NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This October 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows dark, windblown sand dunes amid outcrops of light-toned, sedimentary rock in a crater in western Arabia Terra. The darkest material in the scene is windblown sand; the steep slopes--the slip faces--of the dunes face toward the southwest (lower left), indicating that wind transport of sand has been from the northeast (upper right). The layered mounds are the remains of sedimentary rock that were once more extensive across this crater floor. The image is located near 8.9°N, 1.2°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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.