NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Polar Terminus

Status Report From: NASAJPL/MSSS
Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1577, 6 September 2006

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows the termination (end) of a group of layers in the north polar region of Mars, where they have been buried by younger, smoother-surfaced material. The layers are the banded features at the right/lower right. They are emerging by erosion from beneath the smoother material that dominates the scene. As the smooth material erodes, its margins become rough and rugged. No one knows the composition of the layered materials of the north polar region; most believe that they are a mixture of various proportions of ice, dust, and in some places, sand.
Location near: 81.3°N, 293.1°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Spring

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Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, California and Denver, Colorado.

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