Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

"Hot-Cross-Bun" on the Northern Plains

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-233, 22 May 2000


50% Size View 210 KBytes
Full Resolution View 830 KBytes

Full Resolution View 100 KBytes

The Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera narrow angle image (above left) shows what, at first glance, might look like a "hot crossed bun" on the martian northern plains. The context for this landform is shown in the picture on the right. Unlike the southern highlands of Mars, the northern plains are lower and have far fewer impact craters on them. The relatively few craters that are present in the north have been severely eroded and/or buried. The context image (right) shows a circle of mounds on the northern plains near the Phlegra Montes. These mounds were once the rim of a crater formed by impact of a meteorite. The mound in the high-resolution view (left) has been cracked and was at one time mostly covered by a thin veneer of light-toned material that is now seen only partly covering it. These two pictures were taken simultaneously on August 16, 1999, and occur near 45.9°N, 191.1°W. Both images are illuminated by sunlight from the lower left, the high resolution picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide by 10.8 km (6.7 mi) long; the context image is about 115 km (71 miles) on a side. The bright, wispy features in the context image are clouds, their dark shadows can be seen cast upon the surface to the right of each cloud feature.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

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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