This picture is one of many taken in the northern latitudes of Mars by the Viking 1 Orbiter in search of a landing site for Viking 2.
The picture shows eroded mesa-like landforms. The huge rock formation in the center, which resembles a human head, is formed by shadows giving the illusion of eyes, nose and mouth. The feature is 1.5 kilometers (one mile) across, with the sun angle at approximately 20 degrees. The speckled appearance of the image is due to bit errors, emphasized by enlargement of the photo. The picture was taken on July 25 from a range of 1,873 kilometers (1,162 miles). Viking 2 will arrive in Mars orbit next Saturday (August 7) with a landing scheduled for early September.