This picture is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left. The lower half of the scene slopes down toward the lower left. In this image, the north polar residual cap surface (white) is seen to grade downhill into exposures of layered terrain. The layers are the dark, bumpy bands in the lower 2/3 of the picture. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image covers an area only 750 meters (820 yards) wide by 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) long at a resolution of 1.8 meters (6 feet) per pixel. The scene occurs near 85.9°N, 258.1°W and was taken during northern summer on April 13, 1999.
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.