Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Frosty Polar Slope

By SpaceRef Editor
August 11, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-815, 11 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Acquired just last week on 3 August 2004,
this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a dark, layered scarp in the martian
north polar region. All of the light-toned surfaces in
this image are covered by frost left over from the
previous winter. On the scarp, about half of the
surfaces once covered by frost are now exposed (as the
frost has sublimed away), leaving a large number of
bright patches. These patches of frost enhance the
appearance of layering on the slopes. This image is located
near 81.8°N, 84.4°W. The image covers an area
3 km (1.9 mi) wide, and is
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.