Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Circular Mesa

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 2003
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-538, 8 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a circular mesa in northeast Arabia Terra. The
circularity suggests that this landform might be similar
to other circular mesas, found elsewhere on Mars. In those
other cases, the mesa was once a meteor impact crater. The
crater was filled with sediment, the sediment was cemented
to become rock, and later erosion removed all of
the material surrounding the former crater, leaving it
standing alone as a circular mesa. This image is located
near 23.7°N, 319.0°W, and covers
an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. 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.