Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Brazos Valles Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-476, 7 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Nearly six years ago, when the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) was taking some of its earliest high resolution images of the planet, an area of light-toned, wind-blown, ripple-like bedforms was spotted in the Brazos Valles near Schiaparelli Basin. These features were highlighted on November 10, 1997, in "Valley and Surrounding Terrain Adjacent to Schiaparelli Crater."

This picture shows a close-up view of some of the light-toned bedforms first visible in that early MOC image. This picture was acquired at full resolution (1.5 meters--5 feet--per pixel). The image shows that the light-toned bedforms are not fresh, young features; they are jagged and roughened, as if they have been indurated (cemented) and then somewhat eroded by wind. This picture is located near 5.4°S, 340.6°W; it covers an area 1.1 km (0.7 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the 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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