PIA02046: A Martian "Monument Valley" -- Mesas on the Elysium Plains
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
 Spacecraft:  Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
 Instrument:  Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
 Product Size:  559 x 1820 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Producer ID:  MOC2-131 MRPS95033 P50423
 Addition Date:  2000-06-07
 Primary Data Set:  MGS EDRs
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA02046.tif (866.8 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA02046.jpg (144.5 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This recent Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows mesas and smaller buttes that occur on the Elysium Plains, approximately 300 kilometers (~185 miles) south of the Cerberus region in the Martian eastern hemisphere.

Like the world-famous Monument Valley located in the Navajo Nation on the border of Arizona and Utah, this "Martian Monument Valley" consists of a series of mesas and buttes that have formed by erosion of layered bedrock. The uneroded rock forms a flat upland at the top of the image. The number of mesas and buttes decreases toward the bottom of the image, but their presence indicates that the rock in which they formed was once more extensive and covered the entire scene. Small dunes form parallel ridges on the lowland between many of the mesas near the top of the image. The image covers an area that is 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) wide and is illuminated from 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.

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