I joined a star-gazing meeting held in Kuma Kogen Astronomical Observatory, which was an hour's drive from my house. I heard that Mars would make its closest approach to Earth after 15 years' interval on July 31st. I had applied for it on that day, but the weather wasn't suitable for observation of stars and I visited it on Aug. 2nd. I watched Saturn and Mars with a 60cm reflecting telescope. It seemed that a huge sandstorm happened and the pattern on the surface of Mars was vague due to that. It was regrettable.
Kuma Kogen Astronomical Observatory 久万高原町天体観測館