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Mars from MGS
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Mars from MGS

January 10, 2004
This is how Mars appeared to the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) wide angle system on 25 December 2003, the day that Beagle 2 and Mars Express reached the red planet. The large, dark region just left of center is Syrtis Major, a persistent low albedo terrain known to astronomers for nearly four centuries before the first spacecraft went to Mars. Immediately to the right (east) of Syrtis Major is the somewhat circular plain, Isidis Planitia. Beagle 2 arrived in Isidis Planitia only about 18 minutes before Mars Global Surveyor flew over the region and acquired a portion of this global view. Relative to other global images of Mars acquired by MGS over the past several martian years, the surface features were not as sharp and distinct on 25 December 2003 because of considerable haze kicked up by large dust storms in the western and southern hemispheres during th previous two weeks. The picture is a composite of several MGS MOC red and blue daily global images th