NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This arrow in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image points to an active dust devil observed in Isidis Planitia near 18.3°N, 268.9°W. The columnar shadow of the dust devil is visible, as is a pencil-thin (at least, pencil-thin at the scale of the image) line created by the vortex as it disrupted the dust that coats the surface. The streak indicates that the dust devil had already traveled more than 3 kilometers (1.9 miles), over craters, large ripples, and ridges, before the MOC took this picture. The dust devil was moving from the northeast (upper right) toward the southwest (lower left). 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.