Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Peering Into A Cerberus Fossae Trough

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-576, 16 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The Cerberus Fossae are a series of long troughs and cracks that run southeastward from the Elysium volcanic region. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows a view looking down into two of the troughs. Dark specks in the troughs are boulders that have come loose from the walls and rolled to a stop on the floors. In recent years, some Mars scientists have speculated that the Cerberus Fossae troughs were the source of volcanic eruptions, and perhaps also the source of water that produced catastrophic floods. However, no evidence for either process is found at this particular location. The picture is located near 10.1°N, 202.0°W. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide; sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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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