Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Ancient Valley

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

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-491, 22 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Auqakuh Vallis is an ancient valley system that might have once
been a conduit for liquid water flowing north, across northeastern
Arabia Terra, toward the Nilosyrtis region.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image
shows a portion of the Auqakuh Vallis system. The valley was cut
into layered bedrock. It was once much deeper than today, but much
of the surrounding materials have been eroded away. Windblown sediments
now cover the floor of the valley, a reflection of the parched
conditions of the modern martian environment.
This picture is located
near 29.1°N, 299.6°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi)
across. 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.