NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an eroded landscape occurring west of Sinus Meridiani, the region in which the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, landed nearly a year ago. The bedrock at this location is buried beneath a mantle of dust, sand, and granules, but remnants of younger layers of bedrock now stand high in the form of buttes in the lower right quarter of the image. The two circular mesas were once meteor impact craters. They were filled, buried, and fossilized within the rock, then later exhumed. This scene is located near 1.5°N, 6.2°W. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across, and 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.