Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Layers in Crater Cluster

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-431, 24 July 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a cluster of old, small impact craters near 36.3°N, 281.9°W. The group of craters were probably formed by secondary impacts following a much larger impact that occurred some distance away; the material that created these craters would have been the ejecta from the larger crater, rather than meteoroids from outer space. The craters cluster is considered to be relatively old because none of the craters have ejecta blankets any more, and each was filled, or partially filled, with layered material that was later eroded to form the terraced mounds found in their floors. This picture is illuminated from the lower 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, California. 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, California and Denver, Colorado.

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