Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Exhuming Craters

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-848, 13 September 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows about two dozen circular depressions, each with a circular mesa on its floor. These were once meteor impact craters. The craters were filled with layered material, buried, and then exhumed and eroded. The dark, elliptical feature in the lower left (southwest) corner of the image is a butte composed of the layered rock that once completely covered the craters in this image. These landforms are located in a depression eroded into the floor of a much larger, partially-filled impact crater located near 35.1°S, 356.5°W. The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across 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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