Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Melas Dust Storm

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-493, 24 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) red wide angle image shows a dust storm raging in the Valles Marineris troughs, Melas Chasma and Ius Chasma. Skies are clear over western Candor Chasma (upper right). MOC images have shown that Mars has many weather phenomena that repeat, like clockwork, from year to year. This picture was taken during southern winter at a time of year that commonly has dust storms that come up from the plains south of the Valles Marineris, then enter the southern chasms of Ius and Melas. The picture is located at 8°S, 77°W, and covers an area 246 km (153 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene 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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