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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

The Pits

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1395, 8 March 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 portion of a pit chain on the lower, northern flank of the giant martian volcano, Arsia Mons. Pits such as these commonly form as a result of collapse of surface materials into a subsurface void, possibly along a fault or into an old lava tube. The layered material, exposed near the top of several of the pits, is shedding house-sized boulders which can be seen resting on the sloping sidewalls and floors of many of the pits.
Location near: 6.7°S, 120.1°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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