Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Light and Dark Slope Streaks

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-794, 21 July 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Dark slope streaks are a common feature on slopes thickly-mantled by dust, especially in the Tharsis, Arabia, and western Amazonis regions of Mars. Less common are light-toned slope streaks, which often occur in the same area as dark streaks. They are most common in Arabia Terra, and some are shown in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image. Slope streaks are probably the result of sudden avalanches of extremely dry dust. The behavior of the avalanching dust is somewhat fluid-like, and new streaks have been observed to form over intervals of a few months to a Mars year. This image is located near 13.4°N, 340.3°W, and covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. 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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