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Looking Out Across Dao Niger and Harmakhis Valles
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Looking Out Across Dao, Niger, and Harmakhis Valles

March 19, 2003
The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) opened its fourth year orbiting the red planet with this mid-autumn view of three major valley systems east of the Hellas plains. From left to right, the first major valley, Dao Vallis, runs diagonally fromthe upper left to just past the lower center of the image. Niger Vallis joins Dao Vallis just above the center of the frame. Harmakhis Vallis extends diagonally across the right half of the picture, toward the lower right. These valleys are believed by some to have been formed--at least in part--by large outbursts of liquid water some time far back in the martian past, though there is no way to knowexactly how many hundreds of millions or billions of years ago this might have occurred.