Saturday, April 28, 2012

UPDATED: Olympus Mons located at 135 degrees longitude.

Here is another Mars observation taken on March 17th, 2012 from my observatory.

Mars is receding rapidly, currently at 10.2″ arc-seconds in diameter, and now the amount of martian detail through the telescope is becoming less impressive.

More than a month ago the possibility to capture subtle surface and atmospheric Martian features with just a 200mm SCT telescope, such as discrete blue clouds as well as the tallest volcano known in our solar system - Olympus Mons, was within reach.  In the above image, O. Mons stands out as a dark, discrete circle as it pokes out its top from surrounding orographic clouds (located left from centre).  Incredible! Similar results have been obtained by Damian Peach here.

Map transformation of my IR-R-G-B composite into a Polar projection/planetographic latitude, brings the  position of Olympus Mons to be around 135 degrees in longitude and this position was confirmed by the published data shown in the image.

Comments are welcome.

Below is a feature written by the President of the Malta Astronomical Society, Alexei Pace, and submitted to a local Sunday weekly.

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