Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Inverted Valley 12-15-2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 15, 2005
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1312, 15 December 2005

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a somewhat sinuous, nearly flat-topped ridge, located in eastern Arabia Terra. The ridgetop was once the floor of a valley, perhaps carved by running water. The valley floor, or material that covered the floor, was more resistant to erosion than the surrounding rock into which the valley was cut. Thus, over time, the valley disappeared and its floor was left standing high as a ridge. Inverted valleys are common on Mars; they also occur on Earth.

Location near: 10.8°N, 313.2°W

Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)

Illumination from: lower left

Season: Northern Winter

Tips for Media Use

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.