JGR 84 (1979) 8263: This study is based on Vikings IRTM measurements in 1976-1977). It is apparent that the brightness increases conspicuously near the edge of the spc and the albedo is less than 0.35 (sometimes 0.5). The circumpolar region off the spc is not darker than 0.2 (this may depend on the year situation: in Vikings case, a dust storm was observed already at λ=205Ls), but a more important characteristic is that the brightness of the circumpolar region shows two branches (this was seen still at λ=241Ls in 1977), that is there are statistically clearly distinct light and shade on the circumpolar skirts. This may suggest an existence of an array of particularly bright swaths around the outskirts of the spc and substantially the white/dust clouds as well as the decays of the water ice clusters might have played a decisive role.]

 

Details of the Area of Solis L: As the angular diameter increased much, the structural details of the interesting Solis L region has gradually become more and more apparent. The area was shown near the CM on DPks images on 19 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=081W, 085W, on 21 July (λ=226Ls) at ω=066W, 070W, as well as on EGfs image on 22 July (λ=226Ls) at ω=081W. Here we show the part by the use of DPks image. In particular, the minor area of Aurea Chersonesus was interesting because it was usually difficult to discern the details. This year the background seems to be brighter enough to dig up the details rather easily. Aurea Cherso was ccd caught by the old HST on 14 December 1990 (λ=348.9Ls, δ=16.28") on the image named F673N, and we can conclude that the details have not changed so much during this decade (as here cited partly. Note however this time φ=21S, while in December 1990 the central latitude was φ=12N). [NB: The present writer was already aware of this F673N (672.3nm, red with 5nm width) in P B JAMES et al, Icarus 109 (1994) 79, while recently came to know that Christophe PELLIER (CPl) collected the HST images in 1990-1993 in his Web Site with permission of the STSI: This is a complete and convenient site and we hope for the readers to try to refer to

http://www.astrosurf.com/pellier/Hubble90_93

Otherwise, the comparison will show that the shapes of Solis L as well as Phasis are slightly different.]

 

Flickering Claritas: The area of Claritas is usually light, and at this period because of the yellow-whitish overall haze it was yellowish light. The following was a personal experience which the present writer (Mn) met on 29 July (λ=231Ls, δ=21.8") at the session at 15:30GMT (ω=104W): It was slightly windy the night while the seeing was moderate to good to the extent that the summit of Arsia Mons was visible and Phnicis L was enough dark. The area of Ascrus Mons was largely covered by the light yellow haze, and Agathodmon showed a dark brownish tinge. A watching then at the area of Solis L brought to the scene where an area inside Claritas became very bright and then turned dull. This looked rather usual, and possibly a trick played by the air fluctuation, but a few seconds later it flashed again though soon faded. The repeat was a rare experience. If the flash remained longer, it must have been a flare phenomenon, but as far as we considered, it must have been a mere flicker caused by a sharp air disturbance under good seeing condition. The brightness lacked a necessary transparency: It looked to suggest that it might be difficult to witness the reflection flare under such a yellowish hazy condition.

 

Trinacria: The area of Trinacria has been in question: This area has come to be more apparent. Visually there is a dark line which separates Trinacria from the southern Ausonia, and the area to the east of its root in M Tyrrhenum is a bit gouged concave. By ccd, Mos images of Trinacria taken on 16 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=229W~273W are excellent to show the feature. Km also obtained an image at ω=244W. ENgs images suggest an existence of a fine structure of the dark line on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=264W & 274W, and on 18 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=234W~279W. Here we cite Mos image which we used in Director's Notice #04 sent out on 23 July 2003 from cmo@: We are of the opinion that the area had been devastated by serious fallout of the 2001 dust. This comparison with MOCs 2002 image shows on the other hand that the early July 2003 dust did not so much influenced this eastern hemisphere contrary to the western Noachis region after 4 July 2003. Later image of Trinacria is seen on PLzs ccd on 30 July (λ=231Ls) at ω=253W.

 

Olympus Mons: When Olympus Mons came near to the evening terminator, its foot looked roundish bright while the summit and its back shadow looked dark (ι=30). Fine detail is shown on EGfs image on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=120W. Interesting to note that on DPks B images on 16 July (λ=222Ls) at ω=123W, the summit and the shadow appear dark, and so the dark spot must have been slightly reddish (as in 2001 when the dust prevailed). See also Kms and Mos images on 25 July (λ=228Ls) at ω=145W as well as EVls images on 27 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=141W & 153W.

 

Arsia White Cloud: Still the summit of Arsia Mons was apparent from 16 July (λ=222Ls) to be covered by a roll cloud as it came into the afternoon side. Even at the end of the period, EVls images on 27 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=141W, 153W prove still the orographic cloud. Notable fruit is a sequence of the shots made by ASADA (As) on 31 July (λ=232Ls): He successively shot at ω=069W, 078W, 088W, 098W, 108W, 118W, 127W, and 137W: The cloud is evident around from ω=118W.

 

Craters: VALIMBERTI (MVl) tactfully claimed that he can identify the Huygens as well as Terby craters on his image made on 16 July (δ=19.5") at ω=273W. Since the Huygens crater appears differently from year to year, it is meaningful to check the aspect every apparition. Franois TERBY (1846-1911) was the physicist/astronomer who investigated the drawings made by Ch HUYGENS (1629-1695).

Since the diameter is still increasing, it is interesting to dig out several of other big craters.

 

Grazing: On 17 July (δ=19.6", ι=31, Moons age=17), there occurred an occultation of the planet Mars by a gibbous Moon seen from the Caribbean Sea to the Florida Peninsula. In particular, seen from a zone of 41 km width passing through the Florida peninsula, Mars grazed the limb of the Moon. An expedition made of seven IOTA/ALPO members camped at a point at (8103'.19W, 2717'.92N) where about 50% of the Martian surface was occulted (while at Miami, Mars was completely occulted). The expedition was led by Chris STEPHAN, and our colleagues Don PARKER and Jeff BEISH joined. The CMO Gallery reported the ccd images by DPk and JBs made from 8:16 GMT to 8:32 GMT, and JBss drawing at 8:42 GMT. Otherwise the image by Andrew CHAIKIN (ACk) taken at 8:40 GMT was posted. DPk/JBs used a 15 cm Newtonian, and ACk a 28cm SCT equipped with the ToUcam. The spc was completely concealed and the wide Martian surface shows the zigzagged limb of the Moon. An interesting report of the expedition was written by STEPHAN in the following site:

http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/2003marsgraze/mars.htm

STEPHAN seems to have observed the phenomenon also by naked eyes, at the request of Mitsuru SOMA (to compare it with a Japanese record in the 7th Century).

 

Remarks: 1) Note a delicate difference between the images by TWs and DMr on 29 July (λ=231Ls) at the same angle ω=014W: The former by TWs shows clearly the north polar white hood, while the latter by DMr does more yellowish dust streak over M Acidalium. Both convey the real and important aspects. This fact so invites further development of techniques to cover the duality within the present ccd status. 2) EVls images on 17 July (λ=223Ls) at ω=230W & 238W depict the nph clearly, while the nph is not so evident on the images by ENg on 18 July (λ=224Ls) at ω=234W, 237W or on Kms on 19 July (λ=225Ls) at ω=231W (IR blocked). EVl improved this period his previous embossed images, and while the present images are not so detailed as those by ToUcam, they should be said quite excellent in picturing the nph. Is it because of the use of the Philips Vesta Pro? 3) An LRGB or RRGB image surely provides explicitly more details, but we should say the RGB is preferable to Mars to check the atmosphere of the planet. See for instance Mos images on 24 July. 4) KOWOLLIK (SKw) gave a good series of images on 18 July (λ=224Ls): Her image from around ω=349W shows a thickening of white mist at the morning Chryse. However CPls B image on 21 July (λ=226Ls) at a similar angle ω=345W does not show it so conspicuously. Temporary or misty on the planet or on the Earth? 5) SKw claimed that her image on 27 July (λ=229Ls) at ω=266W shows a dusty-like bright spot inside Hellas. In addition, we heard that B GAEHRKEN also produced it at ω=256W. However more detailed images on the same day obtained at Mt Giogo by PBl, PLz and FZt show a normal Hellas. How should we review?

 

Most Impressive Images: We would like to recommend the images by CPl made on 18 July (δ=19.6") at ω=356W~037W and those by EVl made on 27 July (λ=230Ls) at ω=141W~ 153W. The former made by CPl shows well Novus Mons, Argenteus Mons along the spc perimeter, the faint yellow haze over the morning Argyre, a detail of Aurea Cherso, the nph and the yellow dust streak over M Acidalium, as well as the broadened M Serpentis. EVls images, though not so detailed, show well the peripheral bright ring of the spc with the shadowy area inside, and the nph. M Sirenum looks as if observed by the naked eyes, and the description of the Arsia white cloud is good.

Strenuous: The sky in the Japanese main island was still suffering from the cold weather: Especially most of the observers in the Kwantoh (eastern) district did not set their telescopes (scarcely Ak popped out three nights, but Mk never). Mo at Hiroshima (western) made a few complete observations when the sky was clear, but not so much. Among them, Km at Sakai, near Osaka (central), made observations for eight nights and produced a total of 23 images. He is thus worthy of some award. We supposed he was on the alert every night and caught brief appearances of Mars when the rain had lulled. We usually dont value his tendency to ignore every 40 minute observations, but in this case what else could he do?

 

Possible Martian Flares: The Martian flares, which were successfully observed at Florida in June 2001, gave again a chance in 2003 from the end of July to the beginning of August at the area of Solis L. As MURAKAMI (Mk) suggested (based on the following list of the Almanac), the coincidence of DE with DS occurred on 1 ~2 August 2003, and so two teams in Okinawa and Tokyo tried to watch the area of Solis L. We started from 30 July, and so we should report here some results, but we will postpone the whole report to the next August issue:

(00h GMT) DE DS   δ ι

01 Aug 20.12S 19.91S 22.4" 23.0

05 Aug 19.91S 20.60S 23.0" 20.3

 


A

t Naha, the present writer (Mn) enjoyed his stay to observe every night the planet Mars. The weather however could not be said to be calm during the period. Ever since the first squall came on the afternoon of 8 July, we often met a series of sudden rains. However the shower did not give enough water to record, and on 15 July the Okinawa Meteorological Observatory reported that Naha had rain of no more than 0.0mm from 21 June to 15 July, while usually 110.7mm normal year. On 18 July at the session at 19:10 GMT (4:10 JST), we witnessed far south a rise of a squall, and watched it gradually approached. Strange enough, sometimes we could see the bright planet to shine even when the shower came on fast on the rooftop. Sometimes it passed by in a different way from another roof to roof. On the afternoon of 26 July, Saturday, we finally met a serious gale which came from north, and my observatory which was surrounded by sheets to prevent the winds was blown away and broken by the sudden north gust. ISHADOH (Id) and WAKUGAWA (Wk) were kind enough to readily come up and rebuilt the observatory/shelter more rigidly. The observatory was put on the rooftop of a 9 storied building, and so, Isao MIYAZAKI (My) assured us that it could easily be seen daytime from the window (more exactly from his desk) of his office which was located within a distance of 2 km. So we were sure our shelter appeared different to him on the next Monday. (Photo here shows the north-west direction from the rooftop: Miyazakis office is located near the sea. Photo by Isao Miyazaki )

 

 At Naha, the present writer (Mn) secured a total of 250 drawings by the end of July. This was more than we expected, and this fascination as well as a lot of troubles we met implied that we were completely taken away any time to edit the CMO. We could just afford to concentrate on keeping the CMO-Web to be up-to-dated, and were forced to decide to postpone the editions/prints of the CMO Mars Reports. The last one published was CMO #272 in June which was only completed before the present writer came up to Okinawa (edited and published at Fukui).

 


The next issue shall treat the observations made in the first half of August 2003 from 1 August (λ=232Ls) to 15 August 2003 (λ=241Ls, δ=24.4")..


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