New Image of the City Pyramid

Mark Carlotto


On April 23 Mars Global Surveyor successfully imaged a portion of the collection of objects on Mars known as the City. The target strip was to include an object called the Fortress (click here to see a prediction of what MGS might have seen). Although the actual strip missed the Fortress several kilometers to the west, it did capture an adjacent pyramidal structure ("City Pyramid") to the southwest.

Portion of Viking frame 35A72 showing the City and Face. Image is oriented so that north is up. The City Pyramid is left of center. The object just above and to the right of it is known as the Fortress and is another high interest target in the area.


In the original Viking image of the City Pyramid (see above), the sun was setting in the northwest, about 10 degrees above the horizon. The illuminated northern and western sides of the object appeared to be faceted, thus suggesting a possible pyramidal structure.

The new high resolution MGS image reveals the other sides to be faceted as well. But is this an artificial object? Ground views suggest that it isn't. But you be the judge.

City Pyramid animation sequence fades from original Viking frame 35A72 to the new MGS image. In the low resolution Viking image the sun is coming from the upper left while in the new MGS image it is coming from the lower right. The registered images used to generate this sequence were obtained by rotating and scaling the Viking image to match MGS.

(Page last updated April 27, 1998)

© 2020 Mark J. Carlotto