Imagine a Living Mars
Mars was likely not always the desolate, red-rocked planet that we see today. The Curiosity rover has found what appear to be water-smoothed pebbles, shaped by ancient rivers of flowing water. Curiosity and previous missions have also seen footprints of alluvial fans and river deltas, sure signs of a previously wet world.
Software engineer Kevin Gill has taken those observations to the next level with these simulations of a “living” Mars, covered with seas and lakes and teeming with vegetation and clouds. He used a survey of Martian terrain and elevation, plugged in a sea level to form oceans, and then painted the clouds and terrain as it might look or have looked.
It’s definitely more an exercise in imagination than in reality, as there’s no indication of forests or plains on the red planet, but it’s an informed imagination, a realization of a planet’s possible rich past or terraformed future.
Check out Kevin Gill on Flickr.