Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Bright Dust Devil Tracks

By SpaceRef Editor
June 9, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-752, 9 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Martian dust devils sometimes disrupt thin
coatings of surface dust to create dark
streak patterns on the surface. However, not all
dust devils make streaks, and not all dust
devil streaks are dark. In Syria Planum, the
streaks are lighter than the surrounding plains.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows an example from Syria
near 8.8°S, 103.6°W. The thin coating of surface
dust in this region is darker than the substrate beneath
it. This is fairly unusual for Mars, because most dust
is bright. This image
covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and
is illuminated by sunlight from the left/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.