Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) High Resolution Images
SPO-2 Observations:
Eroded Crater Adjacent to Huygens Impact Basin


Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release:          MOC2-54a, -54b, -54c
Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image ID:         581978376.35704
44 KByte GIF image

(A) Huygens Impact Basin. White box shows location of MOC image 35704. Huygens is about 460 kilometers (286 miles) across. Picture is part of U.S. Geological Survey Viking orbiter photomosaic 1:64-scale map.

55 KByte GIF image

(B) Close-up of the location of MOC image 35704 (white box). Portion of U.S. Geological Survey Viking orbiter photomosaic at 1:256 scale. White box is about 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) wide.

1.5 MByte GIF image

(C) MOC image 35704. Resolution is about 10.7 meters (35 feet) per pixel. Illumination is from the right.

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.


Despite the cloudy skies over much of the martian northern hemisphere in early June 1998, some pictures obtained by MOC have not been cloudy. However, to obtain cloud-free images, the MOC team sometimes has to select low-latitude regions where the image resolution will only be about 10-12 meters (33-39 feet) per pixel, rather than the 2-4 meters (7-13 feet) per pixel available at higher latitudes.

The above MOC image, #35704, was obtained on Mars Global Surveyor's 357th orbit. The picture was taken around 1:39 p.m. PDT on June 10, 1998, and its center is around 15.44°S, 309.48°W. This MOC image shows an eroded portion of the thick ejecta (material thrown out of a an impact crater during its formation) from a very large impact basin, Huygens. The ejecta appears to have been eroded such that a previously buried crater (center of (B)) has been exposed. Alternatively, the crater in (B) might have formed after Huygens, but then its eroded appearance would imply considerable erosion and removal of material.

For more details on the fact that MOC images show clouds in the early SPO-2 Observations of Mars, see:

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.

To MSSS Home Page