NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a portion of a channel in the Marte Valles outflow system. An old meteor impact crater in the lower left (southwest) corner of the image blocked the erosive fluids that poured through Marte Vallis, creating a streamlined tail in its lee. The materials that flowed through the valley may have been water-rich mud, very fluid lava, or both. The nature of the fluid is still a matter of research and discussion among Mars scientists. This image is located near 12.5°N, 177.5°W. The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the left/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.