nd Report:

The CMO/OAA Observations made during a fortnight period


1 January 2004 (326Ls)


15 January 2004 (334Ls)


An OAA Mars Section article to be published in CMO #287 (25 January 2004 issue)

Masatsugu MINAMI, Director of the OAA Mars Section

Japanese version here


E shall review here the Mars Observations made during the first half of January 2004. The Martian season proceeded from λ=326Ls to 334Ls, a bit before the southern autumnal equinox. The central latitude φ was from 26S to 25S, and hence the southern hemisphere mostly seen but it was difficult to detect the residual spc since the angular diameter δ went down from 8.4" to 7.6". Furthermore the altitude of the planet at meridian was not high enough (the apparent declination was from near +4 to +7). The phase angle ι was still deep from 42 to 41.


As the NEW YEAR came in, the planet Mars seemed to have given an impression that it was gone very far away (after the greatest opposition ever since the CroMagnon era), and the number of the observers suddenly lessened. Elisabeth SIEGEL (ESg), an eager visual observer of the nearly arctic Denmark was however on a trip to the nearly antarctic area of New Zealand.

AKUTSU, Tomio (Ak) Karasuyama, Tochigi, Japan

6 Sets of RGB Images (+2 IR image)(1, 4, 10 January 2004)

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

IWASAKI, Tohru (Iw) KitaKyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

16 Drawings (1, 4, 5, 8, 11 January 2004) 40021cm speculum

KUMAMORI, Teruaki (Km) Sakai, Osaka, Japan 

11 CCD Images (6, 7, 9, 10 January 2004)

f/4060cm Cass# with a ToUcam

# Sakai City Observatory

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

1 Red CCD Image (10 January 2004)

20cm SCT with a Starlight Xpress MX5

MINAMI, Masatsugu (Mn) Fukui, Fukui, Japan

37 Drawings (4, 5, 6, 9 January 2004)

480, 600, 63020cm F/12 ED Goto refractor*

*Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

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

15 Sets of CCD Images (+ 1 IR image) (1, ~5, 14 January 2004)

25cm spec equipped with an ST-5C

MURAKAMI, Masami (Mk) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

8 Drawings (1, 6, 7, 15 January 2004) 32020cm speculum

NAKAJIMA, Takashi (Nj) Fukui, Fukui, Japan

3 Drawings (4 January 2004)

480, 60020cm F/12 ED Goto refractor*

* Fukui City Observatory, Fukui

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

9 Sets of CCD Images (4, 6, 14, 15 January 2004)

f/5941cm F/6 spec equipped with an ST-9XE

PEACH, Damian A (DPc) Loudwater, Buckinghamshire, UK

3 Sets of CCD + 3 IR images (6, 13 January 2004)

f/3128cm SCT with ATK-1HS

TATUM, Randy (RTm) Richmond, VA, USA

1 CCD Image (1 January 2004) 25cm spec (F/12) with a ToUcam


Van Der VELDEN, Erwin (EVl) Brisbane, Australia

2 CCD Images (1, 5 January 2004)

f/2923cm SCT with a Vesta Pro modified


WARELL, Johan (JWr) Tcuson, AZ, USA

3 Sets of CCD Images (6, 7, 10 January 2004)

f/2425cm SCT with a ToUcam



Influence of the December 2003 Dust: The Chryse dust which started on 12 Dec (λ=315Ls) (on 13 Dec, Don PARKER (DPk) detected) caused a southern spread of the airborne dust which brought some dust cores around Argyre to Noachis. The peak visited around 18 Dec (λ=318Ls), and by 24 Dec (λ=321Ls) the ground dust disturbance quite decreased. Even then at the end of 2003, the upper atmosphere was thick with the dust veil (see for instance MIYAZAKI (My)s image on 30 Dec (λ=325Ls) at ω=021W). As another year came in, AKUTSU (Ak) and MORITA (Mo) showed on 1 Jan (λ=326Ls) at ω=300W~354W, and at ω=347W~017W respectively that Hellas looked as if behaving as a reservoir of dust, but stable in general. Since ι=42, the dusty effect appeared thicker near the limb, but Hellas looked (secondary) dusty even inside the disk. The present writer (Mn) observed the northern part of Hellas was brighter on 5 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=301W, 311W. It was the same on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=301W, 311W with a featured Yaonis Fr. On these days no bright core was seen which suggest the ground dust disturbance on the disk. The surface was however quite yellowish or showing a cream tint. As to the brightness of the northern part of Hellas, MURAKAMI (Mk) pointed out on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=311W, and on 7 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=281W. On 8 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=320W, IWASAKI (Iw) also observed that the eastern and northern part of Hellas was dull bright, not whitish but rather yellowish.

The image made by Van der VELDEN (EVl) on 1 Jan (λ=326Ls) at ω=002W proves that the shape of Meridiani S was figured out, but still dull due to the airborne dust which covered the surface. Iw also seemed on the day at ω=009W, 019W to have been able to detect the shape of Meridiani S. At Fukui, it was easy to detect Sabaeus S but not to catch Meridiani S on 4 Jan (λ=328Ls) (seeing was unfavourable), while on 5 Jan (λ=329Ls) we detected Meridiani S at ω=358W, 008W so on.

As to the widened M Serpentis, Mos images on 2 Jan (λ=327Ls) at ω=337W, 347W seemed to show its recovering a bit from the dust in December compared with his preceding images on 30 Dec (λ=325Ls) at ω=002W~056W. On 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=330W, Mn noted that M Serpentis was wide enough and it had not been so affected by the dust cores on 16 Dec (λ=317Ls) as observed by PELLIER (CPl) and GRAFTON (EGf) (see CMO #286). Mn continued to observe at ω=340W, 350W. See also good image by KUMAMORI (Km) on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=330W. However PEACH (DPc) on 13 Jan (λ=333Ls) at ω=353W looks to show it weaker again, and so there might have still been a movement of dust.

Further eastern dust effect seems to be seen to have weakened an eastern part of M Cimmerium as judged from the images by Km on 9 Jan (λ=331Ls) at ω=259W, and on 10 Jan (λ=331Ls) at ω=246W. DPks images on 13/14 Jan (λ=333Ls) at ω=093W, 109W show Solis L near the CM which is still show the influence of the dust disturbance since it looks slightly slimmer, and his images on 15/16 Jan (λ=334Ls) at ω=074W, 079W show also the area of Aurorae S detached, and it suggests that the areas of Chasma Capri was still a reservoir of the dust or covered by a fallout at the valleys.


Trinacria: The fading of Trinacria (Northern Ausonia) was a characteristic which differed from the 1988 aspect. Since the apparent diameter much decreased it was hard to see the detail, but Aks images on 4 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=330W, and Kms on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=304W, 310W, on 7 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=282W, 297W, on 9 Jan (λ=331Ls) at ω=273W show that the aspect in 2003 still remained. Visually, Mn resp Iw watched to separate the light area of Trinacria on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=282W, 291W (at ω=301W it was shadowy however) resp on 11 Jan (λ=332Ls) at ω=271W, 287W.


Elysium: light? on 10 Jan (λ=331Ls) on MELILLO (FMl)s at ω=145W and on WARELL (JWr)s at ω=173W .


Olympus Mons: DPks R images on 4 Jan (λ=328Ls, φ25S) at ω=182W show the summit of Olympus Mons as a shadowy spot with its flank being lighter. It is also seen on the images on 6/7 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=159W~166W: These images may show a dust devil aroused to the west of the Olympus Mons area.


The NPH: Since the tilt of the north pole was away (φ=25S~26S), it was difficult to observe the northern high latitudes, and so few show the clear boundary of the nph. Kms images by a 60 cm Cass on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=304W~330W, and on 10 Jan (λ=331Ls) at ω=246W look to show the nph. The present writer (Mn) also saw the perimeter of the nph on 6 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=311W. DPks images on 13/14 Jan (λ=333Ls) at ω=093W, 109W and on 15/16 Jan (λ=334Ls) at ω=074W, 079W show an inner structure of the nph.


The SPC: The residual spc must always be visible, since φ=26~25S

(http://homepage3.nifty.com/~cmohk/coming2003/15.html ),

but the apparent diameter δ went down to 7", and the altitude was not enough, and hence it was difficult to detect the residual spc. At Fukui, we however detected on 5 Jan (λ=329Ls) at ω=282W, 291W as well as on 9 Jan (λ=330Ls) at ω=267W, 276W, but it did not shine. There is no ccd image that shot explicitly the spc. The last ccd image that showed explicitly the spc must have been DPcs on 18 Dec (λ=318Ls, ι=42) at ω=239W~263W, as cited in the preceding issue.


White Mist at Tharsis? : DPks B image on 13/14 Jan (λ=333Ls) at ω=093W, 109W looks to show an existence of a white mist at Tharsis near the CM. The region on his succeeding image on 15/16 Jan is however at the morning side. The occurrence of the condensate mist must be related with the dissipation of airborne dust.



he next issue shall treat the observations made during the one-month period from 16 January 2004 (λ=334Ls) to 15 February 2004 (λ=350Ls, δ=6.2").

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