Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Sand Sheet and Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-833, 29 August 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Most southern high latitude dune fields occur on the floors of impact craters, and many of them are eroded into rounded or flattened forms. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a field of dunes (southern half of image) and a relatively flat sand sheet (northern half of image) in a crater located near 63.9°S, 95.9°W. Wind transport of sand was from the right toward left (east to west). Dark streaks superimposed on the dunes are the tracks made by passing dust devils. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across; sunlight illuminates the scene 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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