NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows the results of erosion acting upon a layer of material in the south polar region of Mars. The elliptical pit in the lower left corner of the image was once buried beneath this eroding layer, as well. The processes that eroded the material, and the composition of the material, are unknown. The image is located near 80.7°S, 300.9°W, and covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates this scene from the top.
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.