NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Many craters and troughs at middle latitudes on Mars have gullies carved into their slopes. These gullies often have banked or even meandering channels that indicate a fluid with the properties of water may have been involved. Indeed, it is possible that such gullies indicate places where liquid water seeped out to the martian surface, or formed from melting ice, in the not-too-distant past. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example located in a crater in Terra Cimmeria near 37.7°S, 191.6°W. The picture was acquired only a few months ago in November 2003. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/upper left; the picture 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.