NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
|This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows layers exposed by erosion in a trough within the north polar residual cap of Mars, diving beneath a younger covering of polar materials. The layers have, since the Mariner 9 mission in 1972, been interpreted to be composed of a combination of dust and ice in unknown proportions. In this scene, a layer of solid carbon dioxide, which was deposited during the previous autumn and winter, blankets the trough as well as the adjacent terrain. Throughout northern spring, the carbon dioxide will be removed; by summer, the layers will be frost-free.|
|Location near: 81.4°N, 352.2°W|
|Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)|
|Illumination from: lower left|
|Season: Northern Spring|
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.