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Sand dunes appear as sharks' teeth in Mars crater
Posted: February 4, 2001

Sometimes, pictures received from Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera are "just plain pretty." This image, taken in early September 2000, shows a group of sand dunes at the edge of a much larger field of dark-toned dunes in Proctor Crater.

Proctor Crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems.

Located at 47.9 deg S, 330.4 deg W, in the 170 km- (106 mi-) diameter crater named for 19th Century British astronomer Richard A. Proctor (1837-1888), the dunes shown here are created by winds blowing largely from the east/northeast. A plethora of smaller, brighter ripples covers the substrate between the dunes. Sunlight illuminates them from the upper left.

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.