Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Dust Storm Advancing Across the Northern Plains

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-145, 19 July 1999


253 KByte jpeg -- 91 KByte jpeg


The red and blue wide angle cameras onboard Mars Global Surveyor are used to monitor the weather conditions on Mars each day. Because Mars is a desert world, winds often pick up dust as they blow across the martian plains. MOC captured this view of a storm front advancing southward across the northern plains toward Tempe Terra on August 22, 1998. The season was early northern spring. The storm front is delineated across the lower quarter of the image by a sharp boundary between clear atmosphere (where craters are visible on the surface) and cloudy atmosphere (where the surface can barely be seen). The scene is illuminated from the 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.

To MSSS Home Page