Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: South Polar Troughs

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-604, 13 January 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
image shows troughs eroded into the south polar residual
cap. The residual cap is made largely of frozen carbon
dioxide, which freezes on Mars at a temperature around
148 Kelvin (about -125°C, -193°F). When this
picture was acquired in early summer during October 2003,
the temperature at the surface probably was very close
to 148 Kelvin (brrrr!). Sunlight illuminates this image from
the upper left; it is located near 86.9°S, 15.7°W.
The 200 meter scale bar is approximately 656 feet across.

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.