NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a typical view of the martian northern plains. Thousands of square kilometers of the northern middle and polar latitudes of Mars look similar to the scene in this image. In late spring and in summer, dust devils crisscross the northern plains, leaving a variety of dark streaks. The streaks do not survive from year to year, indicating their ephemeral nature. The circular features in this image, including the prominent bright circular feature near the bottom, are the locations of buried meteor impact craters. This image is located near 58.1°N, 207.6°W, and covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. 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.