Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Polar Sand Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-495, 26 September 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows windblown sand dunes in Chasma Boreale, a wide trough in the north polar region of Mars. The dunes are shown here in their summertime configuration; that is, they are not covered with seasonal frost. The dunes are dark because the grains that make up these sandy landforms consist of dark minerals and/or fragments of dark-toned rock. The steepest slopes on these dunes, their slipfaces, point toward the top/upper left (northwest), indicating that winds blow the sand from the lower right (southeast). This picture is located near 84.7°N, 359.3°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

Tips for Media Use

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.

To MSSS Home Page