NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Fog is a common occurrence in some areas of the retreating south polar seasonal frost cap. Fogs are commonly banked-up against steep slopes or found inside defrosting craters. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image captured mid-afternoon fog banked against the layered walls of Chasma Australe, a trough in the south polar region of Mars. The frost-covered layers of Chasma Australe can be seen on the right side of this image, the billowy fog is to the left. Sunlight illuminates this scene from the upper left. The fog, probably composed of water ice crystals, casts shadows on the chasm wall. This picture is located near 83.5°S, 257.9°W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.
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.