NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Calling out across millions of miles of space, the compelling dark sand dunes and light-toned sedimentary rock outcrops of Becquerel Crater and dozens of other layered rock sites on Mars beg for further scientific investigation. Layered rocks record the history of a place; the younger layers are above the older ones. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows some of the dunes and layered rocks in Becquerel, a ~170 km (~106 mi) wide crater in western Arabia Terra. Wind has blown the dunes toward the southwest (lower left). The image is located near 21.5°N, 8.6°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left; the image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.
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.