The Polar Regions

To the visual observer, the polar-regions most often present a gray, dusky appearance, absent specific features. Indeed, during the apparitions of 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, most visual observers reported no features at all. A few observers using large instruments with exceptional image contrast reported an occasional small, bright oval near the latitude of the NNTB or SSTB. However, these sightings were never widely observed and thus, difficult to confirm. Occasionally there is an exception to the inactivity usually noted in the polar-regions, as reported during October 1997. During that apparition, several independent observers observed faint dusky markings, slightly more intense than the surrounding region. Among those observers, I was able to observe one feature well enough to make one set of transit timings. This occurred on the night of October 26, 1997 U.T. (Fig. 3.1). Quoting from my own observing log, "The NPR is also exceedingly

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