Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

South Polar Scarps

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-438, 31 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The terrain of the south polar residual ice cap, made up mostly of frozen carbon dioxide, has come to be known by many as "swiss cheese terrain," because many areas of the cap resemble slices of swiss cheese. However, not all of the south polar cap looks like a tasty lunch food. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a series of curving scarps formed by erosion and sublimation of carbon dioxide from the south polar cap. This area is located near 86.3°S, 51.2°W. The image is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left; the area is about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) wide.

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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