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Tracking Boulders
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Tracking Boulders

April 23, 2006

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a portion of a trough in the Sirenum Fossae region. On the floor and walls of the trough, large—truck- to house-sized—boulders are observed at rest.

However, there is evidence in this image for the potential for mobility. In the central portion of the south (bottom) wall, a faint line of depressions extends from near the middle of the wall, down to the rippled trough floor, ending very near one of the many boulders in the area.

This line of depressions is a boulder track; it indicates the path followed by the boulder as it trundled downslope and eventually came to rest on the trough floor. Because it is on Mars, even when the boulder is sitting still, this once-rolling stone gathers no moss.

Location near: 29.4°S, 146.6°W

Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)

Illumination from: upper left

Season: Southern Summer



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