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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Volcanic Pit Chain

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1241, 5 October 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 a chain of collapse pits on the lower south flank of Ascraeus Mons. Pit chains such as this are the result of collapse along fault lines. In this case, before the collapses occurred, the fault was a conduit for molten rock -- magma -- which erupted to form a suite of lava flows (now covered by mantles of dust) that can be seen radiating away from the pit at the center of the image.
Location near: 7.2°N, 104.3°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Autumn

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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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