Archive for the ‘Mars Art’ category

Mars Art Galleries!

November 10, 2008

Apparently I am not the only person who has had the idea of posting “artistic” images of Mars! In the past week I’ve come across two sites with collections of Mars Art images. So in lieu of posting my own image this week, I’ll point you to these sites who had the idea before me!

First is a site by Jim Plaxco called simply the Mars Art Gallery. It has lots of images, both unaltered and false-colored. He tends to manipulate the images a bit much for my tastes, but some of the results are pretty cool. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the site had been updated recently. Here are a few samples:

Dunes in Proctor Crater

A view of the south polar residual cap “swiss cheese terrain” in a strange color scheme.

The second site is a very nice NASA site that I can’t believe I had never seen before! It is a treasure trove of beautiful mars images in both greyscale and false color form orbiters and the rovers. Here are a couple of examples, but you really should go check out the whole gallery. I’ve got my work cut out for me in later Mars Art posts to beat this site’s gallery!

Granule ripples at Meridiani, as seen by the Opportunity rover.

A false color view of the Meridiani region a few hundred kilometers north of the Opportunity landing site. Red indicates warm rocks, while blue indicates cooler sand or dust.

Mars Art: Dust Devil Tracks

November 2, 2008

In this scene, taken by the Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) on Mars Global Surveyor, dust devils have swirled and gyrated back and forth, lifting the bright dust off of the surface and leaving complicated dark-toned streaks. There are many more examples of this, including some where the dust devils have been caught in the act! I’m posting this as Mars Art because it looks for all the world to me like a Jackson Pollock painting. Here’s a photo of Pollock working on a painting as seen from above. See the resemblance?

For more Mars Art posts, follow this link.

Mars Art: Linear Dunes near the North Pole

October 28, 2008

I am starting a new thing. Every week, I will browse through data from current and past Mars missions and find an “artistic” image to post here. I’ll talk briefly about what the image says scientifically, but mostly this is about eye-candy and the crossover between science and art, which I have talked about before. Without further ado, here’s your first piece of “Mars Art”:

This image is a HiRISE view of linear dunes near the Martian north pole. The shape of the dunes themselves indicates that winds in this area tend to vary, first blowing along the dunes from one side, then the other, but always in a generally west-southwest direction. Between the dunes, the bare ground shows polygonal cracks similar to the ones that Phoenix landed on. These cracks are a good indicator of permafrost in the soil. Click for a higher resolution jpeg, or go to the HiRISE site to learn more about the image or to look at the full-resolution version.