The Red Planet re-imagined as the Blue Planet?
A New Hampshire software engineer endeavored to do just that by creating a series of stunning renderings of Mars with oceans, a verdant landscape and an Earth-like atmosphere.
"I had been doing similar models of Earth and have seen attempts by others of showing life on Mars, so I figured I'd give it a go," Kevin Gill told Discovery News about his project "A Living Mars." "It was a good way to learn about the planet, be creative and improve the software I was rendering it in."
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Gill created the terrain using an open-source geospatial program of his own design to build the world, according to the Atlantic. The planet's vegetation -- added where barren desert now lies -- were based on NASA's Blue Marble: Next Generation imagery.
Gill admitted that he took artistic license when painting in the planet's potential past life. He said he made educated guesses based on his knowledge.
From his Google Plus post:
There is no scientific reasoning behind how I painted it; I tried to envision how the land would appear given certain features or the effects of likely atmospheric climate. For example, I didn’t see much green taking hold within the area of Olympus Mons and the surrounding volcanoes, both due to the volcanic activity and the proximity to the equator (thus a more tropical climate).
"This wasn’t intended as an exhaustive scientific scenario as I’m sure (and expect) some of my assumptions will prove incorrect," Gill wrote on Google Plus. "I’m hoping at least to trigger the imagination, so please enjoy!"
In September, John Grotzinger, lead scientist for the Curiosity rover mission, announced evidence suggested "vigorously" flowing water had once existed on Mars, CNN reports.