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Mare Boreum - the Martian North Pole

Mare Boreum - the Martian North Pole

Image Title: Mare Boreum - the Martian North Pole
Source: Mars Global Surveyor


This picture of Mare Boreum, the Martian North Pole, is made from two Mars Global Surveyor Wide Angle Camera images taken near the start of the northern hemisphere's autumn. This is a straight forward rendition of the north pole of Mars meant to capture its natural beauty.

The English translation of Mare Boreum is North Sea, a wonderfully apt name given The area of the polar cap itself is known as Planum Boreum or the North Plain. One feature that makes it very easy to distinguish the Martian north pole from the south pole is the Chasma Boreale or Northern Canyon. This feature nearly bisects the north polar cap.

Source Image Background

The picture shown is a composite of two Mars Global Surveyor images taken with its Wide Angle Camera. One image was taken using the blue filter and the other using the red filter. The images were taken near the start of the northern hemisphere summer.

Image Processing:

All processing of this image was done using Adobe Photoshop. The picture is a composite one Mars Global Surveyor Wide Angle image taken using the blue filter, another MGS WA image taken using the red filter, and a synthesized green image created from a separate composite of the red and blue filtered images. These three images were then combined to produce the final colorized version. Substantial airbrushing was required to remove the streaking which is an artifact of the push-broom technique used by MGS to acquire imagery. The contrast of the image was also stretched in order to highlight otherwise subtle variations in surface albedo.


I have created a low resolution version of Mare Boreum for use as a desktop wallpaper. Given the odd dimensions of the Mare Boreum image, I had to crop the picture to be consistent with the aspect ratio of the computer screen. This scaled down and cropped wallpaper version is centered on the polar cap itself with the surrounding terrain cropped out. Note that this wallpaper version is made available for your personal use only. It is not to be redistributed in any form by any means. All rights are retained by the artist.

Mare Boreum - The Martian North Pole Wallpaper
Mare Boreum, 1024 x 768 Wallpaper Image by Jim Plaxco

10x7.5 inch Print Available

A 10 inch by 7.5 inch print of a revised version of Mare Boreum - The Martian North Pole is available for purchase from the Mars Art Gallery Store hosted by

2005 Jim Plaxco,