NASA's Mars Global Surveyor shows two craters, a very rare occurrence on Mars' south polar layered deposits.

This picture is an enlargement of a portion of a MOC image taken in late July 1999, showing the onset of defrosting of the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap (small, occasionally fan-shaped dark spots seen throughout this image). Two craters are seen in this image, a very rare occurrence on the south polar layered deposits. Shown for comparison at the same scale is a picture of Jack Murphy (now Qualcomm) Stadium in San Diego, California. Clearly visible in the inset is the baseball diamond and pitcher's mound; less clear but certainly visible are a number of automobiles (small light dots) in the parking lot west (to the left) of the stadium. The elevation of the sun in the Mars image is about 10°; the sunlight is coming from the bottom (north) in this image. The shadow of the rims of the craters can be used to determine their depths. The smaller crater in the bottom right corner is about 60 m (197 feet) across and 7 m (23 feet) deep; the large crater just below the inset is 175 m (574 feet) across and 17 m (56 feet) deep. Similar calculations for other features in the images indicate that much of the surface is smooth and flat. Relief is typically much less than 1-2 meters (3-7 feet) in height over areas of 10-15 meters across (33-49 feet).

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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