Status Report

NASA Mars Image of the Day: Crater with Wavy Fog

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-424, 17 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Craters near the edge of the retreating south polar
seasonal frost cap often have fog in them, this time of
year. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
wide angle red image was acquired just a few days ago on
July 13, 2003. It shows a crater, 36 km (22 mi) across, that
is enveloped in fog. This picture was taken as a context
frame for a high resolution view that was intended to show
dunes on the floor of the crater. That high resolution view
was frustrated by thick fog that hid the dunes from view.
This wide angle context frame shows that winds from the
lower right (southeast) were blowing over the crater,
causing the fog to bunch up in a wavy, rippled pattern.
Winds streaming off the polar cap toward the north create
a variety of patterns in the fogs formed by water ice or vapor
as the seasonal cap retreats during southern spring.
This picture is located at 66.4°S, 208.6°W, sunlight
illuminates the scene from the upper left (northwest).

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.