Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera continues to reveal a surface of variety. Never before has Mars been scrutinized in such detail, with images sampling narrow strips of terrain that are as varied as the surface of our own Earth. This picture provides an example of just how strange Mars looks at this new resolution. This surface -- located in northern Terra Cimmeria about 210 km (130 mi) southwest of Gusev Crater -- shows rounded, rocky ridges separated by lowlands filled with sand or dust. The fill -- whether sand or dust -- is probably hardened to form a surface strong enough to have bright windblown ripples and small impact craters on it. This picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide by 3.9 km (2.4 mi) and is illuminated from the upper left.
By the way, do you see a duck in this picture? Look carefully. If you give up, click here!
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.