Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Ancient Valley

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-491, 22 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Auqakuh Vallis is an ancient valley system that might have once been a conduit for liquid water flowing north, across northeastern Arabia Terra, toward the Nilosyrtis region. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a portion of the Auqakuh Vallis system. The valley was cut into layered bedrock. It was once much deeper than today, but much of the surrounding materials have been eroded away. Windblown sediments now cover the floor of the valley, a reflection of the parched conditions of the modern martian environment. This picture is located near 29.1°N, 299.6°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower 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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