Mars in 2016-2017: Third interim Report

Since the second report on the 2016 opposition in the 2016 August Journal (126(4), 205-206 (2016)), Mars was kept under continuous observation by over 80 observers. This third and final report was prepared just before the solar conjunction on 2017 Jul 27. The apparition had begun with an observation on 2015 Aug 29 at Ls= 034°. The final image was submitted on 2017 Apr 7 by Martin Lewis (UK) and the final drawing by Gianluigi Adamoli (Italy) on May 16 at Ls= 006°. The data covered fully 92% of a martian year.

We received many superb images, including some by Damian Peach during another of his trips to Barbados, and we reproduce one near-opposition view (Figure 1). The Director made 106 drawings with his 410mm Dall-Kirkham, and examples are given in Figure 2 to show seasonal change in the polar regions, and other features. North polar frontal systems were seen on some occasions in the form of thin E-W bands of white cloud. For example, the writer saw one on Jun 27, and another was imaged on Jul 3 by Clyde Foster.

(Login or click above to view the full illustrated article in PDF format)

The British Astronomical Association supports amateur astronomers around the UK and the rest of the world. Find out more about the BAA or join us.