MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-133, 10 June 1999
The MOC image shows several low, flat-topped mesas. Although flat at large scale, their surfaces are quite rough and bumpy at smaller scales. Many of these bumps might be boulders, but the resolution of this particular image (4.5 meters--15 feet--per pixel) is not high enough to be certain. The lowlands surrounding the mesas are cracked and pitted--especially the darker surfaces on the right side of the image. The cause of the pitting is not known and can only be speculated upon (because the material removed from each pit is now gone). Possible origins for the pits include removal of dust or sand by wind and/or sublimation of ice from the near subsurface. The picture covers an area 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) wide and is illuminated from the left.
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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.
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