NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Presently Mars is experiencing late spring in its northern hemisphere, and dust devil activity is picking up as summer approaches. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image of a cratered plain in southern Acidalia Planitia was acquired earlier this week on 5 September 2004. The arrow points to a dust devil observed that day. The image is located near 29.2°N, 30.3°W, and covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene 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.