Mars 2020

These images were taken with a C14 XLT on an AP900GTO mount.  I used a QHY290M camera.  A Starlight Xpress USB  filter wheel was used to produce an RGB image.  I used an Astrophysics Advanced Barcon (starting April 23) working at 3X.    To capture I used  FireCapture 2.5.  For processing, I use AutoStakkert and  Registax V5 .

Links to Mars Images and Info: Past Images of Mars
ALPO Archives 2003 2010
Japan ALPO Mars Latest 2005 2012
  2007 2014
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December 31, 2020


Its the last day of the year! Happy New Year!  I finally had a clearing.  Seeing was a bit unstable.


Syrtis Major and Sinus Sabaeus are prominent on this region.  There are some thin clouds just above the south pole and also at Hellas.  The south polar cap is barely visible while the north polar hood is very bright.


December 23, 2020


Weather here had been horrible.  I had a clearing during the last few days.  But I spent those times imaging the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction.  Mars is getting smaller as it goes away from us.


We are back to the Mare Erythraeum/Chryse region.  There are still some lingering dust over this region although the heavy dust storm is over.  There are dust at Aurorae Sinus and Depressio Erythraea.  The south polar cap is very small now and the polar region seem to be clear of dust.  The north polar hood is getting bigger.


December 13, 2020


I went back to my QHY290M today.  Using the QHY183M for planetary is quite a headache.  Seeing was good today.


Solis Lacus is setting on the right.  The Tharsis Volcanic region can be seen and there are hints of the three Tharsis volcanoes.  Olympus Mons is distinct as a red patch.

December 12, 2020


I just received a QHY183M today so I tested it out with Mars.  This wasn't really built as a planetary camera but I need this to image the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction next week.  I spent some time re-collimating my OTA.  Seeing was good.


These images show Mare Sirenum.  Solis Lacus is slowly coming to view.  Olympus Mons is the reddish dot on the upper right.  The south polar cap is very small now.  Note some clouds over Mare Chronium.

December 11, 2020


Seeing was still unstable this evening because I am still not getting laminar wind flow. 


Mare Sirenum is at the CM.  Solis Lacus is setting on the lower right.  Olympus Mons is on the upper right.


December 10, 2020


Seeing was unstable this evening.


Mare Sirenum is prominent in these images.  Olympus Mons can be seen on the upper right.  There are clouds over Mare Chronium.


December 8, 2020


I had a short clearing before the sky became overcast.  Seeing was not great but acceptable.


This image shows Mare Cimmerium and Mare Sirenum.  Olympus Mons can also be seen on the upper right.

December 7, 2020


Condition was very unstable today. 


Mare Cimmerium is prominent on these images.  Sinus Gomer is well resolved.  Note the clouds over Mare Chronium.  The south polar cap has shrunk a lot now and isn't every bright.  No more trace of dust in this regions so I guess the dust storm is over.


December 5, 2020


Seeing was mostly very poor today.  But improved during a brief period towards the end of my imaging run.


These images feature Mare Cimmerium.  Sinus Gomer is well resolved.  There seems to be some lingering dust over the southern temperate zone. The south pole is very tiny now!


December 3, 2020


It was overcast all day today.  But the sky cleared close to 10pm.  Seeing was horrible because Mars was over my hot roof.  Transparency was poor due to haze.


Syrtis Major and Mare Tyrrhenum are prominent in these images.   Sinus Gomer can be seen setting on the right.  The dust storm seem to have dissipated but there are still some lingering dust over Hellas to the south pole.  The south polar cap is very tiny now!  It also looks a lot dimmer that before probably due to dust haze.


November 29, 2020


Condition was a bit frustrating today.  The sky was partially cloudy and I had to image between clouds.  Seeing was poor.


Syrtis Major is prominent in these images.  There is still dust activity over Hellas and the southern edge part of Syrtis Major.  It seems that the dust has reached the south polar cap as it is not very bright now.


November 28, 2020


Poor conditions today. Seeing was variable and I had to image through thin clouds.


Syrtis Major is prominent in these images.  There is still dust activity at Hellas to Chersonium, but it seems that it is confined on the southern Temperate area.  The south polar cap is very small now.

November 26, 2020


I rained early this evening but cleared at around 7pm.  Seeing was average.


The dust storm is still active around Hellas and it is pushing to the Southern parts of Syrtis Major.  There is dust at Diocalonis Regio south of Sinus Sabeaus.  Dust is present at Hellespontus and Noachis.  Dust seem to be approaching the south pole.  Syrtis Major and the northern part of Sinus Sabeaus is dust free.


November 24, 2020


The weather during the last few days wasn't great.  I finally had a clearing today.  Seeing was good.  I am still trying to get a handle on getting the correct color balance with my Mars image, while keeping the polar ice cap as close to white and not over burning it. 


The dust storm has now reached the Hellas basin. There is a dust cloud over Hellespontus.  It seems that this storm has not breached Sinus Sabeaus and a portion of the south pole remains clear.  The Schiaparelli crater is clearly outlined.

November 21, 2020


I never thought I would be able to image today.  It actually rained hard early this evening.  Seeing was variable and transparency was poor due to clouds.  I did not have a lot of imaging time as rain was coming.


The region around Mare Erythaeum is covered with dust.  Even Sinus Meridiani is shrouded in dust.  The eastern part of Sinus Sabeaus is dust free but area attached to Meridiani has dust going through!  This region of Mars is unrecognizable!


November 20, 2020


Seeing was perfect today but I had to deal with some clouds.


A bright dust storm system is now right next to Sinus Sabeaus!  Dust is now over Sinus Meridiani and there is even a system that bisects Sinus Sabeaus!   The entire Mare Erythraeum is covered with dust and moving even close to the south pole!  Will this go global?


November 19, 2020


Condition was perfect today.


The dust storm is still growing.  Note the bright at Aram which is just west of Sinus Meridiani.  Valles Marineris is still very distinct.  Mare Eryrthaeum is filled with dust.  There is even dust all the way to Sinus Sabeaus.  The shape of this dust storm changes on the daily basis!


November 18, 2020


The sky was mostly clear when I started imaging.  But there were thunderclouds headed my way.  There were periods of good seeing.  I had to shut down a few minutes before we had a heavy downpour.


The dust storm has engulfed a huge area around  Mare Erythraeum.  Dust is still prominent on Vallis Marineris and Aurorae Sinus/Eos.  Sinus Meridiani and Sinus Sabeaus can be seen on the right.  The dust is headed that way.



November 17, 2020

The sky was clear today but seeing was a little unstable.


The dust storm has really grown and has spread to a great area!  There is dust from Solis Lacus to Sinus Meridiani/Sinus Sabaeus! The dust is all over Mare Erythraeum.   Aurorae Sinus is unrecognizable now!  The dust has spread north over Chryse and Ganges all the way to Niliacus Lacus!  This is turning into a major dust storm!


November 16, 2020


Condition was a bit challenging today due to clouds and unstable seeing.


Just when we thought that this storm was slowing down, it erupts big time.   Dust is now all over Mare Erythraeum all the way to Argyre and Bosphoros!  Note the bright spots there where there was none yesterday.  Chryse and Ganges has also brightened up due to dust.   Valles Marineris is very well seen due to the bright dust!   Note the bright line over Aurorae Sinus, this faded yesterday!  The dust seem to be spreading towards the south polar cap.


November 15, 2020


Condition was perfect today. 


Dust storm has evolved.  There are bright spots at Chryse probably the dust storm erupting at that region.  These spots are prominent in IR.  Vallis Mariners is still bright but not as bright as yesterday.  The dust storm there might be weakening.  The bright line on Aurorae Sinus is fading.  Note the dust spreaking to Mare Erythraeum.  The dust spreading over Ganges has also faded.


November 14, 2020


I had my 3rd night of clear skies.  Condition was perfect!


The Dust storm continues.  It is now spilling over the Ganges!  Valles Marineris is prominent due to the dust storm.  Some dust are spreading to Mare Erythraeum.  It is amazing to see how much it moves overnight!


November 13, 2020


Another clear night. Seeing was good.


What a difference one day makes.  The dust storm at Chryse has spilled over to Valles Marineris, the longest canyon in the solar system!  Note the bright spot at Juventae Fons.  The south polar cap is shrinking fast. 


November 12, 2020


After a few cloudy days due to a typhoon, I had another clear night with good seeing conditions!


There seems to be a brightening in the area of Aurorae Sinus and Chryse.  Is this a dust storm?  These images show Mare Erythraeum and Solis Lacus very well.  Olympus Mons can be seen rising on the upper left on the second set of images.


November 8, 2020


I finally had my first really clear night in like ages!  We are currently between two tropical cyclones.  Condition was good today.

These images show Solis Lacus.  Olympus Mons is also well resolved.  The 3 Tharsis giant volcanoes are difficult to make out due to the bright streaks on that region.


November 2, 2020


Condition was still a bit unstable today due to the SW winds brought about by TS Goni.

These images show Mare Cimmerium and Sinus Gomer.  Cerberus is resolved.  The bright spot above Cerberus is Elysium.


November 1, 2020


Weather was horrible here for the past weeks.  I was fortunate that there was a clearing today despite the passage of Super Typhoon Gori.

Sinus Gomer can be seen rising on the left.  Mare Cimmerium is prominent in these images.   The dark spot Cerberus is resolved.


October 22, 2020


I had a crazy session.  The sky alternated from clear to totally overcast in minutes!  I was fortunate to get a short clearing for these images.  Seeing was average and transparency was variable.

These images are similar to the one I took yesterday.   Syrtis Major is prominent.  The Huygens crater can clearly be seen.  There are morning clouds at SInus Meridiani.  The shape of the north polar hood is different from that you yesterday.


October 21, 2020


Seeing was average today but transparency was poor due to clouds and haze.

These images shows Syrtis Major.  The rim of Huygens crater is distinct.  The Hellas basin is clear this season.   Sinus Sabeaus can be seen on the left.  I was also able to capture Phobos and Deimos which helped in derotating the images I took.


October 18, 2020


Weather here had been horrible due to a series of tropical cyclones that were close by. It was cloudy most of today. When I started imaging, seeing was very unstable. In fact it started to drizzle despite the fact that the sky was CLEAR overhead. Yes I can see stars overhead! When the drizzling stop seeing became very stable. These are some of my best images this season.

Sinus Sabeaus and Sinus Meridiani is the highlight of this region. Syrtis Major can be seen setting on the right while the Chryse region is rising on the left.

After I finished processing my first run, I went out to check the sky and it was clear!  Because of the weather here, I missed imaging the region of Mare Erythraeum and Chryse so I went ahead and started another run.  Seeing was only 8/10 so not as good as the seeing earlier.  But a lot of details are resolved and I'm happy with the result. 



October 10, 2020


Weather had been horrible here due to a lingering low pressure area that refused to leave!  I was no sure I could image today because the sky was just totally overcast!  I had an opening for a few minutes but transparency was low due to thing clouds.  There was also the threat of rain! 


Solis Lacus takes center stage on this image.   Mare Erythraeum  and the Chryse can be seen to the right.  On the upper left at the 10 o clock position one can see a bright spot which is Olympus Mons.


September 30, 2020


Seeing was average tonight but transparency was poor.

Here is an image of Mars showing Olympus Mons. Also in view are the three giant Tharsis volcanoes but these are covered with clouds. Mare Sirenum is prominent. Solis Lacus is setting on the lower right.


September 29, 2020


I had a decent night to image Mars.  The past days had been very cloudy.  Seeing was good but transparency was bad due to haze and clouds.


Mare Sirenum is prominent on these images.  Sinus Gomer can be seen setting on the far left.  Olympus Mons can be seen on the upper right as a bright patch on Tharsis.  Clouds can be seen over Mons Arsea.


September 25, 2020


Here is my first image of Mars since last May! I was only able to capture one set of RGB before the clouds rolled in . Seeing was variable.


This image shows Mare Cimmerium and Sinus Gomer.


May 9, 2020


Seeing was average today.


These images show the Mare Cimmerium and Mare Sirenum Region.   Elysium is on the upper left.  Amazonis is bright in IR.


May 5, 2020


Seeing was excellent this morning.


Sinus Gomer is very well resolved.   Note the dust could over Hellas.  The dust spilling over from Mare Hadriacum to Hesperia can still be seen.  The giant volcano Elysium Mons is resolved on this image.  It is the dark dot on the upper part at the CM.


May 4, 2020


Seeing was good. Mars is now 7.8".
Syrtis Major can be seen rising on the left. Note the dust cloud over Hellas. Is there a dust spill over Mare Tyrrhenum, Hesperia and the southern part of Mare Cimmerium? Sinus Gomer is very well resolved. NASA's Curiosity Rover is currently close to the tip of Sinus Gomer.


April 26, 2020


Seeing was good today.  Here are images of Mars showing Sinus Sabaeus on the left and Syrtis Major on the right. There seems to be a very dark patch over Syrtis Major. Note the white clouds over Hellas. Is this frost or cloud?


April 22, 2020


Seeing was good today.. These images shows Sinus Meridiani and Sinus Sabaeus. Note that Edom Promontorium is bright in IR.


April 16, 2020


Mars was a bit challenging to image because it is very low in the sky and seeing was very unstable.

The image below shows the region of Mare Erythraeum and Chryse. Note the bright streak cloud towards Valles Marinaris. Is this a localized dust storm?



April 14, 2020


I had to image Mars a few minutes before sunrise.  Seeing was variable. Solis Lacus is prominent at the CM. Chryse and Mare Erythraeum is setting on the right.


April 9, 2020


I was already starting to image Saturn this morning when clouds suddenly rolled in. I switch to Mars instead. Transparency was variable and this resulted in the overexposed polar cap.

This image shows the Three Giant Tharsis Shield Volcanoes of Mars. These are Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons and Arsia Mons. These are the three faint dark spots forming a diagonal line. Olympus Mons can vaguely be resolved.


April 4, 2020


Seeing was good today. Mare Cimmerium can be seen. Elysium can be seen on the upper left while there is a hint of Olympus Mons on the upper right.


March 29, 2020


Here is my first image of Mars for this season. This image shows Mare Cimmerium and a hint of Sinus Gomer. Syrtis Major is rising on the left. Mars is only 6.2 arc seconds!


Christopher Go 2020