Mars Section        


2009/2010 Featured Observations

Observations of the North Polar Cap Fragment Lemuria

2010 Parker Rivera Peach Melka_LemuriaTxt


Observations of the North PolarCap Fragment Cecropia



Observations of the ‘Blue Syrtis’ Phenomenon



Tharsis Volcanoes Well Recorded by Mars Observers in early March 2010.

Tharsis Dark Volcanoes_text_crop


Elysium Mons Region Well Recorded by Mars Observers in February 2010.

2010-02-19_EM PGor_02-20_EM EGraf_02-21EM RJak_Text


Observers should be on the lookout for dust clouds originating over the North Polar Cap.

2010_01_29RGBdust arch_Peach_29Edwards_30LewisRes3X264_Res800Txt .


North Polar Cap Recedes as Northern Spring Advances

m2009-12-14_07-00_2010-01-20_05-22DParkerRes640Txt .

New Markings on North Polar Cap

Alerts and Observations entry 2010-01-12R1


Mars-12-22-09_Dust clouds on NPC_BrianCombs_ALPOtxt

MARS_122209_Dust clouds on NPC_DanLlewellyn ALPO Txt

The above images show a curving dark streak across the North Polar Cap. The interpretation of this phenomenon is for airborne dust clouds driven by very high velocity winds. This kind of activity may be a likely explanation of the Dec. 4th images of the NPC below.  Another interesting observation is that the H2O ice clouds over Tharsis are so dense they are readily visible in the red-filtered image!


A Dark Linear Feature Splits in Half the NPC on Dec. 04, 2009


John Boudreau’s excellent RGB images show a dark feature splitting the NPC that is really a mystery to ALPO.  The validity of the dark marking is demonstrated in an animation John made showing it to rotate in time.


A Comparison of the Solis Lacus Region in Nov. 2007 and Nov. 2009

11-03-07 - 11-23-09_Ed GraftonALPO Txt

Repeatability of image quality from apparition to apparition allows ALPO members to discern changing features on Mars. The above two image sets recorded by Ed Grafton show among other things that the Western half of Solis Lacus is still covered with bright material as it was after the planet-wide dust storms of 2007.  The dark Sirenum extension that appeared after the 2007 storms, persists in this apparition.  The dark linear marking connecting Solis Lacus and Phoenicis Lacus has faded considerably in 2009. If you are interested try using ALPO Mars maps to find Tharsis volcanoes in the images. Good hunting.


The First Rites of Spring

MarsC_RGB 09-11-16 04-54-51_640_TheoRamakersTxtA

The Transfer of Ice from the North Polar Cap to the Southern Hemisphere is shown by the Orographic Clouds associated with Olympus Mons, Pavonis Mons and Arsia Mons


Day to Day Changes at the NPC at the Start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere

mars110609_110709_110809_111309Whole NPC_DanLLewellynTxt+

High resolution bayer color images show the North Polar Hood clouds on Nov. 6 and 7 in row 1.  The clouds are not visible in the Nov. 8 and 13 images in row 2, and instead show the North Polar Cap. Extinction at the high slant angles near the Pole may contribute to the contrast of the dark spots on the cap.


October 31, 2009

Two levels of NPC development indicated in these images submitted by Ed Lomeli

Ed Lomeli’s red image shows development of the NPC with  the lifesaver pattern and possibly the start of brightening of the rest of the cap in a broad band over Cecropia and Ortygia.


October 1, 2009

MarsA_RGB 09-10-01 05-51-33_640_R_TheoRamakersTxt


September 6, 2009



August 23, 2009

mars_082309_1011UT_1031UT L-Owens


August 8, 2009



July 10 and June 29, 2009



Rolf Meier’s image shows a dust cloud in Northwestern Hellas and over Mare Ionium and Serpentis. Paul Maxson’s image shows a dense cloud over Margaritifer Sinus on the evening (left) limb. Both images have a broad pole to pole haze over the Morning limb.

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