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July 31, 2003, 5:00 - 5:30 UT, seeing varied from fair to good, transparency 4. Central Meridian 296.0 degrees. Diameter: 22.21", phase: 0.959%, magnitude: -2.3.

Astro-Physics 5.1" f/8.35 EDF refractor on homemade Dobsonian-style mount. Magnification 205x - 231x with Baader binoviewer. Filters used: Baader Red, Green, Blue, Sirius Optics PC1.

The South Polar Cap (SPC) was pronounced and showed a rift. Lowell's melt band was visible around the SPC. Yaonis Regio curved south from the SPC around Hellas on the following or right side and connected to Mare Ionium, Mare Serpentis, and Sinus Sabaeus. Sinus Sabaeus extended from the following limb to Syrtis Major. Mare Hadriacum curved around Hellas on the preceding side and had a feathered or striated appearance. The edges of Hellas appeared somewhat hazy. Syrtis Major and Sinus Sabaeus were noticeably darker than Yaonis Regio, Mare Ionium, Mare Serpentis, and Mare Hadriacum.

The desert areas of Arabia and Aeria to the following side of Srytis Major, as well as the desert area Merore to the south of Srytis Major, appeared brighter than the desert region Isidis Regio preceding Srytis Major. The same was true of the desert area Noachis to the following side of Yaonis Regio.

In the North Polar Region the North Polar Hood (NPH) was visible, as was a limb cloud near the preceding edge of the globe. These were both enhanced by the use of a blue filter. I wasn't sure at first if the North Polar Cap (NPC) was visible or the NPH, so tried both a blue filter and a green filter, which enhances surface frosts or polar features. It was visible in the blue filter but not in the green filter so I knew it was the NPH not the NPC.