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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Russell Extravaganza

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1444, 26 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 dark-toned sand dunes on the floor of Russell Crater in south-central, Noachis Terra. A dune at the right (east) edge of the image is host to several small gullies whose channels extend predominantly to the west-southwest. The formation of these features is not well-understood, but they might result from a combination of downslope movement of sand and a lubricating agent, perhaps carbon dioxide gas or water that had been trapped in the dune as ice. The randomly-oriented dark streaks seen on the dunes and on the interdune surfaces were created by the passage of spring and summertime dust devils.
Location near: 54.7°S, 347.4°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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