Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Groovy Dunes

By SpaceRef Editor
April 23, 2005
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1070, 23 April 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a favorite among the MGS MOC operations team at Malin Space Science Systems, another example of the grooved dunes in Herschel Crater. The fine-scale grooves on the sand dune surfaces were formed by wind erosion. The sand dune surfaces have, over time, become crusted and the dunes immobilized. Wind now has to scour sand from the surfaces of these bedforms, creating small wind erosion features known as yardangs in the sand.

Location near: 15.7°S, 228.9°W

Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)

Illumination from: upper left

Season: Southern Winter

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.