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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

A Matter of Time

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1375, 16 February 2006

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 a portion of the south polar residual cap where the effects of sublimation are apparent. Over extended periods of time, sublimation "eats" away at the smoother appearing material (largely composed of frozen carbon dioxide), darkening the scarps and creating the irregularly shaped depressions that are present throughout much of the scene.
Location near: 87.1°S, 69.3°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Summer

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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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