Review Of J And H Filter Brightness Of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter And Saturn


The writer has carried out J and H filter brightness measurements of the five planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn since April, 2014. This talk will review some of the main findings of this 7.6 year study. There are several important conclusions from this work. Firstly, the reduced magnitude of Mercury is several percent brighter when that planet is at perihelion than at aphelion. Secondly, the J – H color index increases from 0.03 magnitudes at a solar phase angle of 30 degrees to 0.53 magnitudes when the solar phase angle is 150 degrees. Thirdly, Mars is almost 0.4 magnitudes brighter at a central meridian longitude of 160° W than at 40° W. Fourthly, the J-filter reduced magnitude of Jupiter is about 0.05 magnitudes brighter at a phase angle of 0 degrees than at 11 degrees. Fifthly, Saturn is about 0.3 magnitudes brighter when its ring tilt angle is 26 degrees compared to when it is 18 degrees.


The author is grateful for a faculty development grant in 2014 that enabled him to purchase and SSP-4 photometer.

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