Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Mesa in Aureum Chaos

By SpaceRef Editor
August 2, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-806, 2 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a circular mesa and layered materials that
are partially-exposed from beneath a thick, dark mantle
in the Aureum Chaos region of Mars. The features are part
of a much larger circular form (bigger than the image
shown here) that marks the location of a crater that was
filled with light-toned sedimentary rock, buried, and then
later re-exposed when the upper crust of Mars broke apart
in this region to form buttes and mesas of “chaotic terrain.”
The circular mesa in this image might also be the location of
a formerly filled and buried crater. This image is located
near 4.0°S, 26.9°W. It covers an area
about 3 km (1.9 mi) across;
sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/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.