Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Scamander Vallis

By SpaceRef Editor
August 10, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-448, 10 August 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The heavily cratered terrains of Mars bear the
scars of many, ancient valley systems and networks.
When these were first seen in images from Mariner 9 more
than 30 years ago, most investigators working on the
topic concluded that the valleys must have formed
by running water.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image
shows a somewhat meandered portion of
Scamander Vallis, located in central Arabia Terra
near 16.9°N, 331.5°W. The valley today is
quite dry and the entire area—valley, craters, and
surrounding terrain—are covered by an almost uniform
blanket of dust. Dark streaks on the slopes are
formed by small avalanches of dust.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the right.

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.