Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Pollack Crater ‘White Rock’

By SpaceRef Editor
May 2, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-714, 2 May 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The “White Rock” of Pollack Crater is a feature that has
been known since it was first observed by Mariner 9 in
1972. It is not actually white, but is much brighter than
the fields of large, dark, windblown ripples that surround it.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture provides the highest resolution view, ever, of a
portion of the wind-eroded “White Rock” feature. The rock
materials are believed to be the remains of sediment that once
covered the floor of Pollack Crater. Wind has sculpted the
light-toned material into ridges and troughs known as
yardangs. This 1.5 meters per pixel (5 feet per pixel)
image is located
near 8.1°S, 335.2°W. It was acquired in late March 2004,
is illuminated from the left/upper left, and
covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

An earlier MOC view of “White Rock” can be seen in:
Rock” of Pollack Crater, 4 December 2000

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.