NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Nilosyrtis Dunes


Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-1169, 31 July 2005


NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a rare patch of dark sand dunes in the Nilosyrtis Mensae region of Mars. The steepest slopes on these dunes, their slipfaces, point toward the south-southwest, indicating that the dominant winds that formed them came from the north-northeast (top/upper right).
Location near: 34.5°N, 295.1°W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: lower left
Season: Northern Autumn

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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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