NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This August 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a valley near Nilus Chaos, around 25.2°N, 80.3°W. The scene has a uniform albedo, indicating that all of the landforms are probably mantled by fine, bright dust. Dark streaks on the valley walls indicate places where recent dust avalanches have occurred. The ripple-like dune features on the valley floor were formed by wind, but today they are inactive and covered with dust. A few craters, created by impacting debris, have formed on the dunes, again attesting to their inactivity in the modern martian environment. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide; it is illuminated by sunlight 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.