Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Layer Outcrops and Dunes

By SpaceRef Editor
December 1, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-561, 1 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This October 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows dark, windblown sand dunes amid outcrops of light-toned,
sedimentary rock in a crater in western Arabia Terra. The darkest
material in the scene is windblown sand; the steep slopes–the slip
faces–of the dunes face toward the southwest (lower left), indicating that
wind transport of sand has been from the northeast (upper right). The
layered mounds are the remains of sedimentary rock that were
once more extensive across this crater floor. The image is
located near 8.9°N, 1.2°W, and covers an area 3 km
(1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene 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.