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Contains:  Solar system body or event

Mars and the cleft in its South Polar Cap

Acquisition type: Lucky imaging

Technical card

Date:May 27, 2020

Time: 19:40

Frames: 40000

FPS: 74.00000

Focal length: 13500

CMI: 337.50

Seeing: 5

Transparency: 7

Resolution: 800x800

Locations: Home property, Wattle Flat, NSW, Australia

Data source: Backyard


After imaging Jupiter and Saturn under extraordinarily good seeing conditions, I went across to Mars but the seeing had dropped off somewhat perhaps a function of its lower altitude. Nevertheless it was still very good.
Sinus Sabeaus & Sinus Meridiani are central to the image and even though they are both south of the equator they seem to be quite far north in this image, given our southerly view of the planet. The outline of the Schiaparelli crater between them can be made out quite well.
The vast albedo area of Noachis Terra to the south seems quite murky and lacking in features, but that might just be the distance. The yellow of the Hellas Basin on its p (right) side is also subdued and indeed there may be some light dust activity across this area to explain the general lack of transparency.
The most interesting thing about his image however, is the enormous cleft in the SPC. It seems that the terrain has been stripped of its ice early in the Southern summer and that this is not an unusual occurrence. The central area has an amazing distinctly red tinge.



Niall MacNeill
License: None (All rights reserved)


Mars and the cleft in its South Polar Cap, 


            Niall MacNeill