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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Northern Plains Scene

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1358, 30 January 2006

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 typical view of the martian northern plains during northern summer. In spring and summer, dust devils crisscross the plains, creating dark, filamentary streaks such as those shown here. MOC has rarely observed actual active dust devils on the northern plains, suggesting that these probably occur at a time of day that is different than the ~2 p.m. local time when MGS flies over these surfaces. As with high latitudes on Earth, daytime lasts longer in summer than at lower latitudes; thus, dust devils might occur earlier or later in the afternoon than is common in equatorial settings.
Location near: 69.5°N, 66.5°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern 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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