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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

The Edge

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1424, 6 April 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 the edge (running diagonally from the lower left to the upper right) of a trough, which is part of a large pit crater complex in Noachis Terra. This type of trough forms through the collapse of surface materials into the subsurface, and often begins as a series of individual pit craters. Over time, continued collapse increases the diameter of individual pits until finally, adjacent pits merge to form a trough such as the one captured in this image. The deep shadowed area is caused in part by an overhang; layered rock beneath this overhang is less resistant to erosion, and thus has retreated tens of meters backward, beneath the overhang. A person could walk up inside this "cave" formed by the overhanging layered material.
Location near: 47.0°S, 355.7°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper 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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