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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mellish Pedestal

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1479, 31 May 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 pedestal crater superposed on the floor of the much larger Mellish Crater. When an impact crater of this type forms, material is thrown onto the adjacent terrain to form portions of the ejecta blanket we see today. If the ejecta blanket is sufficiently rocky, it will protect the underlying terrain from wind erosion. Over time, much of the exposed material surrounding the ejecta blanket will be removed by wind, leaving behind the rocky ejecta and the material below it, resulting in the pedestal-like appearance seen here.
Location near: 73.0°S, 22.7°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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