Mars Opposition 2022

A blog of all posts for the 2022 Opposition

Mars Opposition Blog 2022 July 24

Map for Observers with Ebisawa Names 3
2022 Jul 24

There is little to add to the previous post, except that signs of dust activity around the edge of the retreating SPC are abating.

Today, we are posting a set of hand-drawn maps by Makoto Adachi on the Maps page. These already appear at his Mars Section pages of the ALPO Japan Mars website.

Makoto Adachi’s newly drawn albedo maps (completed Spring 2022) bring the classic Ebisawa map of 1957 up to date, and offer versions with or without the classic nomenclature. We have been given permission by Adachi to upload the maps here. The maps consist of three sectors of the planet either with or without Ebisawa’s telescopic nomenclature. (The Director gave some help with checking of the latter.) These new maps fall under the headings of “MRO public image” maps, which are the best resolution maps (with and without names), or “Mars Maps for visual observation”, which are presented at reduced resolution so as to closely confirm to telescopic observation. North up and south up versions are available. In a significant addition to the Ebisawa map, Adachi also presents N. and S. polar projections.

Expand Post

Mars Opposition Blog 2022 July 12

Mars on 30 June 2022, by Teruyaku Kumamori
2022 Jul 12

The number of observers continues to slowly increase, but temporal and longitudinal coverage by our team remain inadequate. An updated list of (32) observers is to be found below.

The regional storm reported on May 25 (announced by the Director on the BAA Forum the following day) lasted only a few days beyond the previous update.

The recessing SPC contains a number of seasonal rifts and bright patches. The rift near longitude 60 degrees has been observed.

Separation of Novus Mons (the ‘Mitchell Mountains’) has again occurred on time, as far as could be judged upon the small disk. Images by C.Foster (S.Africa) show it separated from June 2 onwards, when he caught it upon the (morning) limb: one of his results (June 26) is posted here. Separation is better judged at the terminator, but we had no observations of the (evening) terminator at the critical time. On June 29 J.Sussenbach (Netherlands) drew attention to the odd appearance of the W. end of Novus Mons, the latter feature being drawn out into a streak, suggestive of a banner cloud effect but probably showing dust-lifting, and this was also shown upon images from Japan (posted at the ALPO Japan website) a few days earlier. At a different longitude there has been clear evidence of dust activity near the cap: witness the late June images by T.Kumamori (Japan) which show a bright yellowish patch whose W. end is drawn out into a streak. Herewith images by Sussenbach (June 29), Kumamori (June 30) and J-J.Poupeau (July 8).

As I finish this note, an image by J.Willinghan (USA) shows the latter dust activity extending round to the longitude of Hellas. Another BAA Forum post was made today to draw the attention of observers to these polar dust storms.

A collection of images of the approaching planet (2022-March-May) by M.Lonsdale (Australia) is also posted this time.

Our contributors:

P.G.Abel UK
M.Adachi Japan
T.Arakawa Japan
K.N.L.Bailey UK
A.Casely Australia
A.Cidadão Portugal
C.Dole UK
C.Foster South Africa
C.Go Philippines
D.Gray UK
N.J.Haigh UK
R.Hillebrecht Germany
M.Hood USA
S.Ito Japan
T.Kumamori Japan
M.Lonsdale Australia
S.Lukas Australia
N.MacNeill Australia
S.Macsymowicz France
P.W.Maxson USA
F.J.Melillo USA
D.Milika & P.Nicholas Australia
E.Morales Puerto Rico
Y.Morita Japan
D.A.Peach UK
M.Piccoli Italy
J-J.Poupeau France
E.Sussenbach Dutch Caribbean
J.Sussenbach Netherlands
V.della Vecchia Italy
J.Willinghan USA

Approach of Mars to Opposition: March to May 2022, by W.M. Lonsdale
Approach of Mars to Opposition: March to May 2022, by W.M. Lonsdale

Observation of Mars, 26 June 2022, by Clyde Foster
Observation of Mars, 26 June 2022, by Clyde Foster

Observation of Mars, 29 June 2022 by J. Sussenbach
Observation of Mars, 29 June 2022 by J. Sussenbach

Mars on 30 June 2022, by Teruyaku Kumamori
Mars on 30 June 2022, by Teruaki Kumamori

Observation of Mars, 8 July 2022, by Jean-Jacques Poupeau
Observation of Mars, 8 July 2022, by Jean-Jacques Poupeau

Observation of Mars, 11 July 2022, by J. Willinghan
Observation of Mars, 11 July 2022, by J. Willinghan

 

Richard McKim, Director

Previous post: 2022 May 25

Entire Mars Opposition 2022 blog

Expand Post

Mars Opposition Blog 2022 May 25

Observation of Mars, 29 June 2022 by J. Sussenbach
2022 May 25

To date, 19 observers have contributed, and the planet’s diameter has now exceeded 6 arcseconds.

The SPC is subliming on schedule, with the usual seasonal rifts and dark patches. Around Ls = 239o Novus Mons will become fully detached from the cap by one such rift, but at the time of writing separation is not complete. There has been local dust activity over the SPC, as we have seen in several past perihelic oppositions. This activity has been followed by Foster, whose first sighting of a small distinct light orange patch close to the S. pole was on April 12. Later this specific bright area was replaced by a general orange tint over part of the cap, indicative of fallout, and the coloration has since disappeared.

Of the surface features, the Sinus Gomer has now been resolved. This and other markings seem to be identical to their appearance at opposition in 2020.

Hellas has again been the centre of dust activity. On April 29 there was no definite activity upon Maxson’s images. On April 30 Haigh (UK) and Cidadao (Portugal) caught a bright area in its NE corner, upon the morning side of the disk. The area expanded and brightened over the next few days, till at least May 7 on Cidadao’s images, while the basin was still light but static (indicating fallout) to Arakawa, Lonsdale and MacNeill (etc.) on May 13-18. There is evidence of other activity to the west, for Casely’s images of May 1 show what appears to be an E-W belt of dust in Chryse-Xanthe, and Lonsdale on May 2-5 shows it impinging upon the maria to the south with some dust diffusion and partial obscuration of Margaritifer Sinus. Adachi saw dust there visually on May 4.

As of today, May 25, fresh regional dust activity has begun over Chryse-Xanthe. This was first recorded by Cidadao on May 23, and its expansion was evident in his images the following day, when the event was confirmed by Haigh. It has looked extremely bright in red and infrared, and its expansion occurred to the south in typical fashion, affecting the central and eastern parts of Valles Marineris. It might expand further!

Observers of Mars, 2022  

T.Arakawa Japan
A.Casely Australia
A.Cidadao Portugal
C.Foster South Africa
C.Go Philippines
D.Gray UK
N.Haigh UK
S.Ito Japan
M.Lonsdale Australia
S.Lukas Australia
N.MacNeill Australia
P.W.Maxson USA
F.J.Melillo USA
D.Milika & P.Nicholas Australia
Y.Morita Japan
D.A.Peach UK
E.Sussenbach Dutch Caribbean
 

 Those in bold sent observations; others are past contributors who post online.

I hope to post some images later!

Richard McKim, Director

Next Post – 2022 July 12

Previous Post – 2022 March 25

Entire Mars Opposition 2022 blog

Expand Post

Mars Opposition Blog 2022 March 25

Observation of Mars, 29 June 2022 by J. Sussenbach
2022 Mar 25

A summary of what to look for this opposition is appearing in the 2022 April BAA Journal, which will be delivered in a few days.

Makoto Adachi has hand-drawn a remarkable new albedo map based upon recent spacecraft data, and has spent many hours adding the telescopic nomenclature by Ebisawa. In the course of helping to check the names on the map, he and I noticed that a very small number of his named features on the map do not appear in his published list of features, and vice versa. We shall publish this map online later, with his consent.

In February the Director had his wooden observatory dome damaged by fallen trees, and he asks if any BAA readers living locally would be in a position to offer any help with repairs? I have so far been unable to interest any local Northants repairer in the job. If you can help, or know somebody who could, please contact me!

Richard McKim, Director

Next post – 2022 May 25

Previous post – 2022 March 24

Entire Mars Opposition 2022 blog

Expand Post

Mars Opposition Blog 2022 March 24

Foster image of Mars
2022 Mar 24

If COVID-19 was the global crisis that pervaded most of the 2020 apparition, then it is yet another that marks the start of the 2022 approach. Historically Mars was the God of war, and at the present time it is not a welcome reminder.

This blog would have been started earlier had it not been for the fact that the new BAA website was launched only during the current month, so that Directors were asked to put off page updates until now.

Mars will not be at opposition until 2022 December, but observations have already been arriving steadily since late last year. Three observers (Makoto Adachi, Clyde Foster and  Mark Lonsdale) have sent in work directly, the first observation being due to Adachi, and I have noticed that other previous contributors have been posting images online at the usual sites. I will be collecting their work throughout the apparition.

Here are some current points:

  1. We have recorded the transition from NPC to polar hood, and from S. polar hood to ground cap, enabling comparison with previously established seasonal dates. Bright patches are now being recorded around the periphery of the slowly subliming SPC.
  2. We have seen the first evidence of evening orographic clouds, in the usual locations.
  3. The albedo change at Oxia Palus-Indus is still present. The Sinus Gomer has not yet been resolved as an obvious marking, leading to speculation that it may have faded. Of course, the disk is still very small, but the area should be watched.
  4. Hellas has been the site of several telescopic dust storms. Around Feb 3, Foster imaged two discrete bright clouds within the basin. These were confirmed by MARCI observations from martian orbit. A month later, smaller scale activity around March 13 was seen to be limited to the SW corner of Hellas. Some images by Foster are given here.
Foster image of Mars
Foster and MARCI

We need far more observers if seasonal and sporadic phenomena are to be properly documented. Good luck with your work this year.

Richard McKim, Director

Next Post – 2022 March 25

Entire Mars Opposition 2022 blog

Expand Post
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.