NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Dark, windblown sand forms spectacular geometric patterns in the north polar sand seas, particularly in regions where strong winds converge from different directions over the course of a year. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows some of these dark dune patterns near 77.8°N, 284.4°W. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight 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.