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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

8 Years at Mars #4: Four Mars Years of South Polar Cap Scarp Retreat,
View of the Animated GIF

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1223a, 20 September 2005

Large animated GIF showing changes in south polar scarps in successive years, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005, as seen by MGS MOC.
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This animated GIF shows retreat of scarps formed in the frozen carbon dioxide of the martian south polar residual cap during each of four Mars years, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. The images were acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) and are located near 86.3°S, 49.4°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower right. In this figure, the landforms appear to slide around somewhat--this is a product of the challenges of trying to co-register four images in which every landform has changed from one image to the next.

This is a portion of a larger release regarding south polar scarp retreat:

"8 Years at Mars #6: Four Mars Years of South Polar Cap Scarp Retreat"

The polar scarp retreat release is part of an even larger release,

"MGS MOC Celebrates 8 Years At Mars! Highlights of the MGS MOC Extended Mission"

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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.