Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Exhuming Crater in Northeast Arabia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-563, 3 December 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

The upper crust of Mars is layered, and interbedded with these layers are old, filled and buried meteor impact craters. In a few places on Mars, such as Arabia Terra, erosion has re-exposed some of the filled and buried craters. This October 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example. The larger circular feature was once a meteor crater. It was filled with sediment, then buried beneath younger rocks. The smaller circular feature is a younger impact crater that formed in the surface above the rocks that buried the large crater. Later, erosion removed all of the material that covered the larger, buried crater, except in the location of the small crater. This pair of martian landforms is located near 17.6°N, 312.8°W. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated 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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