NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, acquired less than a week ago on 8 November 2003, shows a typical southern middle-to-high latitude scene at this time of year. It is summer in the southern hemisphere, and regions such as Promethei Terra, where this image was acquired, are being streaked by dust devils that remove or disrupt the coating of dust that was deposited over the region in the previous autumn or winter. While no active dust devils were captured in this scene, their tell-tale tracks are scratched all across the image. The circular features are the sites of buried meteor impact craters; their rims form dark rings; the material that fills the craters has become cracked. This picture is located near 68.1°S, 247.9°W. The area shown is approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper 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.