Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera
"Hot-Cross-Bun" on the Northern Plains
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-233, 22 May 2000
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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