Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Early Autumn Dust Storm

By SpaceRef Editor
April 27, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-709, 27 April 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Sporadic, localized dust storms are common at high southern
latitudes in early autumn. The most recent autumn for the southern
hemisphere began on 5 March 2004. This late March 2004 narrow
angle camera image was acquired by the
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
as it passed over a crater in southern Noachis Terra
near 59.6°S, 2.7°W.
The northern portion of the image is clear enough that details
such as large boulders or small knobs can be seen.
The rest of the image, however, shows billowy clouds of dust
being raised from the surface.
The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.
Sunlight illuminates the scene 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.