Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera is providing geologists with vistas that rival that of the aerial photographs they use in their field work on Earth. This picture shows the margin of a large lava flow located on Daedalia Planum, southwest of the Arsia Mons volcano. The picture covers an area only 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) wide and 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long. The lava flow surface (upper portion of the frame) is rough but mantled with fine sand or dust. The ripples along the base of the lava flow margin are spaced about 15 meters (50 feet) apart and were formed by wind. Illumination is from the upper left.
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.