Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Pits Near Rhabon Valles

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-768, 25 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a series of pits running down the center of a broad, shallow trough called a graben. On Mars, many such troughs, and attendant pits, are the result of geologic forces that extended the crust as the Tharsis region of Mars bulged outward to form what is known as, well, the Tharsis Bulge. This graben and pit chain are located near the Rhabon Valles around 23.8°N, 92.3°W. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide; sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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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