NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Sporadic, localized dust storms are common at high southern latitudes in early autumn. The most recent autumn for the southern hemisphere began on 5 March 2004. This late March 2004 narrow angle camera image was acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) as it passed over a crater in southern Noachis Terra near 59.6°S, 2.7°W. The northern portion of the image is clear enough that details such as large boulders or small knobs can be seen. The rest of the image, however, shows billowy clouds of dust being raised from the surface. The picture 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.