Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Windblown Sand in West Candor

By SpaceRef Editor
December 23, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-583, 23 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

West Candor Chasma, a part of the vast Valles Marineris
trough system, is known for its layered sedimentary rock
outcrops. It is less known for dark fields of windblown
sand, but that is what occurs in the north-central part
of the chasm. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, obtained in December 2003,
shows the interplay of dark, wind-blown sand with buttes
and mesas of layered rock in west Candor Chasma. Dark
streamers of sand point toward the east/southeast
(right/lower right), indicating that dominant winds blow
from the west. This picture is located
near 5.2°S, 75.7°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.
Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

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.