Welcome.The BAA Mars Section is the oldest body in the world for the collection and publication of observations of the Red Planet. It was founded in 1892 by E. Walter Maunder, the ‘father’ of the Association. Past Directors of the Section have included E.M. Antoniadi, W.H. Steavenson, B.M. Peek and R.L. Waterfield. The present Director has been responsible for the collection and analysis of all observational work since the apparition of 1979–80. On this site you will find the BAA’s observational programme for Mars, and information about past and present oppositions of the planet. The site also contains several maps of Mars, orthographic graticules for positional measurements, an observation report form, and a detailed list of Section publications. Visual and photographic observations should be sent by post to the Section Director, while CCD images should be e-mailed to him. This website is maintained by R.A. Marriott, and a link to the BAA’s website is included below. (Text and images on this site are the copyright of their originators, and should not be reproduced without prior permission.) Good observing!










Report form




Historical notes


Beagle 2


Section Directors


List of reports, 1892–1999


Apparitions, 1892–2016


Telescopic Martian

Dust Storms





Dr Richard McKim

Cherry Tree Cottage

16 Upper Main Street

Upper Benefield

Peterborough PE8 5AN

Great Britain







                                                          Latest update: 31 May 2016









Dust Storm Alert












Images taken by Efrain Morales Rivera (Puerto Rico) in the last few days (May 21–24) clearly show a changeable bright yellow streak of dust at the IAU western (following) edge of Elysium. The bright cloud was very conspicuous in red light and was not related to the usual orographic cloud activity over Elysium Mons. The Director had observed the area on May 16 without seeing the storm, while on May 23 the Elysium region was too near the morning terminator for the correct longitude to have been visible to him.


Evidence for previous telescopic dust storms in this area exists, but such events are very uncommon for Elysium, and sometimes the area has simply been a secondary focus of activity for another dust storm developing elsewhere, such as at the start of the 2001 planet-encircling storm.


If you are able to do so, please monitor the area and send me your reports. Secondary activity could occur elsewhere at any time now, though an image by Clyde Foster centred at longitude 101° on May 24 shows that hemisphere to be free of dust.








May 21–24


Animation by Toshiro Mishina