Approach Image 4

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release:                   MOC2-3
Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image ID:            556524446.41

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Image acquired 8/20/1997 06:07:24 UTC
Camera Aim Point = 23.6°N, 82.1°W
Range = 5.67 Mkm

The Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) took this image on August 20, 1997, when the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) was 5.67 million kilometers (3.52 million miles) and 22 days from entering orbit. At this distance, the MOC's resolution is about 21.2 km per picture element, and the 6800 km (4200 mile) diameter planet is about 327 pixels across. North is at the top of the image. The MGS spacecraft pointed the camera at the center of the planet (near the dark, morning sunrise line, or terminator) at 23.6° N, 82.1° W. At this distance from Mars, only bright and dark markings resulting from variations in the amount and thickness of dust and sand are visible. The large dark marking stretching from the right center northward is Acidalia Planitia, a region of rock and sand with less dust on it than the area immediately to the south, Chryse Planitia. Both Viking Lander 1 and Pathfinder landed in the latter, bright area. In this low resolution image, some of the dark features resemble the "canals" seen prominently in maps created by astronomers of the 19th and early 20th century. Mariner 9 and Viking images show that most of these dark lines are associated with sand deposits that are trapped in rough areas.

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.

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