Mars Global Surveyor's camera, MOC, provided this hemispheric view of the northern Tharsis region on June 1, 1998. This picture shows the giant volcano, Olympus Mons, and one of the Tharsis Montes volcanoes, Ascraeus Mons. Another volcano, Alba Patera, is lurking under the haze and clouds at the top of the image. Olympus Mons is about 550 kilometers (340 miles) wide.
MGS is now in a "morning" orbit (when it arrived at Mars in September 1997, it was inserted into a "late afternoon" orbit). The orbit will continue to change, about one hour a month, until aerobraking into a circular orbit is complete about seven months from now. When this picture was taken, the local time on the ground beneath the spacecraft was about 9:30 a.m. The terminator-- the line that divides night and day-- was located west of Olympus Mons (left part of the image). It is winter in the northern hemisphere of Mars, and the high latitudes (i.e., north of Olympus Mons in this picture) exhibit clouds and haze. These clouds most likely contain water ice.
MOC images 33901 (the red wide angle image) and 33902 (the blue wide angle image) were obtained on Mars Global Surveyor's 339th orbit about the planet. The pictures were taken around 7:37 p.m. PDT on June 1, 1998.
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.