NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Northern Acidalia Planitia was engulfed in a continent-sized dust storm in mid-May 2003. This composite of Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images shows the early autumn dust storm (top 1/4 of the picture) sweeping east-northeast (toward upper right) across the northern plains. Dust storms like these are common in early autumn and generally last about a day or two.
This simple cylindrical view of Mars covers regions from eastern Kasei Valles/northeast Tempe Terra (in the upper left), to central Arabia Terra (center right), Argyre Basin (lower left), Noachis Terra (lower right), and the northern edge of the retreating south polar seasonal frost cap (bottom). Sunlight illuminates the scene from the 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.