Status Report

Mars Picture of the Day: Wind-Eroded Terrain in Tharsis

By SpaceRef Editor
May 27, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-373, 27 May 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This May 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter
Camera (MOC) image shows a suite of wind-sculpted
ridges on the plains northwest of the Tharsis
volcano, Ascraeus Mons. The two circular features
are old meteor impact craters. The ridges running
from upper left toward lower right may have once
been sand dunes. These dunes and the two craters
were later covered by thick accumulations of dust
or volcanic ash, and this fine material was later
eroded by wind to form the somewhat triangular tails
and markings that point toward the upper right.
The area shown is 1.7 km (1.1 mi) wide and located
near 16.0°N, 107.6°W.
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.