Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Modified Valleys

By SpaceRef Editor
January 19, 2005
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-976, 19 January 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Covered by an eroded mantle of–perhaps–cemented dust,
this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows part of a network of ancient valleys in
northern Arabia Terra near Moreux Crater. The valleys
may have originally been carved by a
liquid such as water. The scene is located
near 40.6°N, 316.4°W. The rugged surface of this
mantled scene is a common feature at middle latitudes
in both hemispheres of Mars.
Some science investigators in the past several years
have speculated that
ice was once present in such mantles, and that
the ice must have sublimed away to create the texture.
The image covers an area about
3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight 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.