NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a streamlined tail--pointing toward the upper right (northeast)--in the lee of a meteor impact crater in Marte Vallis, a large valley and channel complex southeast and east of the Elysium volcanic region. The fluid that went through Marte Vallis, whether water, mud, lava, or otherwise, created this form as it moved from the lower left (southwest) toward the upper right. The crater is located near 19.0°N, 174.9°W. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated from the 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.