Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Gullies and Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-745, 2 June 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This 1.5 meters (5 ft.) per pixel Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image of gullies and dunes in a crater near Gorgonum Chaos was acquired in late May 2004. The gullies may have formed by a combination of processes. Many middle- and polar-latitude gullies such as these are thought to form both by mass movement of dry materials and action of liquid water. Some investigators suggest alternative fluids such as carbon dioxide. Still others make a case that no fluid was involved at all. Some gullies on Mars show clear association with subsurface layering and undermining of those layers; they also show banked channels; these kinds of observations are usually taken in support of the water hypothesis. The crater in which the landforms shown here occur is located at 37.5°S, 169.3°W. This image covers an area about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight 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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