NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
A sequence of layered, sedimentary rock, more than 1 km (0.62 miles) thick, once filled or nearly filled Terby Crater, a basin just north of Hellas Planitia. The sedimentary rocks were eroded and exposed so that today, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) regularly takes pictures of these outcrops in an effort to better understand them. Exposures of sedimentary rock on Mars are extremely important because they show that the planet has a rich, diverse history. However, an opportunity to read the history recorded in these rocks may still be many years away. This image is near 27.6°S, 285.9°W. The picture is illuminated from the upper 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.