Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Brazos Valles Dunes

By SpaceRef Editor
September 7, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-476, 7 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Nearly six years ago, when
the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
was taking some of its earliest high resolution images of
the planet, an area of light-toned, wind-blown, ripple-like
bedforms was spotted in the Brazos Valles near Schiaparelli Basin.
These features were highlighted on November 10, 1997, in
“Valley and Surrounding Terrain Adjacent to Schiaparelli Crater.”

This picture shows a close-up view of some of the light-toned
bedforms first visible in that early MOC image. This picture
was acquired at full resolution (1.5 meters–5 feet–per pixel).
The image shows that the light-toned bedforms are not fresh, young
features; they are jagged and roughened, as if they have been
indurated (cemented) and then somewhat eroded by wind.
This picture is located near 5.4°S, 340.6°W; it
covers an area 1.1 km (0.7 mi) across.
The scene 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.