Mars in 2002–03 – Colour CCD images

This is a selection from the many thousands of excellent CCD images received by the Mars Section during the current perihelic opposition. Most images were produced by colour compositing of several hundreds of matched red, green and blue images. (The Director made minor changes to the contrast and brightness of some of the images in order to obtain a satisfactory collage.)

Upper row (left–right):

A   Maurice Valimberti (Melbourne, Australia), 355-mm Schmidt–Cass., Philips ToUcam CCD camera, August 9d 15h 26 m, CML = 4 deg.

B  Ed Grafton (Houston, Texas), 355-mm Schmidt–Cass., ST5, July 30d 09h 29m, CM = 6 deg.

C  (Upper) Martin Mobberley (Cockfield, UK), 300-mm Schmidt–Cass., Philips ToUcam, August 20d 01h 42m, CML = 65 deg.

D  (Lower) Chris Proctor (Torquay, UK), 500-mm refl. stopped down to 200 mm., Starlight Express MX5c, August 8d 02h 34m, CML = 184 deg.

Middle row (left–right):

E   T. Ikemura (Nagoya, Japan), 310-mm refl., Philips ToUcam, August 2d 15h 27m, CML = 67 deg.

F   Ferruccio Zannotti (Forca Canapine (PG), Italy), 235-mm Schmidt–Cass., Philips ToUcam, August 11d 00h 20m, CML = 125 deg.

G  Tan Wei Leong (Singapore), 250-mm Dall–Kirkham Cass., Philips ToUcam, August 20d 17h 21m, CML = 294 deg.

Lower row:

Grazing occultation of Mars by the Moon. A composite of images made by several ALPO/IOTA observers including Andrew Chaikin and Don Parker (eastern Highlands County, Florida, USA), 279-mm Schmidt–Cass., July 17d 08h 27m 42s, 27m 15s, 25m 57s and 24m 28s (from left to right). Contributed by Jeff Beish.

Several of the single images reveal a remarkable amount of fine detail in the dark areas as well as recent large-scale changes as described in the text. The Phasis development is well shown in C, E and F. Novus Mons can be seen to be detached from the S. polar cap in A, B and G, as well as other details. The bluish, asymmetric N. polar hood partly hides northern Mare Acidalium in A. Image B shows a bright yellow dust storm evolving in the Chryse desert. A, B and G show the broadening and darkening of Mare Serpentis following the Hellas July dust storm. E and F show fine details in the Tharsis and Amazonis deserts, including the locations of the great volcanoes. G shows complex details around Syrtis Major. D illustrates the continuing small size of Trivium Charontis, bordering Elysium.

Richard McKim, Director



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