Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera
The Plains of Central Terra Meridiani
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-229, 22 May 2000
50% Size View 900 KBytes
Full Resolution View 4.0 MBytes
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a dark,
relatively smooth plain in the central Terra Meridiani region of Mars.
The larger circular features in the upper three-quarters of the image
are thought to be the locations of buried craters formed by meteorite
impact. The cluster of smaller ciruclar features in the bottom
quarter of the scene represent a field of craters formed either by
simultaneous impact of many meteorites, or the re-impact of material
thrown from a much, much larger nearby crater as it formed. The dark
these plains includes an abundance of the iron oxide mineral, hematite,
detected by the MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES).
late 1999, the "hematite region," as it came to be called, emerged along
with the Libya Montes as one of the top two choices of landing sites
for the now-canceled Mars Surveyor 2001 lander.
illuminated by sunlight from the left, covers an area 3 kilometers
(1.9 miles) wide and 19 kilometers (11.8 miles) long. The scene is located
near 2.2°S, 3.7°W and was acquired on August 19, 1999.
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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