Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Ares Vallis Dust Devil

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-724, 12 May 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

When it was operating in the Ares/Tiu Valles region of Chryse Planitia, Mars, in 1997, Mars Pathfinder detected dust devils that passed over and near the lander. From orbit, no images of dust devils at the Mars Pathfinder site have yet been acquired, but this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a summertime dust devil near the rim of a 610-meter (~670 yards)-diameter impact crater in the same general region as the Mars Pathfinder site. This scene is near 19.6°N, 32.9°W, in part of the Ares Vallis system. The dust devil in this case is not making a streak, as dust devils tend to do in some regions of Mars. The dark feature to the right (east) of the dust devil is its shadow. This picture covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the left/upper 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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