Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Crater in Cydonia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-681, 30 March 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Erosion has created a wide variety of landforms in the Cydonia region of Mars. Located in a zone of transition from cratered highlands to northern plains, Cydonia is a jumble of thousands of massifs, mesas, buttes, and hills---remnants of ancient cratered highlands in a state of advanced erosion. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a crater, slightly smaller than the famous 1 kilometer-diameter (0.62 miles) Meteor Crater in Arizona, U.S.A., that has been left standing high relative to the surrounding terrain because erosion removed most of the rock into which this crater originally formed. Later processes have mantled the crater and surroundings with debris that, at a finer scale, has also been eroded over time. This image occurs near 40.1°N, 13.6°W, and covers an area about 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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