Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Southern Auqakuh Vallis

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-421, 14 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Auqakuh Vallis is located in northeastern Arabia Terra,
an eroded, cratered highland terrain. Because erosion has
removed hundreds of meters (or more) of material from the
terrain surrounding Auqakuh Vallis, the valley today
appears to be much shallower and wider than it was
when it formed. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars
Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a shallow reach of the
valley at its southernmost extent. The valley floor runs
east-west (left-right) across the center of this picture.
The floor of the valley has several dozen large, windblown
ripples on it. The surrounding terrain has been eroded to
form mesas and a few nearly-straight ridges known as dikes.
This picture, acquired in July 2003, is located near
27.7°N, 298.0°W. The image covers an area 3 km
(1.9 mi) across and is illuminated from the 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.