- Press Release
- Nov 29, 2022
NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Tracking Boulders
Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1400, 13 March 2006
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
|This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a portion of a trough in the Sirenum Fossae region. On the floor and walls of the trough, large—truck- to house-sized—boulders are observed at rest. However, there is evidence in this image for the potential for mobility. In the central portion of the south (bottom) wall, a faint line of depressions extends from near the middle of the wall, down to the rippled trough floor, ending very near one of the many boulders in the area. This line of depressions is a boulder track; it indicates the path followed by the boulder as it trundled downslope and eventually came to rest on the trough floor. Because it is on Mars, even when the boulder is sitting still, this once-rolling stone gathers no moss.|
|Location near: 29.4°S, 146.6°W|
|Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)|
|Illumination from: upper left|
|Season: Southern Summer|
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.