NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Arabia Terra is a vast, heavily cratered region in the martian northern hemisphere. Much of Arabia Terra is thickly blanketed by dust. From time to time, on steep slopes, the dust will avalanche or slide downhill, creating a streak. The majority of slope streaks are darker than their surroundings, but not all of them are dark. In Arabia, it is common to find bright and dark slope streaks, and to find them together. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example, taken from a crater near 10.5°N, 318.4°W. Why some streaks are bright and others are dark is not yet known. This picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the 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.