On 12/24/1997 at shortly after 08:17 UTC SCET, the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) took this high resolution image of a small portion of the potential Mars Surveyor '98 landing zone. For the purposes of planning MOC observations, this zone was defined as 75 +/- 2 degrees S latitude, 215 +/- 15 degrees W longitude. The image ran along the western perimeter of the Mars98 landing zone (e.g., near 245°W longitude). At that longitude, the layered deposits are farther south than at the prime landing longitude. The images were shifted in latitude to fall onto the layered deposits. The location of the image was selected to try to cover a range of possible surface morphologies, reliefs, and albedos.
This image is approximately 81.5 km long by 31 km wide. It covers an area of about 2640 sq. km. The center of the image is at 80.46°S, 243.12 degrees W. The viewing conditions are: emission angle 56.30 degrees, incidence angle 58.88 degrees, phase of 30.31 degrees, and 15.15 meters/pixel resolution. North is to the top of the image.
The effects of ground fog, which obscures the surface features(left), has been minimize by filtering (right).
Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) 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.