2022 May 25
Mars Opposition Blog 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
|D.Milika & P.Nicholas||Australia|
Those in bold sent observations; others are past contributors who post online.
I hope to post some images later!
Richard McKim, Director