Status Report

NASA Mars Image of the Day: Isidis Dust Devil

By SpaceRef Editor
March 10, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-661, 10 March 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This arrow in this
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image points to an active dust devil observed in Isidis Planitia
near 18.3°N, 268.9°W.
The columnar shadow of the dust devil is visible, as is a
pencil-thin (at least, pencil-thin at the scale of the image)
line created by the vortex as it disrupted the dust that coats
the surface. The streak indicates that the
dust devil had already traveled more than 3 kilometers (1.9 miles),
over craters, large ripples, and ridges, before the MOC took this
picture. The dust devil was moving from the northeast (upper right)
toward the southwest (lower left).
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left; the image
covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

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.