Highlights of the 2015-2017 Mars Apparition
Image Records of the Hellas to Argyre Dust Storm up to mid September
The below images from April 5th to May 9th provide evidence for strong South to North straight-line winds in the Hellas crater from Ls 130 to Ls 150. This period is the heart of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. I think the winds originate from where sublimation of CO2 ice is taking place. Hellas is immense with the South to North diameter about 1,300 miles that is roughly the distance from the US-Canada border to the Pan-handle of Texas. So with that diameter, a significant temperature gradient is likely in the South to North direction that can continue to produce strong winds that carry immense waves of dust from Southern wall to the Northern wall of Hellas. These detailed images by Clyde Foster and Efrain Riveras Morales show the results of these winds.
Many small features distinguishable on Clyde Foster’s image below!
Images from Feb 17, 2016 to Mar 01, 2016. Have you ever seen
such a broad expanse of white clouds over the Martian disk?
Images from February 7th, 8th and 12th 2016
These images show heavy concentrations of H2O clouds in the equatorial regions of Mars. The gaseous clouds sublime from the granular North Polar Cap and move Southward higher and higher in the atmosphere. To the right(West) of the CM orographic clouds are visible over 3 of the Tharsis volcanoes. To the East of the CM, Acidalia planita and Chryse planita are like deep valleys in the Northern hemisphere where possibly an orographic type of action produces equatorial H2O clouds. But, it may be some other mechanism. Also interesting, the green and blue images show bright areas indicating low altitude fogs and clouds above that. Further, the February 7th and 8th red images show the same bright areas that suggest ground frost.
Images from December 11th 2015
The dark markings are sharp and very detailed with Mars only 5″ in diameter on 12-11-2015. A stand out marking is Nilosyrtis that had mostly vanished in the last 5 apparitions. A noticeable change is a new prominent dark band under Sabaeus Sinus. It is late Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. During Spring the North Polar Cap shrinks unevenly leaving ice outcrops such as the one shown here in Uchronia.
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