NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Acquired just last week on 3 August 2004, this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a dark, layered scarp in the martian north polar region. All of the light-toned surfaces in this image are covered by frost left over from the previous winter. On the scarp, about half of the surfaces once covered by frost are now exposed (as the frost has sublimed away), leaving a large number of bright patches. These patches of frost enhance the appearance of layering on the slopes. This image is located near 81.8°N, 84.4°W. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide, and is is illuminated by sunlight from the lower 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.