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NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Sedimentary Rock Outcrops

Status Report From: NASAJPL/MSSS
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2004

Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-820, 16 August 2004


NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows eroded layered rock outcrops in a crater north of Meridiani Planum near 2.7°N, 359.1°W. The dozens and dozens of sedimentary rock layers of repeated thickness and similar physical properties at this location suggest that they may have been deposited in a lacustrine (lake) setting. The crater in which these layers occur may once have been completely filled and buried, as is the case for many craters in the Sinus Meridiani region. This image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across; sunlight illuminates the scene 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, California. 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, California and Denver, Colorado.

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