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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Defrosting Patterns

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1251, 15 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 frost-covered surface in the martian south polar region. As the seasonal frost begins to sublime away, local variations in surface texture—mostly dendritic cracks, in this case—lead to early defrosting in some areas. Those areas already defrosted appear dark in the image.
Location near: 79.1°S, 340.1°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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