Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Sedimentary Rocks of 176 N, 176 W

By SpaceRef Editor
September 11, 2004
Filed under , , ,

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-846, 11 September 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

An impact crater in western Arabia Terra at
8°N, 7°W,
exhibits some of the most fantastic sedimentary
rock outcrops on Mars.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows an example. The crater interior has hundreds
of sedimentary rock layers, each of a similar thickness
and similar physical properties. The similarities between
beds and their repeated nature have been used to suggest
that the crater was once the site of a lake. Today, the
sedimentary rocks are eroded and dark, windblown sand
covers some of them. Faults cut and offset beds in some
The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across
and is illuminated by sunlight from the left/lower left.

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.