Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mars Global Weather Monitoring

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-143, 19 July 1999


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Twelve orbits a day provide the MOC wide angle cameras a global "snapshot" of weather patterns across the planet. Here, bluish-white water ice clouds hang above the Tharsis volcanoes (left), as well as other regions. The map is a mosaic of 24 red and blue MOC wide angle camera images taken on a single northern summer day in April 1999. The image is a simple cylindrical projection with 90°N latitude at the top, 90°S at the bottom, and 180° longitude on both the right and left sides. The equator runs across the center of the image, and the prime meridian (0° longitude) runs down the center. The high southern latitudes at the bottom of the image (from about 60°S to 90°S) are black because this region was in total winter darkness at the time the data were collected.


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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