Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) Low Resolution Images
SPO-2 Observations:
Winter Morning in Northern Tharsis


Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release:          MOC2-51a, -51b
Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image ID:         581222221.33901
                                                           P339-01 (Red WA);
							   P339-02 (Blue WA)
150 KByte JPG image

(A) Warning: This color composite does not represent the "true" color of Mars. MOC wide angle images 33901 (red-band) and 33902 (blue-band) were combined with a green-band synthesized by averaging the red and blue bands. The images have been geometrically projected to account for optical and motion-induced distortion. North is up, illumination is from the right.

62 KByte JPG image

(B) Same image with volcanoes Olympus Mons and Ascraeus Mons labeled for context.

You may need to adjust the images for the gamma of your monitor to insure proper viewing.

Note: This MOC image is made available in order to share with the public the excitement of new discoveries being made via the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The image may be reproduced only if the image is credited to "Malin Space Science Systems/NASA". Release of this image does not constitute a release of scientific data. The image and its caption should not be referenced in the scientific literature. Full data releases to the scientific community are scheduled by the Mars Global Surveyor Project and NASA Planetary Data System. Typically, data will be released after a 6 month calibration and validation period.

Click Here for more information on MGS data release and archiving plans.


Mars Global Surveyor's camera, MOC, provided this hemispheric view of the northern Tharsis region on June 1, 1998. This picture shows the giant volcano, Olympus Mons, and one of the Tharsis Montes volcanoes, Ascraeus Mons. Another volcano, Alba Patera, is lurking under the haze and clouds at the top of the image. Olympus Mons is about 550 kilometers (340 miles) wide.

MGS is now in a "morning" orbit (when it arrived at Mars in September 1997, it was inserted into a "late afternoon" orbit). The orbit will continue to change, about one hour a month, until aerobraking into a circular orbit is complete about seven months from now. When this picture was taken, the local time on the ground beneath the spacecraft was about 9:30 a.m. The terminator-- the line that divides night and day-- was located west of Olympus Mons (left part of the image). It is winter in the northern hemisphere of Mars, and the high latitudes (i.e., north of Olympus Mons in this picture) exhibit clouds and haze. These clouds most likely contain water ice.

MOC images 33901 (the red wide angle image) and 33902 (the blue wide angle image) were obtained on Mars Global Surveyor's 339th orbit about the planet. The pictures were taken around 7:37 p.m. PDT on June 1, 1998.

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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