Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Polygons in Utopia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1061, 14 April 2005

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a typical view of polygon-cracked and pitted surfaces unique to western Utopia Planitia. No other place on Mars has this appearance. Some Mars scientists have speculated that ground ice may be responsible for these landforms.
Location near: 42.3°N, 275.6°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Summer

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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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