NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
From time to time, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) catches--in action--an afternoon dust storm, dust devil, or other dust-raising event. The dust-raising event shown here, probably the result of a sudden strong gust of wind, occurred in November 2003 in a crater located near 57.5°S, 60.6°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left, so the dark area below the dust plume is its shadow. 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.