Status Report

Mars Picture of the Day: Layers, Boulders, and Dust

By SpaceRef Editor
May 18, 2003
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-364, 18 May 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows the wall of a trough in the Zephyrus Fossae region,
west of the Elysium Rise near 27.9°N, 217.5°W.
The trough wall has cut through and exposed layered bedrock,
visible near the top of the wall. Talus covers the lower portions
of the wall; this debris includes many automobile- and house-sized
boulders—most of which are seen as dark dots at the base of the
slope. Dust has coated and mantled much of this terrain, including
some of the boulders. The dark streak near the center of the picture
was formed by landsliding (or avalanching) of some of the dust.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the
lower left.

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.