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Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Dark Polar Dunes

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1572, 1 September 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 martian north polar region. The dunes are composed of dark, coarse sand. The white areas around the dunes are the last remaining areas of seasonal carbon dioxide frost cover. The solid carbon dioxide accumulates during the autumn and winter and sublimes (goes from solid to gas) away in the spring. This image was taken near the end of the northern spring.
Location near: 78.0°N, 244.5°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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