NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows sand dunes and large ripples in a crater in the Hellespontus region of Mars. The winds that formed these dunes generally blew from the left/lower-left (west/southwest). Unlike the majority of dunes on Earth, sand dunes on Mars are mostly made up of dark, rather than light, grains. This scene is located near 50.3°S, 327.5°W. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide, 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.