Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Ares Vallis Dust Devil

By SpaceRef Editor
May 11, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-724, 12 May 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

When it was operating in the Ares/Tiu Valles region of
Chryse Planitia, Mars, in 1997, Mars Pathfinder detected
dust devils that passed over and near the lander.
From orbit, no images of dust devils at the Mars Pathfinder
site have yet been acquired, but
this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a summertime dust devil near the rim of a 610-meter
(~670 yards)-diameter impact crater in the same general region
as the Mars Pathfinder site.
This scene is near 19.6°N, 32.9°W, in part of
the Ares Vallis system.
The dust devil in this case is not making a streak, as dust
devils tend to do in some regions of Mars. The dark feature
to the right (east) of the dust devil is its shadow.
This picture covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across
and is illuminated by sunlight from the left/upper 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.