NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows frost-covered sand dunes in the early northern spring of 2004 in the north polar region. Sunlight illuminates the dunes from the bottom/lower left, but frost on slopes facing the lower right create the illusion of sunlight from that direction. This dune field, which would appear quite dark in summertime, is located near 80.3°N, 148.7°W. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.
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.