Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Arabian Slope Streaks

By SpaceRef Editor
October 9, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-508, 9 October 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Arabia Terra is a vast, heavily cratered region
in the martian northern hemisphere. Much of
Arabia Terra is thickly blanketed by dust. From
time to time, on steep slopes, the dust will avalanche
or slide downhill, creating a streak. The majority
of slope streaks are darker than their surroundings,
but not all of them are dark. In Arabia, it is
common to find bright and dark slope streaks, and to
find them together.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows an example, taken from a crater near
10.5°N, 318.4°W. Why some streaks are bright
and others are dark is not yet known. This picture
covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated
by sunlight from the 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.