Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

South Polar Polygons

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-473, 4 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Looking somewhat like the roadmap of a city on Earth, this August 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows patterned ground---a mosaic of polygonal forms---highlighted by seasonal frost in the south polar region near 86.3°S, 310.2°W. Dark surfaces in this springtime view are areas from which cold, carbon dioxide frost has been subliming away. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

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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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