Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera
Dust Storm Advancing Across the Northern Plains
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-145, 19 July 1999
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The red and blue wide angle cameras onboard Mars Global Surveyor
are used to monitor the weather conditions on Mars each day. Because
Mars is a desert world, winds often pick up dust as they blow across
the martian plains. MOC captured this view of a storm front
advancing southward across the northern plains toward Tempe
Terra on August 22, 1998. The season was early northern spring.
The storm front is delineated across the lower quarter of the image
by a sharp boundary between clear atmosphere (where craters are
visible on the surface) and cloudy atmosphere (where the surface can
barely be seen). The scene 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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