Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Marte Valles Crater “Island”

By SpaceRef Editor
April 10, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-692, 10 April 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Marte Valles is an outflow channel system that straddles
180°W longitude between the region south of Cerberus
and far northwestern Amazonis. The floor of the Marte
valleys have enigmatic platy flow features that some
argue are formed by lava, others suggest they are remnants
of mud flows.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows an island created in the middle of the main
Marte Valles channel as fluid—whether lava or mud—flowed
past two older meteor impact craters. The craters are located
near 21.5°N, 175.3°W.
The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.
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.