Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Dark Polar Dunes 01-20-2005

By SpaceRef Editor
January 20, 2005
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-977, 20 January 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image, acquired during northern summer in December 2004,
shows dark, windblown sand dunes in the north polar
region of Mars. A vast sea of sand dunes nearly surrounds
the north polar cap. These landforms are located
near 80.3°N, 144.1°W. Light-toned features in
the image are exposures of the substrate that underlies
the dune field.
The image covers an area about
3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the
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.