Planet MarsMars Art Gallery

A Winter Day on Mars

A Winter Day on Mars

Image Title: A Winter Day on Mars
Source: Mars Global Surveyor


Mars is in an extended ice age. But on a desert world, an ice age does not mean a snow covered planet like the snowball Earth that has been written about in the last few years. I am fairly confident in asserting that in the far past snow did exist on the surface of Mars at equatorial latitudes. That is snow in the form of water ice as opposed to CO2 dry ice. How might such a scene look to us from Mars orbit? The image here is my concept of a late winter snow covered surface.

The area seen in this image is 25 degrees north of the Martian equator and is a section of Nili Fossae, which is located in the Syrtis Major quadrangle. Note that currently the Martian north polar cap may advance as far south as 60 degrees north latitude over the course of winter, far north of the location seen in this image.

Source Image Background

The source for this artwork was a Mars Global Surveyor Narrow Angle Camera image. The MGS image was used as a starting point for the topographic and albedo components of the image.

Image Processing

All processing of this image was done with Adobe Photoshop. The snow seen in the image was digitally painted in. The color used for the underlying surface was applied using a palette of colors similar to Martian native colors.

Wallpaper Download

I have created a low resolution version of A Winter Day on Mars for use as a desktop wallpaper. I am making this wallpaper 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.

A Winter Day on Mars, 1280 x 1024 Wallpaper Image by Jim Plaxco

2005 Jim Plaxco,