Mars Valentine 2016

Captioned Image Release No. MSSS-414 — 14 February 2016


NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) team sends 
St. Valentine's Day greetings from Mars!


This image of a heart-shaped mesa with a crater at the center was taken by the CTX camera on the MRO spacecraft this week, on February 7, 2016. The mesa is located at 56.7°N, 111.4°W in the northern plains, where the atmospheric clarity is still a bit hazy.


This image is a subframe of the full CTX image F23_044682_2364_XN_56N111W. North is to the upper right of the image and illumination is from the lower left.


Over the past 17 years, 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:




To cite the image(s) and caption information in a paper or report:

Malin, M. C., M. R. Wu, A. W. Britton, T. C. Brothers, and L. Posiolova (2016), Love From Mars 2016, Malin Space Science Systems Captioned Image Release, MSSS-414,

The image(s) and caption are value-added products. MSSS personnel processed the images and wrote the caption information. While the images are in the Public Domain, NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS requests that you credit the source of the image(s). Please give the proper credit for use of the image(s) and/or caption.

Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) built and operates the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Context Camera (CTX), and the Jupiter Orbiter (JUNO) camera (Junocam). 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 2016 Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REX) mission and the 2020 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission.