Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Top of Olympus Mons

By SpaceRef Editor
August 17, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-455, 17 August 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Olympus Mons is considered to be the largest and tallest
volcano in the Solar System.
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows the western summit region of Olympus Mons.
This area is at an elevation just over 20 km (12 mi) above
the 0 km martian datum. The bright feature on the right
(east) side of the image is the uppermost wall of the
caldera (collapse pit) at the top of the volcano. This
image shows a lava flow that was cut by the pit walls
when the caldera collapse occurred. Below (south of) the
lava flow is a narrow channel formed by lava at
some time in the distant past. This view of the summit
region of Olympus Mons is located near
10.6°N, 134.0°W. The area shown is about
7.9 km (4.9 mi) across.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the right.

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.