Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: To Beat the Band

By SpaceRef Editor
September 28, 2006
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1599, 28 September 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 layers exposed in the north polar region of Mars. The north polar cap is underlain by a thick sequence of layered material. The layers are most commonly exposed on the slopes of troughs that are believed to have formed by wind erosion. The layers give a banded appearance. In this example, some of the layers are cut off (truncated) by other layers. This truncation is a classic, textbook example of an erosional unconformity, a term commonly used by geologists. The unconformity occurs when deposition of new layered material stops for a while, and erosion occurs. Then, new layers form on top of the eroded surface and the older layers, at some point in time when the erosion stops and deposition of layered material resumes.
Location near: 78.6°N, 342.0°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower right
Season: Northern Spring

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.