Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Polar Summer 12-30-2005

By SpaceRef Editor
December 30, 2005
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1327, 30 December 2005

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows eroding mesas of frozen carbon dioxide in the martian south polar residual cap. During the summer season, the scarps that bound each pit and mesa in the south polar region become dark as carbon dioxide sublimes away. The darkening might result from the roughening of the surfaces from which ice is subliming, or from the concentration of trace amounts of dust on these slopes, or both.

Location near: 84.7°S, 48.2°W

Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)

Illumination from: upper left

Season: Southern Summer

Tips for Media Use

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.