Status Report

NASA Mars Image of the Day: Crater Cluster Near Pathfinder

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-552, 22 November 2003




NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This October 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a portion of a large cluster of small craters located
northeast of the Mars Pathfinder landing site, on the
plains scoured by the old Ares and Tiu Valles outflow channels.
Clusters of craters such as these usually form as secondary
impacts
. Secondary impacts are the result of a larger, single meteor,
asteroid, or cometary impact—the impact ejects debris that falls
elsewhere and creates smaller, secondary craters. In other words,
the material that hit the ground to form these craters did not
come from space, it came from Mars.
The craters are located near 19.9°N, 33.3°W.
The image shows an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide, and is
illuminated by sunlight 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.