Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Circles and Streaks

By SpaceRef Editor
November 14, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-544, 14 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image, acquired less than a week ago on 8 November 2003, shows
a typical southern middle-to-high latitude scene at this time
of year. It is summer in the southern hemisphere, and regions
such as Promethei Terra, where this image was acquired, are being
streaked by dust devils that remove or disrupt the coating of dust
that was deposited over the region in the previous autumn or
winter. While no active dust devils were captured in this scene,
their tell-tale tracks are scratched all across the image.
The circular features are the sites of
buried meteor impact craters; their rims form dark rings; the material
that fills the craters has become cracked. This picture is located
near 68.1°S, 247.9°W. The area shown is approximately
3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the 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.