Malin Space Science Systems banner

Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Spring Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1531, 22 July 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. In this scene, the dunes, and the plain on which the dunes reside, are at least in part covered by a bright carbon dioxide frost. Dark spots indicate areas where the frost has begun to change, either by subliming away to expose dark sand, changing to a coarser particle size, or both. The winds responsible for the formation of these dunes blew from the lower left (southwest) toward the upper right (northeast).
Location near: 76.3°N, 261.2°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Spring

Tips for Media Use

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.

MSSS logo To MSSS Home Page