Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Radiant Bowl

By SpaceRef Editor
August 6, 2006
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1544, 4 August 2006

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 a bowl-shaped crater on the martian northern plains with a mysterious radiant pattern of zones with and without boulders and rocks. The rocky areas are seen as dark dots, the rock-free areas lack these spots. Craters like this are fairly common on the northern plains; some also occur at a similar latitudes in the southern hemisphere. When the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) team first saw these, earlier this decade, they called them”pinwheel craters“. The exact cause of the boulder and streak distribution is uncertain.
Location near: 61.3°N, 88.4°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Spring

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.