Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Dark Slope Streaks

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-664, 13 March 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Martian slope streaks occur in the regions most heavily mantled by fine, dry dust, particularly Tharsis, Arabia, and the knobby areas between Amazonis and Cerberus. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows some examples of dark slope streaks off of buttes, mesas, and massifs in a dust-mantled crater in central Arabia Terra. New slope streaks form from time to time in the modern martian environment; the streaks in this image probably formed within the past decade. To create them, dust slid or avalanched down the slopes in an almost liquid-like manner. The image is located near 6.8°N, 321.7°W. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across. 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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