Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Martian Scribbles

By SpaceRef Editor
August 8, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-812, 8 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The martian atmosphere is an artist. It uses
narrow vortices of spinning air to disrupt
thin coatings of dust on the surface. In some
regions, over time, hundreds of dust devils
may streak across the landscape, creating
patterns like the one shown in
this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image. The picture, acquired in February 2004, is located
near 64.1°S, 297.3°W, and covers an area
about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight
illuminates the scene from the upper 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.