Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Sand Dunes of Nili Patera, Syrtis Major

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-88, 11 March 1999

This dramatic image shows a field of dark sand dunes in the Nili Patera region of Syrtis Major. The shapes of these dunes indicate that wind has been steadily transporting the dark sand from the right/upper right toward the lower left. This picture was taken on the first day of the MGS Mapping Phase during the second week of March 1999. It shows an area 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) wide at the full commanded resolution of 3 meters per pixel. Illumination is from the upper left.

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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.

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