Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Melas Dust Storm

By SpaceRef Editor
September 24, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-493, 24 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
red wide angle image shows a dust storm raging in the
Valles Marineris troughs, Melas Chasma and Ius Chasma.
Skies are clear over western Candor
Chasma (upper right). MOC images have shown that Mars
has many weather phenomena that repeat, like clockwork,
from year to year. This picture was taken during
southern winter at a time of year that commonly has
dust storms that come up from the plains south of
the Valles Marineris, then enter the southern chasms
of Ius and Melas. The picture is located
at 8°S, 77°W, and covers an area 246 km (153 mi)
wide. 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.