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1998-1999 Apparition

Linking Amateur and Professional Mars Observing Communities.

Images of Mars from Astronomers Around the World.

Marswatch Animation

MarsWatch Website

Images (latest: 1999 Aug. 29)

Apparition Event Calendar

MarsWatch Newsletters

FTP upload instructions

Our Contributing Observers

A.L.P.O. Website.

A.L.P.O. Mars observations.

Astronomical League Website.

Images Received: 2,761

Total Contributors: 51

From 19 Countries
(10 States in U.S.)


This site has been closed as of September 1, 1999. Mars is receding from the Earth and shrinking in size. This makes it very difficult to observe the planet. The MarsWatch site will be archived. We will not be deleting this site for the foreseeable future.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making MarsWatch a success this apparition. The quantity and quality of images received are remarkable, to say the least.


The International MarsWatch is a group founded by amateur and professional astronomers more than 30 years ago to facilitate better communication between the amateur and professional Mars observing communities. Here you will find images of Mars contributed by amateurs and professional, tools to aid you in planning your own Mars observations, current and past issues of the International Mars Watch Electronic Newsletter, and links to other Mars-relevant sites on the Internet. The primary purpose of this project is frequent CCD imaging of Mars using B,V,R or other standard filters and visual drawings and photos in order to monitor the planet's atmospheric dust and cloud activity.

The upcoming apparition (1999) is particularly important because the U.S. Orbiter (Mars Global Surveyor) will start regular imaging during this time. In addition, the orbiter will be in a low sun-synchronous polar orbit, so it will only "see" the surface of Mars around 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time (the rest of the planet is over the horizon), so quality ground-based observations are needed in order to place these single-time-of-day orbiter views of the planet as well as the single-location lander data, into a global context.

Poster's note: All submissions will be added to the MarsWatch ftp Archive exactly as submitted. For display on the MarsWatch website, submissions may be edited for size, duplication, text position, etc. Submissions will be archived at various sites on the Internet and may be published at a later time. We urge any researcher using this information to credit all observers who's work has contributed to your research.

Links to other Mars sites

MarsWatch 1996-1997 Apparition Site.

Marsnet at Cornell University and
the 1995-1996 Apparition.

Latest Mars Global Surveyor images.

Mars Global Surveyor Home Page.

Mars-98 Orbiter.

Mars-98 Lander.

Mars-98 MVACS Science Payload Home Page.

New Millennium Mars Microprobe Mission (DS2).

Pathfinder Home Page.

JPL Mars Missions Page.

Mars-01 and Mars-03 APEX/Athena
Science Payloads.

Mars (and other) Educational Resources Page.

JPL Mars Exploration Education Program.

Mars albedo Map - 97

1997 Mars Albedo Map by Dan Troiani, ALPO Mars Section Head Coordinator.

This map was assembled using CCD images, videos, drawing and photos taken during the 1997 Mars apparition by observers of the ALPO International Mars Patrol and MarsWatch '97. I used the program Photoshop 4 and over 1,700 observations to create this maps, first in greyscale. Then, using the greyscale map as a reference, I made the color map. This is an telescopic view so South is on top with North on the bottom. The following limb is on the right side. The very bright area to the bottom (North) is the North Polar Cap (NPC), the white areas are clouds and the blue patch over Syrtis Major is the "Blue Syrtis Cloud".

This Site has been accessed 37728 times since February 25, 1999 and before June 12, 2002 [when counter stopped]

©1997, 1998 by the Astronomical League.   All content and design on this site is protected by copyright and may not be copied, retransmitted or redistributed by any means without the prior express written permission of the Astronomical League. All rights reserved. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the content and design on this site may be copied for the private use of persons accessing this site and may be copied and/or distributed at no cost for use in conjunction with the educational activities and programs of any school or non-profit educational organization.

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 This page last updated October 7, 1999.