Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Layered Rocks in Crater

By SpaceRef Editor
June 21, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-762, 19 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Exposures of layered, sedimentary rock are common on
Mars. From the rock outcrops examined by the Mars Exploration
Rover, Opportunity, in Meridiani Planum to the sequence in
Gale Crater’s central mound that is twice the thickness of
of the sedimentary rocks exposed by Arizona’s Grand Canyon,
Mars presents a world of sediment to study. This unusual
example, imaged by the
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC),
shows eroded layer outcrops in a crater in Terra Tyrrhena
near 15.4°S, 270.5°W. Sedimentary rocks provide
a record of past climates and events. Perhaps
someday the story told by the rocks in this image will
be known via careful field work.
The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is
illuminated by sunlight from the 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.