Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Release: MOC2-79 Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera Image ID: 578036433.26301 P263-1 (Red WA) 578036433.26302 P263-2 (Blue WA)
CAPTIONThe Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) obtained this spectacular wide-angle view of Olympus Mons on April 25, 1998. This volcano is three times taller than Mount Everest (26 km or 16 mi) and as wide as the entire Hawaiian Island chain. Despite its large size, the slopes are only a few degrees, making this a broad shield volcano. As such, it has long been inferred that this volcano consists mainly of basalt--the iron- and magnesium-rich volcanic rock common in places like Hawaii, Iceland, and the Earth's ocean floors.
When the picture was taken, Mars Global Surveyor was travelling from left to right. Although the camera looks straight down (towards the nadir) and cannot be pointed to the side, the wide angle camera has such a large field of view (it sees from horizon to horizon) that, in effect, it provides side-looking views. With this picture, it is easy to imagine that you are looking out a window at the surface of Mars from about 900 km (560 miles) up. The scene in the top half of the image is cloudy.
This color picture was made using MOC red wide angle image 26301 and blue wide angle image 26302. The green channel was synthesized by averaging the red and blue bands. The color is not the true color of Mars as it would appear to the human eye (the actual colors would be more pale and contrast more subdued). North is to the left, east is up. The picture is available here in two sizes, the first is a 855 KByte JPEG image, the second is a 175 KByte JPEG image. This picture was the subject of an an earlier MGS MOC release on October 12, 1998.
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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