Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) High Resolution Images:
Complex Terrain in Candor Chasma in Valles Marineris System


Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release:          MOC2-34A, -34B, -34C
Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image ID:         568534396.8405

(A) Excerpt from U.S. Geological Survey Mars Digital Image Mosaic, reproduced here at a scale of 540 meters (0.25 miles) per pixel. The outline of (B) is shown as a white box. North is up.


(B) Portion of the best-resolution Viking Orbiter 1 image (066A19) of the region seen by MOC, reproduced at full resolution, about 79 meters (258 feet) per pixel. The outline of (C) is shown as a white box. North is up, sun illumination is from the top.


(C) Subframe of MOC image #8405 reproduced at full resolution, about 7 meters/pixel (53 feet/pixel). Picture shows an area approximately 3.3 x 3.1 km (2.1 x 1.9 miles) in size. Image is centered approximately at 6.8°S, 75.3°W. Sun illumination is from the left.

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.


Complex terrain of possible sedimentary or volcanic materials on the floor of Candor Chasma in the Valles Marineris system. Dark sand dunes partly obscure the floor of this canyon. The curving, parallel features may be eroded layered sediment, the topographic expression of landslide or volcanic ash debris, and/or shore features associated with dry lake beds. The exact nature of these materials is still unknown, although some previous work (which may be considered controversial) interpreting Viking images suggests that these materials could be sediments deposited in a lake believed by some to have once occupied this part of Candor Chasma. MOC images such as this may eventually help answer questions as to the origins of these enigmatic deposits.

This subframe of MOC image #8405 was taken on January 5, 1998, at 10:12 PM PST, during Mars Global Surveyor's 84th orbit around Mars.

Context image (B) is the best Viking view of the area; Viking Orbiter 1 frame 066A19. It has a resolution of about 79 m/pixel, or 11 times lower resolution than the MOC frame.

The subframe of 8405 was featured as Figure 4b in Malin et al., "Early Views of the Martian Surface from the Mars Orbiter Camera of Mars Global Surveyor," Science, v. 279, no. 5357, pp. 1681-1685.

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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