Stunning wall art of the Mars surface in 3D relief
Table of Contents
Mars Topography + Art + Technology
We have compiled a collection of Marscapes to celebrate the 1971 NASA launch and subsequent mission of Mariner 9 and we launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund this exciting new project!
The aim of the Mariner 9 was to map a large portion of Mars and to study the Martian surface and atmosphere. In nearly a year of orbiting, Mariner 9 was able to capture and send 7,329 images (and roughly 54 billion bits of data) back to Earth. The highly awaited pictures gave researchers an up-close look at the Red Planet for the first time.
These images show land features such as Martian volcanoes, polar caps, two moons, and one of the most extensive canyon systems in our solar system, Valles Marineris (aptly named for Mariner 9). We chose to highlight the stunning beauty of Valles Marineris for the first installment of our one-of-a-kind Marscapes.
WhiteClouds’ Marscapes are incredibly realistic reproductions of the Martian terrain based on pictures and topography data gathered from NASA and many other scientific resources. If you would like to support our journey to Mars, we are accepting pledges through Kickstarter.
Mars has a multitude of terrain interests. Canyons, dunes, craters, massive volcanoes, polar ice-caps, mountains, plains and many more mysterious oddities give way to a truly out-of-this-world menagerie of Marscapes options.
Gallery of Selected Marscapes
Features & Benefits of 3D Marscapes
- Marscapes are raised surface terrain models of the Martian landscape.
- These 3D terrain models are NOT simply flat 2D prints of images. Daylight and shadows changing over time reveal the depth of the 3rd and 4th dimensions.
- Accuracy: Marscapes are a combination of high-resolution imagery and digital terrain models obtained directly from NASA.
- We have five standard styles to choose from; Natural, Monochrome, Elevation, Terrain, and Artistic.
- Our Educational edition map style overlays informational text such as points of interest, scale marks, and latitude and longitude lines.
- Excitement: Bring the Mar’s landscape into your home or office as a unique conversation starter and to show off your love and knowledge of the planet.
- Options! With three sizes to choose from, custom matting and frame options, and many Marscape locations to collect; the possible mix and match combinations are plentiful.
Marscapes Design Styles
Pick from six current design styles.
- Natural: Closely representative of what the natural colors on Mars might be.
- Artistic: While the elevation, textures, and detail are unaltered; the coloration is exaggerated for an artistic flair.
- Monochrome: A greyscale version that brings out the image’s natural textures and terrain shadowing.
- Elevation: This style is based on the ChromaDepth color scheme that utilizes color as a guide for depth. Red is the highest elevation and blue is the lowest elevation, with the other colors arranged in order of their wavelength.
- Terrain: We overlay topography contour lines onto the natural style to show elevation and the shape of the terrain.
- Night: Artistically stylized to have deeper shadowing and a darker color palette to show how Mars looks at night.
Marscapes Topographical Features
We chose epic locations on Mars to be the foundation of our Marscape series. These gorgeous sites may be some of the first choices for future tourists and hold spectacularly mysterious oddities representative of the best views of this fascinating Martian world.
- Valles Marineris is a massive canyon system that is three times deeper than the Grand Canyon.
- Athabasca Valles is riddled with (what some call) ring-mound landforms. These terrain forms are characterized by small cones and rings on the floor of the valley.
- Noctis Labyrinthus is on the western end of Valles Marineris with deeply walled maze-like valleys.
- Olympus Mons is a gigantic shield volcano and is two-and-a-half times greater than Mount Everest.
- Garni Crater contains elegant dunes and NASA has discovered evidence of liquid water within it.
- Candor Chasma takes up a large portion of Valles Marineris with channel terrain features that suggest a history of flowing water.
- Elorza Crater is located northeast of Valles Marineris with a nearly 25-mile diameter.
- Victoria Crater was explored in 2006 by NASA’s Opportunity rover. The rover spent 180 sols inside of the crater collecting high-resolution imagery and topography data. Opportunity is distinguishable in the HiRISE image of Victoria crater.
- Ius Chasma is the southern through of Valles Marineris and researchers have found evidence for precipitation here.
- Gale Crater was the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover in 2012. This impact crater contains clay and sulfate materials, indicating past water, which may have been a habitat for microbes.
Technology and Materials
Our process includes some traditional techniques, some next-generation 3D printing methods, and a lot of experimentation with different materials and mediums. To create one Marscape topography, it flows through many different expert hands from 3D modelers, digital artists, 3D printers, mold-makers, painters, finishers, framers, quality control, and so on.
- How are the Marscapes made?
We use high-tech 3D printers, casted molds, and wide format color printers to create the Marscapes.
- What kind of frame options do I have?We offer high-quality metal frame options in either a standard frame or a deeper shadowbox style frame. The frames come in either black or silver.
- Can I customize my matting border? Visit our Kickstarter campaign page to view color options for our two matte types.
- How much will I be charged for shipping? Shipping will be calculated and charged after the Kickstarter campaign ends and as your Marscapes orders are fulfilled. We have a shipping estimate chart on the campaign page for your reference.
Do you have a question we didn‘t answer? Don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-385-206-8700 or [email protected].
Custom Mars Topographies
Over the course of the past eight years, the team at WhiteClouds have refined techniques to create one-of-a-kind custom topography models of various locations on Earth. Our skilled artisans have determined the best materials and fabrication technologies to create high-quality, affordable terrain models. It is not outside of our wheel-house to go beyond the constraints of our Marscapes Kickstarter campaign to build-to-suit for our customers.
Get a Free 3D Cost Estimate for a Custom Topographical Model
Custom Fabrication Workflow
WhiteClouds has delivered models around the world.
History of Mars Imagery
- Themis — The Thermal Emission Imaging System is an instrument on the Mars Odyssey. It combines a 5-wavelength visual imaging and a 9-wavelength infrared imaging system.
- MRO — NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
- MOLA — The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter was on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, which transmitted altimetry data from the Mars orbit from September 1997 to June 2001.
- DTM — Digital Terrain Models are computer manipulatable topographic data files containing the elevation data of the terrain in a digital format.
- HiRISE — High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is a camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In orbit since 2006, this camera was built under the direction of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.
- CTX — The Context Camera is on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and it gives a wide contextual view of the terrain around smaller rock and mineral targets as they are imaged by other onboard cameras.
- MOC — The Mars Orbiter Camera and Mars Observer Camera were scientific instruments on board the Mars Observer and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.
- HRSC — The High-Resolution Stereo Camera is a push-broom scanning instrument onboard the European Mars Express Mission.