Bright Summer Afternoon on the Mars Utopian Planitia
Feb. 28, 1997
A UTOPIAN BRIGHT SUMMER AFTERNOON ON MARS--Looking south from Viking 2 on September 6, the orange-red surface of the nearly level plain upon which the spacecraft sits is seen strewn with rocks as large as three feet across. Many of these rocks are porous and sponge-like, similar to some of Earth's volcanic rocks. Other rocks are coarse-grained such as the large rock at lower left. Between the rocks, the surface is blanketed with fine-grained material that, in places, is piled into small drifts and banked against some of the larger blocks. The cylindrical mast with the orange cable is the low-gain antenna used to receive commands from Earth.