Planet MarsMars Art Gallery

Face On Mars

Face on Mars

Image Title: Face On Mars
Release Date: September 25, 2006
Source: Mars Global Surveyor


It would be more appropriately named Cydonia Butte or Cydonia Mesa or Cydonia Massif. The "Face on Mars" got its name as a consequence of a low resolution Viking orbiter image of this feature combined with appropriate lighting and human imagination. The "Face on Mars" continued to garner publicity even after Mars Global Surveyor images settled the question of its natural origin once and for all. Unfortunately many in the media are not well enough informed to know the difference between science and pseudo-science, thus perpetuating the myth. But wouldn't it be wonderful if the "Face on Mars" really was an artificial structure. If it were, we would already have people living, working, and studying on Mars.

Cydonia Mensae is a region of massifs, mesas, buttes, hills, and other erosion features. In reality the "Face on Mars" is just another face in the crowd. Similar structures are common here on Earth. Wonderful examples can be found in Monument Valley in Arizona, especially West Mitten Butte. The Cydonia region is a boundary land between older, more heavily cratered uplands and younger, lightly cratered lowland plains and is home to extensive erosion created features.

Source Image Background

The source image was acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor MOC narrow-angle in April 2001. The original image resolution was 1.86 meters per pixel. As shown, the width of the image is approximately 3 kilometers. The location of the image on Mars is 41 north latitude, 9.72 west longitude.

Image Processing

All processing of this image was done using Adobe Photoshop. This includes noise removal, the application of false color, contrast enhancement and tonal adjustments.

Wallpaper Download

I have created a compressed low resolution version of "Face On Mars" for use as a desktop wallpaper. This wallpaper version is made available for your personal use only. It is not to be modified or redistributed in any form by any means. All rights are retained by the artist.

Face On Mars Wallpaper
Face On Mars, 1024 x 768 Wallpaper Image by Jim Plaxco

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