June 7, 2001, 08:30 UT
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

Apparent diameter: 20".0
Phase: 100%
CM: 358°

One day on Mars, or a Sol as the folks at JPL call it, is just a skosh longer than an Earth day. One Sol lasts 24 hours, 37 minutes and change. As a result, if you observe Mars every night at the same time for a month, the planet will present a Central Meridian about 10 degrees further east, each night, until you come nearly full circle to the longitude at which your observations began.

Tonight, I am observing the same features as were seen last night. The seeing has improved somewhat revealing a slightly more detailed view. My 10-inch Starfinder is working at 388X thanks to a Meade 8.8-mm UWA eyepiece and a Televue 3X Barlow lens. A neutral density filter helps to cut down the glare while preserving Mars' natural peach and flesh tone hue.

Sinus Meridiani and Sinus Sabaeus are the most prominent features. Sinus Sabaeus reaches across the southern hemisphere, extending from the preceding (east) limb nearly to the central meridian (CM). Sinus Meridiani has an oval dusky appearance with a pair of fangs poised to strike northward. Working west to east across the large dark feature wrapping around Sinus Sabaeus to the south, we find Margaritifer Sinus, Mare Erythraeum, Vulcani Pelagus and Noachis. Oxia Palus is visible as an extension reaching north from Margaritifer Sinus. A series of dark nodes along the northern extent of Margaritifer Sinus give a scalloped appearance. A subtle limb haze is evident arcing from the south polar region toward the following (west) limb.

In the northern hemisphere, Mare Acidalius and Achillis Pons are fast approaching the CM. Chryse has a subtle bright texture, suggesting cloud cover over this region. The area around Cydonia, Ismenius Lacus and Dioscuria is showing a hint of dark mottling but nothing obvious. Syrtis Major is visible setting along the preceding limb.

June 9, 2001 June 6, 2001

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