Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Polygons in Seasonal Frost

By SpaceRef Editor
February 8, 2004
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-630, 8 February 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows a summertime scene in the south polar region of
the red planet. A patch of bright frost–possibly water ice–is
seen in the lower third of the image. Polygon patterns that
have developed in the ice as it sublimes away can be seen; these
are not evident in the defrosted surfaces, so they are thought to
have formed in the frost. This image is located
near 82.6°S, 352.5°W.
Sunlight illuminates this scene from the upper left; the image
covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

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.