Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

The Martian Limb

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-328, 04 April 2003

Images Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
Caption by: K. S. Edgett and M. C. Malin, MSSS

The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) red and blue wide angle cameras provide daily coverage of the planet "from limb to limb." The "limbs" are the edges of the planet as seen to the west and east of the spacecraft. Depending on weather conditions, clouds or haze can sometimes be seen above the limb. This picture was taken by the blue camera in December 2002. It is an oblique view looking westward across heavily cratered terrain at high southern latitudes. A thin line of haze, high in the martian atmosphere, can be seen above the planet's surface. The view of craters in the foreground is enhanced by the presence of bright, winter-time carbon dioxide frost. The darkness above the limb is outer space.

Images Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Caption by: K. S. Edgett and M. C. Malin, MSSS

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.

To MSSS Home Page