Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Circular Mesa

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-538, 8 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a circular mesa in northeast Arabia Terra. The circularity suggests that this landform might be similar to other circular mesas, found elsewhere on Mars. In those other cases, the mesa was once a meteor impact crater. The crater was filled with sediment, the sediment was cemented to become rock, and later erosion removed all of the material surrounding the former crater, leaving it standing alone as a circular mesa. This image is located near 23.7°N, 319.0°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the left.

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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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