Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: The Pits

By SpaceRef Editor
March 9, 2006
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1395, 8 March 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 a portion of a pit chain on the lower, northern flank of the giant martian volcano, Arsia Mons. Pits such as these commonly form as a result of collapse of surface materials into a subsurface void, possibly along a fault or into an old lava tube. The layered material, exposed near the top of several of the pits, is shedding house-sized boulders which can be seen resting on the sloping sidewalls and floors of many of the pits.
Location near: 6.7°S, 120.1°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower 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.