NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows layers exposed in the walls of a crater-like form (only partially seen here) in the south polar region. These layers record some of the history of the martian south pole, although deciphering this record will require human or robotic explorers to get a closer view. The layered outcrop is located near 84.6°S, 359.6°W. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper 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.