Malin Space Science Systems banner

Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Polar Layers

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1307, 10 December 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 eroded, exposed layered materials in the south polar region of Mars. Since Mariner 9 in 1972, the polar layered materials have been assumed to be geologically recent accumulations of dust and ice, but MOC images provide no clear evidence that the materials are particularly young or composed of a specific suite of materials. They might as easily be composed of ancient, sedimentary rock.
Location near: 80.6°S, 230.1°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Summer

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