NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows gullies emergent from beneath erosion-resistant rock layers in a trough south of Atlantis Chaos near 38.9°S, 176.3°W. Gullies such as these are fairly common in depressions at south middle latitudes. Tens of thousands of gullies have been identified in MGS MOC and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) images. Whether they formed by running liquid water remains a controversial issue. Banked channels, like some shown here, are one form of evidence cited to indicate that a fluid with the properties of liquid water may have been involved. This image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight 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.