NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Four days ago, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Picture of the Day featured a MOC wide angle view of Peridier Crater and the dark feature on its southwestern floor. Today's Picture of the Day shows a MOC narrow angle view of a portion of the dark area in southwest Peridier Crater. Some of the dark material in this crater resolves at higher resolution into a field of small sand dunes. The dune slip faces---the steepest slopes on the dunes---face toward the southwest (lower left), indicating that the dominant winds that have shaped these dunes blow from the northeast. The picture has a resolution of about 1.8 m (5.9 ft) per pixel; it covers an area only 1.1 km (0.7 mi) wide. The image is somewhat grainy because it was taken through a late northern summer hazy atmosphere in April 2003. The image is located in southwest Peridier Crater near 25.3°N, 276.5°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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.