Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Polar Cap Pits

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1186, 17 August 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows kidney bean-shaped pits, and other pits, formed by erosion in a landscape of frozen carbon dioxide. This images shows one of about a dozen different patterns that are common in various locations across the martian south polar residual cap, an area that has been receiving intense scrutiny by the MGS MOC this year, because it is visible on every orbit and in daylight for most of 2005.
Location near: 86.9°S, 6.9°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Spring

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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.

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