PIA04801: South Polar Layers
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: 627 x 941 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA04801.tif (590.8 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04801.jpg (151 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-516, 17 October 2003

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows eroded, stair-stepped layers in the south polar region of Mars. These layers have been considered, for the past three decades, to consist of a mixture of dust and ice. The Mars Polar Lander (MPL) mission was designed to test this hypothesis. However, sadly, MPL was lost during descent in December 1999. This exposure of south polar layered material is located near 86.3S, 187.7W. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-10-17