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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

High Latitude Polygons

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1232, 26 September 2005

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows polygonal patterned ground on a south high-latitude plain. The outlines of the polygons, like the craters and hills in this region, are somewhat enhanced by the presence of bright frost left over from the previous winter. On Earth, polygons at high latitudes would usually be attributed to the seasonal freezing and thawing cycles of ground ice. The origin of similar polygons on Mars is less certain, but might also be an indicator of ground ice.
Location near: 75.3°S, 113.2°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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