Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Northern Plains of Mars

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-918, 22 November 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a typical view of the martian northern plains. Thousands
of square kilometers of the northern middle and polar latitudes
of Mars look similar to the scene in this image. In late spring and
in summer, dust devils crisscross the northern
plains, leaving a variety of dark streaks. The streaks do not
survive from year to year, indicating their ephemeral nature.
The circular features in this image, including the prominent
bright circular feature near the bottom, are the locations of
buried meteor impact craters. This image is located
near 58.1°N, 207.6°W, and
covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi)
wide. 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.