Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Time for Dust Storms

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-414, 7 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This is the dusty time of year for Mars. The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) team has been anticipating for months that late June through July 2003 will be a time of large dust storms and considerable haze. As June turned to July, several large dust storms began popping up. Two examples are shown here in this mosaic of MOC daily global images from June 29, 2003. Near the center of this picture is a large dust storm engulfing southern Isidis Planitia. Toward the upper right (northeast) of the Isidis storm is another event in northern Elysium Planitia.

This view of a portion of Mars is illuminated by sunlight from the left. This is a simple cylindrical map projection, north is up. The large dark feature just left of center is Syrtis Major; the bright oval toward the bottom left is the giant Hellas impact basin, which is more than 2,000 km (more than 1200 miles) across. The white area at the bottom of the picture is the south polar seasonal frost cap, made up mostly of carbon dioxide. The wispy features at the top of the image are clouds over the martian northern plains.

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.

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