Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Dust Devil Art

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-541, 11 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

In some regions of Mars, dust devils create streaks by disrupting or removing thin coatings of fine, bright dust from the surface. This summertime view of terrain in southern Noachis Terra, acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), provides an example. Streak patterns such as these are commonly created during the spring and summer in the southern hemisphere; in autumn and winter they are often erased--perhaps by deposition of a new coating of dust--and then a completely different pattern is formed the following spring and summer. This image is located near 59.6°S, 328.8°W. The picture is 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and illuminated by sunlight from the upper 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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