Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Dune Avalanche Scars

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-809, 5 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows large, low albedo (dark) sand dunes in Kaiser Crater near 47.2°S, 340.4°W. The dunes are--ever so slowly--moving east to west (right to left) as sand avalanches down the steeper, slip face slopes of each. Avalanching sand in the Kaiser dune field has left deep scars on these slopes, suggesting that the sand is not loose but is instead weakly cemented. The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and 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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