NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Mars is a desert world. Every day, somewhere on the planet, wind is picking up dust and moving it around. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) wide angle red camera image shows a portion of Noachis Terra on a winter afternoon as great gusts of wind lifted dust from a variety of surfaces all across the region. At the time the picture was acquired, winds were blowing from the northwest (left/upper left) toward the southeast (lower right). Located near 38°S, 330°W, this image covers an area approximately 252 km (158 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left; some of the dust plumes can be seen to cast shadows toward the bottom/lower right (south/southeast).
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.