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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

South Polar Details

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1228, 22 September 2005

Medium-sized view of MGS MOC Picture of the Day, updated daily
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows details among some of the eroded layer outcrops of the martian south polar region. Much of the south polar region of Mars is covered by a thick unit of layered material. For decades, the layers have been assumed to consist of a mixture of dust and ice, but it is equally possible that the materials are sedimentary rocks. This image was captured during southern spring, at a time when some of the surface was still covered by seasonal carbon dioxide (CO2) frost.
Location near: 86.5°S, 116.6°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Spring

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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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