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Marswatch

1998-1999 Apparition

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Images - 1999 March 16-31
    (All times U. T. - Images not to scale. Click on image for more or larger scale views where available.)



16

1999-03-16 DMT Drawing of Mars Daniel M. Troiani, ALPO Mars Section Head, Chicago, Illinois
17.5" f/6 Newtonian 381x;  03/16/99 06:43-06:50 UT

CM: 226°;  Ls: 111°; De: 15.04°
Filters: W#25, W#80A
Seeing: 4.5;  Transparency: 6

Hellas was very bright with fog. Some Limb brightening and a faint sign of equatorial cloud bands (ECB) .


17

1999-03-17 DAP Image of Mars Damian Peach, United Kingdom
1999-03-17 DAP Image of Mars Damian Peach, United Kingdom


18

No images.


19

1999-03-19 DAP Image of Mars Damian Peach, United Kingdom

1999-03-19 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida

1999-03-19 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   13.00-21.25s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.75-5.75s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.48-0.58s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing fair (6). Transparency highly variable (2-4m) with frequent clouds, hazes. Wind ENE 1-2 knots. Light dew.
Delicate hazes over Tharsis-Amazonis but no definite equatorial cloud bands (ECB) . Olympus bright on terminator. Elysium cloud brightened as planet rotated, becoming brilliant after local noon. NPC tiny; polar hazes. Trivium-Cerberus still weak. Cerberus III not detected.

1999-03-19 DMM Image of Mars David M. Moore, Pheonix, Arizona;
E-mail: davidpaulamoore@email.msn.com


20

1999-03-20 CEH Drawing of Mars Carlos E. Hernandez (A.L.P.O. Mars Section)
8-inch (20-cm) f/10 Schmidt/Cassegrain at 333x and Wratten 23A, 30, 38A and 58 filters.

05:20 UT (CM: 169.2°, Ls: 112.4°, De: 14.8°; Dia: 12.5").

The North Polar Cap (NPC) appears brilliant (10/10) surrounded by a very bright to extremely bright (8-9/10) haze (or cloud) with two prominent projections to the south over Panchaia (especially noted using W38A). The NPC appears surrounded by a dark (3/10) collar consisting of Ierne, Lemuria, and Uchronia. The Propontis Complex (Propontis I and II, and Castorius Lacus (also Euxinus Lacus but not visible at this time)) is visible as a dark (3/10) "peanut-shaped" albedo feature preceding the CM over Diacria. A very bright to extremely bright (8-9/10, especially in green (W58) light) circular cloud is visible adjacent to another extremely bright (9/10) cloud projecting from the equally bright evening limb haze (ELH). This cloud most probably represents orographic(mountain-associated) cloud activity over the massive Martian volcano Olympus Mons. The area surrounding these two clouds appears dark to dusky (3-4/10) over Amazonis and Arcadia. The following (or western) half of Mare Sirenum (3/10) is visible north of an extremely brilliant south polar hood (SPH) as well as the preceding end of Mare Cimmerium (3/10). The Azania region preceding Elysium (8-9/10) appears dark to dusky (3-4/10) with an apparent dark (3/10) projection connecting to the dark NPC collar to the north. Trivium Charontis appears dark (3/10) over the Sp corner of Elysium. Tartarus appears as a dull (5/10), thin band extending between the following end of Mare Sirenum and Trivium Charontis. An extremely bright (9/10) morning limb haze (MLH) is noted as well.

1999-03-20 MLS Image of Mars Mark Schmidt, Racine, Wisconsin; 88.02861° W 44.72889° N; E-mail: rasastro@wi.net
ST5-C camera 14-in (36cm) f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain, Projection @ f/44

Ls: 112.3°; De: 14.8°; Diameter: 12.5”
07:16 U.T.;  CM: 108.75°;  Integration time: 0.19s  
07:30 U.T.;  CM: 113.13°;  Integration time: 1.8s  
07:41 U.T.;  CM: 115.81°;  Integration time: 0.6s  
08:49 U.T.;  CM: 132.38°;  Integration time: 0.64s  
09:10 U.T.;  CM: 137.5°;    Integration time: 1.9s  
10:07 U.T.;  CM: 151.39°;  Integration time: 2s  
Filters: Near IR 800 - 1100nm, IR Passing/Visible Rejection - Murnaghan Instruments Filter
Processing: CCDSoft-Image Processing Software; Skypro-Image Processing Software
Seeing: poor - #3 1/2, . Transparency: (3m).

1999-03-20 FJM Image of Mars Frank J. Melillo

1999-03-20 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   13.75s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.80s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.48s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing poor to fair (3-5). Transparency 4.5m with high haze. No wind. Light dew.
Delicate hazes over Tharsis-Amazonis but no definite equatorial cloud bands (ECB) . Olympus bright on terminator. Elysium cloud bright. Blue Syrtis cloud. NPC tiny; polar hazes. Trivium-Cerberus still very weak. The "canal" Cerberus III detected on two images.

1999-03-20 M_DiS Image of MarsMaurizio Di Sciullo, Coconut Creek, Florida; E-mail: NimbusSky@worldnet.att.net
Starlight Xpress HX-516 CCD camera; 10" (25 cm) f/8 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/83

Integration Times:
   400 - 510 nm:   0.18s
   490 - 590 nm:   0.15s
   610 - 720 nm:   0.20s
All images acquired with 700 - 1200+ nm block filter inline with eyepiece projection unit.
No dark frame, flat fielding or bias correction applied.

Limb haze over Aeria to Mare Serpentis, isolated haze over Propontis to limb. Possible very faint, oval equatorial cloud bands (ECB) stretching from Syrtis Major to just short of Stymphalius Lacus visible in 400 - 510 nm band, and in composite image. Possible blue Syrtis cloud.


21

1999-03-21 D_F Drawing of Mars Denis Fell; New Sweden, Alberta, Canada; 113.16°W 52.55°N; E-mail: dfell@telusplanet.net
8" (20 cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain, 200x to 300x, #25 red filter

Left: 07:45 UT (CM 195°); Right: 09:15 UT (CM 217°)
Ls: 112.8°; De: 14.8°; Diameter: 12.7”  Phase .95
Seeing: Antoniadi IV.

Darkest feature Mare Cimmerium, Elysium sharp, Syrtis Major pale and faint. Bright areas noticed around Syrtis Major and Elysium.

1999-03-21 RWW Drawing of Mars Richard W. Wilhelm, Manorville, New York; E-mail: rs-wilhelm@worldnet.att.net
4.5" (11.4 cm) Newtonian reflector (22% central obstruction)

Seeing: 8, transparency: 5.

Sirenium and Cimmerium prominent. Morning cloud over Libya, evening cloud over Arcadia. Dark collar around NPC. Best observation to date for this apparition as Northeast America has been plagued with turbulent skies during the past few weeks.

As a newcomer to the MarsWatch family of observers, I look forward to providing a unique perspective (along with at least one other contributor to date!) as to what an observer can expect to see with a telescope of modest aperture. I believe that the shortcomings of small-aperture instruments have been exaggerated with regard to Mars observation, and that an such an instrument can show a surprising amount of detail provided its optics are of high-quality. Incidentally, I'm currently using a Meade 4.5" Newtonian reflector which I've modified to limit the central obstruction of the secondary mirror to 22%.

1999-03-21 T_P Image of Mars Tim Parker, Los Angeles, California
Starlight Xpress HX516, binned 2x2; 8" (20 cm) f/6 Springfield Newtonian; Eyepiece projection
Integration time: 0.08 seconds.


22

1999-03-22 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   14.00s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.88s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.46s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing good (7-8). Transparency 3.0-4.5m with high haze. NW wind 0-10 knots. Light dew.
Delicate hazes over Tharsis-Amazonis but no definite equatorial cloud bands (ECB) . Olympus bright on terminator. Elysium cloud bright. North Polar Cap tiny; polar hazes. Trivium-Cerberus still very weak.

1999-03-22 T_P Image of Mars Tim Parker, Los Angeles, California
Starlight Xpress HX516, binned 2x2; 8" (20 cm) f/6 Springfield Newtonian; Eyepiece projection
Integration time: 0.08 seconds.


23

1999-03-23 DMM Image of Mars David M. Moore, Pheonix, Arizona;
E-mail: davidpaulamoore@email.msn.com


24

1999-03-24 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   11.75s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.13s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.41s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing variable (5-8). Transparency 5.0m with occasional clouds. No wind. Light dew.
Delicate hazes over Tharsis-Amazonis but no definite equatorial cloud bands (ECB) . Orographics bright on terminator. Olympus cloud bright. Elysium cloud brightening as Elysium rotates out from am limb haze. North Polar Cap tiny; polar hazes over Lemuria. Trivium-Cerberus still very weak.


25

1999-03-25 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   11.25s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.13s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.41s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing fair (6) but deteriorated late. Transparency 4.0m with high haze. No wind. Light dew.
Delicate hazes over Tharsis-Amazonis but no definite equatorial cloud bands (ECB) . Orographics bright on terminator. Olympus cloud bright. Elysium cloud brightening as Elysium rotates out from morning limb haze. North Polar Cap tiny; polar hazes over Lemuria. Trivium-Cerberus still very weak.


26

1999-03-26 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
1999-03-26 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   12.50s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.38-4.75s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.41s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing GOOD (7-8); pre cold front. Transparency 4.0m. No wind. Moderate dew.
Delicate hazes over Tharsis-Amazonis but no definite equatorial cloud bands (ECB) . Orographics bright. Morning limb haze. Trivium-Cerberus still very weak. North Polar Cap tiny; possible rift. Polar cloud over Lemuria.


27

1999-03-27 DMT Drawing of Mars Daniel M. Troiani, ALPO Mars Section Head, Chicago, Illinois
17.5" f/4.5 reflector 476x;  03/27/99 06:39-07:00 UT

CM: 123-130°;  Ls: 155.7°; De: 15° Dia.: 13.4#176;
Filters: W#47, W#80a, W#25
Seeing: 4.5;  Transparency: 5

Solis Lacus and Mare Sirenium wasa very dark. Arcadia was bright. White cloud over Mix Olympica and Chryse was bright on the evening limb. Eridania was very bright. Lots of cloud activity with a hint of thin equatorial cloud belt (ECB).

1999-03-27 MLS Image of Mars Mark Schmidt, Racine, Wisconsin; 88.02861° W 44.72889° N; E-mail: rasastro@wi.net
ST-5C camera 14-in (36cm) f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain, Projection @ f/44

 Ls: 115.6°; De: 15.0°; Diameter: 13.4”
08:35 U.T.; CM: 124.25°; 23A + IR Rejection Integration time: 0.55s  Seeing: Poor - #3 1/2 Transparency: 3 mag.
07:23 U.T.; CM: 135.84°; 23A + IR Rejection Integration time: 0.55s  Seeing: Poor - #3 1/2 Transparency: 3 mag.
08:19 U.T.; CM: 149.49°; 23A + IR Rejection Integration time: 0.55s  Seeing: Poor - #4 1/2 - #5 Transparency: 3 1/2 mag.
08:29 U.T.; CM: 151.92°; Near IR 800 - 1100nm Integration time: 1.7s  Seeing: #4 1/2 - #5 Transparency: 3 1/2 mag.
09:21 U.T.; CM: 184.59°; 23A + IR Rejection Integration time: 0.59s  Seeing: #4 1/2 - #5 Transparency: 3 1/2 mag.
10:07 U.T.; CM: 169.72°; Near IR 800 - 1100n Integration time: 1.7s  Seeing: #4 1/2 - #5 Transparency: 3 1/2 mag.
Filters: Near IR 800 - 1100nm: IR Passing/Visible Rejection - Murnaghan Instruments Filter
 23A & IR Rejection Filter: Murnaghan Instruments Filter

Processing: CCDSoft-Image Processing Software; Skypro-Image Processing Software

1999-03-27 FJM Images of Mars Frank J. Melillo

1999-03-27 BAC Image of Mars Brian Colville, Maple Ridge Observatory, Cambray, ON Canada (79.15W, 44.28N), email:maple@quicklinks.on.ca
Pixcel 237 CCD Camera, Med Resolution - 2x2 binning, 14.8u 11-in (30cm) f/10 SCT at efr: f/48.

09:08 UT; Integration time: 0.2 sec.; Calibration: Dark only; Processing: Unsharp Mask via MaximCCD.
Seeing: 6/10, Martian diameter 13.4", CM: 162°, Phase: .96
Filters: IR Passing 830nm, 100nm FWHM.


28

1999-03-28 DMM Image of MarsDavid M. Moore, Pheonix, Arizona; E-mail: davidpaulamoore@email.msn.com

1999-03-28 T_P Image of MarsTim Parker, Los Angeles, California
Starlight Xpress HX516, binned 2x2; 8" (20 cm) f/6 Springfield Newtonian; Eyepiece projection


29

1999-03-29 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   13.75s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.50s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.43s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Very difficult conditions. Seeing fair, variable (5-7); Transparency 0-5.0m. Frequent low, fast cumulus clouds. High gusty winds (3-13 kts). No dew.
Orographic clouds very bright over Tharsis. Also delicate hazes in Daedalia-Memnonia. Small cloud over Arcadia.


30

1999-03-30 RJN Images of Mars Ricardo Nunes, Lisbon, Portugal, E-mail: mop23816@mail.telepac.pt
Black & White QuickCam with adaptations, 4.5 inch Equatorial Reflector

Each image is the average of about 20 individual frames. Due to the equipment used the images need a lot of processing to bring out details. Also the camera's dynamic range is small (6 bits) leading to the presence of some noise in the final images. These constraints mean that small features in the images are to some extent camera and processing artifacts. Nevertheless large features as Syrtis Majoris are clearly visible and reasonably well defined.

1999-03-30 MLS Image of Mars Mark Schmidt, Racine, Wisconsin; 88.02861° W 44.72889° N; E-mail: rasastro@wi.net
ST-5C camera 14-in (36cm) f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain, Projection @ f/44

Ls: 117.0°; De: 15.1°; Diameter: 13.7”
05:41 U.T.;  CM: 83.09°;  Integration time: 0.68s
Filters: 23A & IR Rejection Filter - Murnaghan Instruments Filter
Processing: CCDSoft-Image Processing Software; Skypro-Image Processing Software
Seeing: Poor - #2 1/2 - #3. Transparency: (1 mag.).

Notes: Very Poor Seeing - Third week of very turbulent atmosphere in Southeast Wisconsin.

1999-03-29 DCP Image of Mars Donald C. Parker, Coral Gables, Florida
Lynxx PC camera 16-in (41cm) f/6 Newtonian, Eyepiece Projection @ f/47.8

Integration Times:
   Blue (BG12 + IR Rejection)   12.25s
   Green (VG9 + IR Rejection)    4.00s
   Red (RG610 + IR Rejection)   0.39s
Images flat and dark corrected.
Seeing good (7-8). Transparency 5.0m. However, high winds ENE 5-17 knots. No dew.
Tharsis orographics bright and increasing as they rotate towards evening limb. Clouds over Xanthe, Ophir-Candor, and Arcadia. Morning limb haze. North Polar Cap tiny; possible rift. Polar cloud over Lemuria on morning limb.

1999-03-30 DMM Images of Mars David M. Moore, Pheonix, Arizona;
E-mail: davidpaulamoore@email.msn.com


31

1999-03-31 AJC Image of Mars António Cidadão, Oeiras, Portugal
ST-5C camera 10-in (25cm) f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain

For color work I use a SBIG's motorized filter wheel equipped with their old RGB filter set (which needs a IR-blocking filters; the transmitance curves for the filters are posted at their web page).

Each final filtered image is the average of 30 original images, all obtained in a 2-5 min interval. The original image sampling was maintained in the images I'm sending, and the CM and UT values indicated correspond to the middle of each filtered image series.

In the LRGB enhanced image at the right, a 2x enlargement was used, and the RGB was processed the following way: it was first transformed from a RGB image to a "lab-color" image using Adobe Photoshop; then, the "lightness" channel of this "lab-color" image was replaced by the red-filtered image; finally, this new "lightness" channel image was subjected to unsharp masking, the image converted to RGB, and saved in JPEG format.

1999-03-31 CEH Drawing of Mars Carlos E. Hernandez (A.L.P.O. Mars Section)
8-inch (20-cm) f/7.5 Newtonian at 305x.

Ls: 117.5°, De: 15.2°; Dia: 13.9".
04:10 UT; CM: 169.2° red light (Wratten 23A); (left).
04:10 UT; CM: 57.9° blue light (W38A) (right).

The drawing on the left shows what appears to be a thin, very (8/10) streak over the northern half of Mare Erythraeum which pertains topographically to Valles Marineris (similar to that imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) just prior to the landing of the Pathfinder mission on July 4, 1997). The fact that this feature is more prominent in red light (W23A) makes it very likely to be a low-lying feature (e.g. dust) and not fog or a cloud (either more prominent using a green (W58) or blue (W38A) filter). An image obtained by the Pic-du-Midi 1-meter (40-inch) Cassegrain on March 24, 1999 (00:15.2 UT, CM: 59.1) shows a similar feature over Mare Erythraeum. Another outstanding image obtained by Antonio Cidadao (above) approximately one hour before my own observation (03:10 UT, CM: 38.6) shows a bright streak over the same area although I appear to have exaggerated it on my own drawing. This then appears to be a transient, regional dust storm developing within the Valles Marineris system which appears to have lasted at least for a period of seven days (3/24-31/99). The North Polar Cap (NPC) appears brilliant surrounded by a dull (5/10) band. Mare Acidalium appears dark (3/10) on the CM separated from an equally dark (3/10) Niliacus Lacus by a bright (7/10) Achilles Pons. Achillis Fons and Idaeus Fons appear as two prominent dark (3/10) projections extending from the following end of Niliacus Lacus. Extending from the last two features is a dusky (4/10) Nilokeras. A very bright 98/10) cloud appears over the Chryse-Xanthe region. Mare Erythraeum appears dark (3/10) apart from the bright streak previously described. Margaritifer Sinus (and Oxia Palus as a dark spot) appears dark (3/10) adjacent to an extremely bright (9/10) evening limb haze (ELH). Aurorae Sinus appears dark (3/10) as well towards the CM. Agathodaemon (Coprates) appears as thin, dark (3/10) streak extending from Aurorae Sinus. Nectar (4/10) and Solis Lacus (3/10) are noted north of the extremely bright south polar hood (SPH). Arcadia appears dusky (4/10) adjacent to an extremely bright (9/10) morning limb haze (MLH).

The drawing on the right shows a very bright (8/10) cloud over the Chryse-Xanthe region apparently connecting to another very bright (8/10) cloud extending from Tharsis. All limbs appear extremely bright (9/10). A blue clearing (0-3) of 1-2 was noted.



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This page is maintained by David Knighton for the International MarsWatch. The 1998-1999 MarsWatch site it hosted by the Astronomical League as a service to the astronomical community. Comments, corrections, and suggestions can be addressed to webmaster@astroleague.org. This page last updated May 8, 1999.