Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Bright Dust Devil Tracks

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-752, 9 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Martian dust devils sometimes disrupt thin coatings of surface dust to create dark streak patterns on the surface. However, not all dust devils make streaks, and not all dust devil streaks are dark. In Syria Planum, the streaks are lighter than the surrounding plains. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows an example from Syria near 8.8°S, 103.6°W. The thin coating of surface dust in this region is darker than the substrate beneath it. This is fairly unusual for Mars, because most dust is bright. This image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the left/lower left.

Tips for Media Use

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.

To MSSS Home Page