Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: The Edge

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

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1424, 6 April 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 the edge (running diagonally from the lower left to the upper right) of a trough, which is part of a large pit crater complex in Noachis Terra. This type of trough forms through the collapse of surface materials into the subsurface, and often begins as a series of individual pit craters. Over time, continued collapse increases the diameter of individual pits until finally, adjacent pits merge to form a trough such as the one captured in this image. The deep shadowed area is caused in part by an overhang; layered rock beneath this overhang is less resistant to erosion, and thus has retreated tens of meters backward, beneath the overhang. A person could walk up inside this “cave” formed by the overhanging layered material.
Location near: 47.0°S, 355.7°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Summer

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.