Malin Space Science Systems banner

Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Zephyria Platy Flows

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1258, 22 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 the broken, platy texture of flow surfaces in the Zephyria region of Mars. Some investigators have suggested that these materials represent the remains of an ice-covered lake; others suggest that these are the surfaces of hardened lava that—when it was erupting—was very hot and fluid. Although not illustrated here, a key piece of evidence against the ice-covered lake hypothesis is that there are some small craters formed on these surfaces (one can be seen in the lower left/southwest corner), and some of them have boulders in their ejecta. The boulders indicate that the material is rock-solid.
Location near: 5.3°N, 208.6°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Autumn

Tips for Media Use

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.

MSSS logo To MSSS Home Page