Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Polar Dust Devil Streaks

By SpaceRef Editor
June 30, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-773, 30 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image of dunes in the martian north polar region is important
because it shows one of the highest northern latitude views
of streaks thought to be made by passing dust devils. The
dark, thin, filamentary streaks on the dunes and on the
adjacent plains were probably formed by dust devils. The
dunes occur
near 76.6°N, 62.7°W. Dust devil streaks are
observed on Mars at very high latitudes, such as this,
all the way down to the equator. They are also seen at all
elevations, from the deepest parts of the Hellas Basin
to the summit of Olympus Mons. This picture
covers an area about 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.