Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Polar Cap Retreat

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-817, 13 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This red wide angle Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a view of the retreating seasonal south polar cap in the most recent spring in late 2003. Bright areas are covered with frost, dark areas are those from which the solid carbon dioxide has sublimed away. The center of this image is located near 76.5°S, 28.2°W. The scene is large; it covers an area about 250 km (155 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper 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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