Status Report

Mars Picture of the Day: Richardson Dunes in Summer

By SpaceRef Editor
June 16, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-393, 16 June 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This is a late southern summer
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
view of the sand dune field in Richardson Crater.
In winter and spring, the dunes are covered by
carbon dioxide frost. Dozens of MOC images acquired
over the past several Mars years (available in
the MOC Gallery)
show the progression of
defrosting patterns on this dune field. In summer,
there is no carbon dioxide frost. Small dark streaks on
some of the dune slip face slopes are the sites of
the most recent avalanches of sand. The slip faces
also indicate that the general direction of sand transport
is from right (east) to left (west).
This image is near
72.4°S, 180.6°W. The picture
is illuminated from the upper 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.