NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Craters of the martian northern plains tend to be somewhat shallow because material has filled them in. Their ejecta blankets, too, are often covered by younger materials. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example--a crater in Utopia Planitia near 43.7°N, 227.3°W. Erosion has roughened some of the surfaces of the material that filled the crater and covered its ejecta deposit. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.
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.