PIA06965: Alba Patera Valleys
 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:  836 x 3181 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Producer ID:  MOC2-889
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA06965.tif (2.662 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA06965.jpg (776.2 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:

24 October 2004
The northwest flanks of the broad, northern Tharsis volcano, Alba Patera, have been known since the 1970s to exhibit a plethora of what appeared to be branching valley networks running down the volcano slopes. Some investigators suggested that these valleys were evidence for precipitation and runoff of liquid water on the volcano flanks. It was hoped that high resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) would provide new details that would confirm or refute the hypothesis. The problem is, MGS MOC images instead showed a surface largely covered by an eroded, rough-textured mantle that obscured the valley floors. The images, such as the one shown here, also showed that the valleys are discontinuous and indistinct when viewed at high resolution (although, when shrunk to fit within the reduced-scale view on this web page, they may seem continuous -- click on the image to view the full-scale picture). The valleys in the lower quarter of this image have been cut by a fault. This image is located on Alba Patera near 45.8N, 111.8W. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2004-10-24