Mars Global Surveyor images of the Cydonia Region of Mars

New MGS Image of the "Face on Mars" in the Cydonia Region

[MGS Cydonia]

This image was taken by the Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbital Camera under cloudless conditions on 8 April 2001 and has a resolution of 1.56 meters per pixel. (MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-283, 24 May 2001) A full-resolution version of the image (5.4 Mb) is also available. For more information on the image, see The MSSS web page.

MGS Image of the Cydonia Region

From the second imaging pass

[MGS Cydonia] [MGS Cydonia] [MGS Cydonia]
(16 K JPEG)     (101 K GIF)       (103 K GIF)
(1.6 Mb JPEG)   (0.9 Mb GIF)      (0.9 Mb GIF)

The first image shows the full processed swath of the Cydonia region viewed by Mars Global Surveyor at 14:02:17 UT (10:02:17 AM EDT) on 14 April 1998, on orbit 239. The 2nd and 3rd images show the top and bottom of the swath, respectively. The area imaged is shown as the white box on the Viking image below. Next to this are shown the imaging parameters for the MGS image.

[MGS Cydonia Swath] Orbit: 239
Range: 331.07 km
Resolution: 2.5 m/pixel
Image dimensions: 1024 X 9600 pixels, 2.5 km x 24 km
Line time: 0.35 msec
Emission angle: 2.35 degrees
Incidence angle: 66.77 degrees
Phase angle: 68.81 degrees
Scan rate: ~0.15 degree/sec
Start time: periapsis + 375 sec
Image acquired: Tue 14 April 1998 UT 14:02:17

The MGS spacecraft attempted to image an area known as the "City" centered at 40.86 N, 9.91 W. Owing to spacecraft pointing control limitations, the actual area imaged was centered at 40.84 N, 9.98 W. This offset, approximately 3.13 km (1.9 mi) in longitude, is greater than one-half of the field-of-view (FOV = 2.6 km or 1.6 mi), and there is very little if any overlap between the targeted features and those observed. The high resolution image has scale of 2.5 m (8.2 feet) per pixel, and was acquired at nearly a vertical viewing angle (2.35 degrees). An MGS wide-angle view of the region (330 K JPG) is also available

Enhanced Image of the "Face"

MGS image shown beside Viking 1 Orbiter Image 70A13 for comparison

[Face on Mars] [Viking Face on Mars]

 Full Resolution Enhanced Image (238 Kb TIFF)

Mars Global Surveyor acquired a high-resolution 4.4 km x 41.5 km swath of the Cydonia Mense region of Mars, including the feature known as the "Face on Mars" (located at approximately 40.8 N, 9.6 W) on Sunday morning (5 April 1998). The morning sun was 25 degrees above the horizon of Mars at the time the image was taken. The image was taken from a distance of 444 km at an oblique angle and has a resolution of 4.3 meters per pixel. For comparison, the Viking 1 image shown above (70A13) was taken under late afternoon lighting conditions and has a resolution of about 43 meters/pixel. There appears to be haze or fog over some parts of the region. There will be two additional opportunities to image this area, on the 14th and 23rd of April.

Cydonia Region Enhanced Image

[Cydonia Region]

Image information

MGS Coverage of the Cydonia Region
[Cydonia Coverage]

Orbit: 220
Range: 444.21 km
Resolution: 4.32 m/pixel
Image dimensions: 1024 X 19200 pixels, 4.42 km X 82.94 km
Line time: 0.69 msec
Emission angle: 44.66 degrees
Incidence angle: 64.96 degrees
Phase angle: 61.97 degrees
Scan rate: ~0.1 degree/sec
Start time: periapsis + 375 sec
Image acquired: Sun 05 April 1998 UT 08:39:37 (04:39:37 EDT, 00:39:37 PST)

1.2 Mbyte Contrast Enhanced GIF

MGS and Viking Images

This shows the MGS strip and the equivalent section of Viking 1 Orbiter frame 035A72

[MGS Cydonia Strip] [Viking 035A72 Strip]

Raw Images

Images as originally released by the project - note the orientation is flipped horizontally and the contrast is very low.

 Compressed GIF (1.2 Mbyte)
 Full Resolution Raw Image (9.6 Mbyte TIFF)

 Viking images of the "Face on Mars"
 MGS Imaging Schedule
 Mars Global Surveyor
 Mars home page
 Planetary home page

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Dr. David R. Williams,
NSSDC, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Ed Grayzeck,
Last Updated: 01 June 2009, DRW