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Clouds Over Olympus Mons

Clouds Over Olympus Mons

Image Title: Clouds Over Olympus Mons
Release Date: October 14, 2005
Source: Mars Global Surveyor


As one of the largest geological features in the Solar System, the shield volcano Olympus Mons is truly impressive. In the days when we were limited to looking at Mars through telescopes, astronomers couldn't see Olympus Mons itself but they were able to discern the bright clouds that regularly appeared over the volcano. This lead astronomers to name this feature Nix Olympica, the Snows of Olympus. It wasn't until the Mariner 9 mission to Mars that we discovered the true nature of this feature: a massive shield volcano.

For purposes of comparison, find a geologic map of the state of Washington and look for the Mt. Saint Helens volcano. Once you've found it, consider it's size relative to the state of Washington. Now if we were to take a map of Olympus Mons and superimpose it on the map of Washington, Washington would disappear.

Clouds Over Olympus Mons Source Image Background

The image seen here is a composite of two Wide Angle Camera images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor in March 1999. The image is centered on 18.3 latitude, 134.2 longitude. The two Wide Angle Camera images cover the same geographic area but one image was made using the camera's red filter and the other using the blue filter. The area covered by the image shown here is approximately 850 kilometers wide.

Clouds Over Olympus Mons Image Processing

All processing of this image was done with Adobe Photoshop. Note that this is a false color image. The colors used to create this image were chosen based on colorization done to similar images by NASA.

Clouds Over Olympus Mons Wallpaper Download

I have created a low resolution, compressed version of "Clouds Over Olympus Mons" for use as a desktop wallpaper. Note that 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.

Clouds Over Olympus Mons
Clouds Over Olympus Mons, 1024 x 768 Wallpaper Image by Jim Plaxco

2005 Jim Plaxco,