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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Polar Plumage

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1456, 8 May 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 dunes in the north polar region of Mars. The dunes in this scene are covered by a layer of carbon dioxide frost that accumulated during the winter in 2005. Dark spots indicate areas where frost has begun to sublime away. In summer, the dune field will be dark, as all of the frost will be gone and the iron- and magnesium-bearing silicate sands will be exposed.
Location near: 81.9°N, 226.1°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Spring

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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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