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A Martian Valentine for 2009

Captioned Image Release No. MSSS-68 — 13 February 2009

M R O C T X image of a heart-shaped feature on Mars
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Happy St. Valentine’s Day from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) team!

This picture of a heart-shaped pit was taken on 26 February 2008 by the CTX camera aboard MRO. It is approximately 2 km long and is centered at 3.7° N, 29.9° W. The pit is one of many adjacent to Hydaspis Chaos, a jumbled topographic depression thought to have formed by collapse of the surface due to—perhaps—catastrophic release of groundwater. This picture is a sub-frame of CTX image P16_007428_1845_XN_04N029W_080226, taken during northern spring. North is to the upper left and illumination is from the lower left.

Over the past decade, Malin Space Science Systems has featured other heart-shaped martian landforms on Valentine's Day in images acquired by MRO CTX and the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). These previous examples can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Citation and Credit
The image(s) and caption are value-added products. MSSS personnel processed the images and wrote the caption information. While the image(s) are in the Public Domain, NASA/JPL/MSSS requests that you credit the source of the image(s). Re-use of the caption text without credit is plagiarism. Please give the proper credit for use of the image(s) and/or caption.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

To cite the image(s) and caption information in a paper or report:
Malin, M.C., and T.N. Harrison (2009), A Martian Valentine for 2009, Malin Space Science Systems Captioned Image Release, MSSS-68,

Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) built and operates the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Context Camera (CTX). MSSS also built and operated the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). In addition, MSSS built the Mars Odyssey (ODY) Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) Visible (VIS) camera subsystem, which shares optics with the thermal infrared instrument and is operated at Arizona State University (ASU). MSSS also built the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) for the Phoenix Mars Scout lander and the suite of high resolution cameras aboard the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). MSSS is currently working on cameras for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission and the 2011 Juno Mission to Jupiter.