|May 19, 1999 05:05 UT|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
The last several nights have yielded very steady images of Mars. The planet displays a tan coloration to the eye. Still bright and glaring at -1.3 magnitude, the 23A filter aids in the detection of subtle contrast features and somewhat improves the steadiness of the image.
The North Polar Region appears roughly 2" across and is bordered by a narrow dark collar. Much less than an arc second in width, this dark edging is visible in steady seeing, probably due to its high contrast against the neighboring NPC. Ucronia, Cecropia and Mare Boreum merge into a unified dusky band around the NPC. Ismenius Lacus reaches across the Northern hemisphere from the east (preceding) limb, a dagger poised to stab at Mare Acidalium.
Baltia, M. Acidalium and Niliacus Lacus stand rigidly along the west (following) side of the NPC. Idacus Fons extends westward from N. Lacus, a narrow channel preventing the two features from merging. A small albedo feature is seen immediately east of M. Acidalium at about 45 degrees north latitude. Syrtis Major can be traced along the preceding limb. The contrast is much lighter around the equatorial region. This gives the appearance of a narrow gap between S. Major and the limb. Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani telescope across the Southern hemisphere. The horns of S. Meridiani are plainly visible. Mare Erythraeum, Eos and Margaritifer Sinus dominate the western half of the hemisphere. Oxia Palus wraps around S. Meridiani to the north. Decaulionis Region wraps around to the south and nearly parallels S. Sabaeus on its way to the preceding limb.
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