NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Covered by an eroded mantle of--perhaps--cemented dust, this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows part of a network of ancient valleys in northern Arabia Terra near Moreux Crater. The valleys may have originally been carved by a liquid such as water. The scene is located near 40.6°N, 316.4°W. The rugged surface of this mantled scene is a common feature at middle latitudes in both hemispheres of Mars. Some science investigators in the past several years have speculated that ice was once present in such mantles, and that the ice must have sublimed away to create the texture. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide 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.