Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Peering Into A Cerberus Fossae Trough

By SpaceRef Editor
December 16, 2003
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NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The Cerberus Fossae are a series of long troughs and
cracks that run southeastward from the Elysium volcanic region.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows a view looking down into two of the troughs.
Dark specks in the troughs are boulders that
have come loose from the walls and rolled to a stop on
the floors. In recent years, some Mars scientists have
speculated that the Cerberus Fossae troughs were the
source of volcanic eruptions, and perhaps also the source
of water that produced catastrophic floods. However, no
evidence for either process is found at this particular location.
The picture is located near 10.1°N, 202.0°W. The image
covers an area 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.