Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mesa in Aureum Chaos

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-806, 2 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a circular mesa and layered materials that are partially-exposed from beneath a thick, dark mantle in the Aureum Chaos region of Mars. The features are part of a much larger circular form (bigger than the image shown here) that marks the location of a crater that was filled with light-toned sedimentary rock, buried, and then later re-exposed when the upper crust of Mars broke apart in this region to form buttes and mesas of "chaotic terrain." The circular mesa in this image might also be the location of a formerly filled and buried crater. This image is located near 4.0°S, 26.9°W. It covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across; sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/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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