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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Light-toned Rocks

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1290, 23 November 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 light-toned rock outcrops in northeastern Sinus Meridiani. The entire northern Sinus Meridiani region has vast exposures of light-toned, layered rock, covering an area many times greater than that of all the famous sandstone, limestone, and shale outcrops of northern Arizona and southeastern Utah. The rocks in this image are probably similar to those explored by the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, but probably are of a different age and position in the region's geologic history.

MGS MOC and Mars Odyssey THEMIS images were recently used to describe the complex geology of the Sinus Meridiani region, as detailed in the open access Mars journal article, "The sedimentary rocks of Sinus Meridiani: Five key observations from data acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey orbiters," by Malin Space Science Systems' K. S. Edgett. The paper is available at: doi:10.1555/mars.2005.0002.

Location near: 0.3°S, 356.0°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Southern 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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