Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Devil-Streaked Crater

By SpaceRef Editor
December 2, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-562, 2 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This September 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a plethora of dark streaks created during the recent
southern spring by dust devils as they passed over and around an
old, nearly filled, meteor impact crater. The circular feature is
the former crater; the dark dots and specks on its rims are boulders.
Dust devils create streaks by removing or disrupting thin coatings of
fine, bright, dust on the surface. These are ephemeral features that
will disappear before the next spring arrives in 2005. The crater is
located near 57.4°S, 234.0°W. The image covers an area 3 km
(1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated 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.