Planet MarsMars Art Gallery

Martian Crater Island in Maja Valles

A crater island in Maja Valles

Image Title: Martian Crater Island in Maja Valles
Release Date: October 14, 2005
Source: Viking Orbiter 1


This picture that I have created is significant for three reasons. First, the streamlined features are islands of material left behind after a flood raged through the area, providing evidence of past liquid water on Mars. Second, experimentation led me to develop a new way of creating an airbrushed terrain effect for this image. Third, the raw Viking Orbiter 1 data frames used to create this image were the very last images returned to Earth by the Viking 1 Orbiter before its demise.

The flood that created the islands seen here are a part of Maja Valles. Maja is the Nepali word for Mars and this valley is approximately 1600 kilometers long. The source of the water that carved this system is thought to be Juventae Chasma.

I named this picture after the crater that appears in the center of the image which could be compared to a comet and its tail, with the tail being above and tapering down as your eyes move up the image. The diameter of this crater is approximately 2 kilometers.

Source Image Background

The image shown is centered on 17 north latitude, 56 west longitude in the border area between Lunae Planum and Chryse Planitia in the Luna Palus quadrangle. The image seen was created by compositing together nine separate data frames. These nine frames were taken on July 30, 1980 and were the last returned to Earth by the Viking 1 Orbiter prior to its being powered down on August 17, 1980. The Viking 2 Orbiter had ceased operations two years earlier on July 25, 1978.

Image Processing

All processing of this image was done using Adobe Photoshop. This includes noise removal, compositing together the nine separate Viking Orbiter EDR PDS files, tonal adjustments, false color application, and a utilizing a technique developed by the artist to create an airbrush effect.

Wallpaper Download

I have created a compressed low resolution version of "Martian Crater Island" 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.

Martian Crater Island Wallpaper
Martian Crater Island, 1280 X 1024 Wallpaper Image by Jim Plaxco

2005-2023 Jim Plaxco,