Mars Opposition Blog 4 December 2022

With opposition nearly upon us, the dismal UK weather has not been helping our programme, with rain and cloud prevailing for more than the last fortnight. Under such circumstances, every little helps. I draw your attention to the points mentioned in the last blog post.

Since the last update the total number of observers has risen to 80. We have added a Word document listing all these contributors to the front page. This will be updated from time to time.

The Martian atmosphere has continued to be relatively clear. Detailed images and drawings have been received, and many fine details can be seen. David Graham had a fine view on Nov 28, as posted here.

Within the S. polar region, some of the better images have shown faint, E-W orientated belts of white cloud. These have been observed at the end of S. summer in the past. See the images by Peter Tickner on Nov 27-28 and by Gary Walker (USA) on Nov 29.

In the north, the variable N. polar hood has gradually shown less and less activity, and signs of contraction. It continued to veer further south in certain longitudes such as Mare Acidalium, and to show partial transparency there; see the images by Mark Radice on Nov 18 and by Robert & Sophie Stuart of Nov 19. Massimo Bianchi, the Coordinator for the Unione Astrofili Italiani, has sent me some fine images by his contributor Marco Lorenzi of Singapore: the image of Nov 26 is posted here, and may show the edge of the ground cap.

We have seen a small dust event around Nov 23-24 at Chryse Planitia (south of Nilokeras), and I thank Makoto Adachi for alerting me to Japanese observations of it, and to Mike Caruso (USA) recognising it upon his own images, one of which (Nov 24) I post here. It was also nicely imaged as a bright yellow spot by Frank Melillo (USA) on Nov 23. There have also been a number of small dust events at the edge of the NPH.

Finally, we must not forget Phobos and Deimos. In spite of the planet’s low altitude as viewed from Australia, Anthony Wesley captured both of them on Nov 20.


Mars 2022-11-27-and-28-Peter-Tickner

Mars 2022-11-29-Gary-Walker

Mars 2022-11-18-Mark-RadiceMars 2022-11-19-0143UT-Robert-and-Sophie-StuartMars 2022-11-26-Marco-LorenziMars 2022-11-24-0955UT-Mike-Caruso

Teaser image by Peter Tickner

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