On the early morning of May 28, 1986 I was at my telescope observing Mars when I saw a bright spot in the northwest corner of Hellas and watched it for 15-20 minutes before recognizing it as a dust cloud. In a red W29 filter it was very bright so it was defiantly dust. As the sun rose I continued to observe and saw that the dust cloud was slightly more extensive than before; a matter of my eyes adjusting to the conditions, and it started to appear as a short streak extending northwestwards.
I picked up my phone and dialed Chick Capen’s number so to report a possible dust storm, but for some reason I hung up and instead called Don Parker. After hearing some cussing and fussing he got up and opened up his telescope to see the dust. Not long thereafter he returned the call so we talked about it until the sky grew too bring to see Mars and decided to call Chick later on. Little did we know that during that time period our friend and mentor, Chick Capen, had just then passed away at his home in Cuba, Missouri. Hellas has been the site of many dust storms that grew into planet encircling events. Every time I see dust in Hellas it brings back to me that fateful moment in time on that morning on May 1986.