Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Layers and Exhuming Crater

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-956, 30 December 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a portion of an old impact crater that was filled, buried, and is now being exhumed from within sedimentary rock strata located in western Arabia Terra, the region immediately north of Meridiani Planum. The Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, has explored sedimentary rocks in the Meridiani region; the rocks of nearby western Arabia can only be explored (for the time being) from orbit. Wind has sculpted some of the layered rock into streamlined forms known as yardangs. The crater shown here, at one time, may have been the site of a small lake. The crater is located near 8.4°N, 5.7°W. The picture covers an area about 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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