Mars has always provided artists with a source of artistic inspiration since human civilization began. Now that humans can venture to Mars’ surface, its glory continues to amaze people around the globe.
Artists who create popular art depicting what Mars might look like have a more difficult task ahead than simply depicting an image of what its planet might resemble; they must also incorporate all available information about a planet’s star into their pieces.
1. “Mars in Space”
Mars is not only one of our solar system’s most-explored planets; it’s also home to robots. Mars serves as an inspiration for literary works, science fiction stories and artwork depicting its surface.
Artists have played an essential part in communicating the wonders of space to the general public since the early 20th century, when writers from Russia, Germany, and the US started publishing stories about Mars that changed perceptions. Their works inspired artists to depict its landscapes through paintings and drawings.
Artists specializing in space and astronomy draw upon observations of Mars and other celestial bodies to capture the unique characteristics of each planet, helping bring its wonders to life. Astronomical artists like Lucien Rudaux and Chesley Bonestell were adept at using knowledge gained through scientific studies to paint realistically and accurately.
Today’s astronomical and space artists have become increasingly prolific, helping to inform viewers about the wonders of space. Some, such as Bill Hartman, even strive to advance scientific understanding with their works.
Astronomical and space art not only help visualize science, but it can also shed light on human issues that afflict humanity. Janet Biggs explores concepts like “space refugees” alongside the migration crises on Earth by including images from Mars in her films and artwork.
Such works are an incredible way for individuals to understand the world they inhabit and plan their futures, not to mention being immensely inspiring! Should these drawings compel you to pursue artistic pursuits of your own, there are plenty of opportunities out there!
2. “Mars in the Sky”
Mars has long been a source of fascination for science fiction writers and astronomers alike. From serious works such as Percy Greg’s The Martian Chronicles or Arthur C. Clarke’s The Martian to whimsical pieces like Warner Brothers cartoons featuring Marvin Martian, Mars has provided writers of all stripes an outlet to create stories ranging from sublime to absurd.
Telescopic observers have long used telescopes to examine Mars. Telescope users were initially inspired by Italian astronomer Schiaparelli’s 1877 observation of dark markings known as channels on its surface; today these channels remain an attraction among astronomers and space enthusiasts alike.
Artists have created depictions of what Mars might look like as its own planet long before any probe had actually discovered such an alien world. Paintings like those below form part of a long tradition of illustrators creating visual depictions of our solar system’s planets.
Lucien Rudaux and Chesley Bonestell were two of the most influential astronomical artists. Their illustrations – many appearing during early exploration of our solar system – helped form popular perceptions of Mars and other planets beyond our own solar system.
Artists serve as a reminder of just how deeply Mars has permeated popular culture over its history of science fiction and astronomy. Not only do these works serve as sources of creative inspiration for writers, but they’ve also altered our collective understanding about planet exploration.
3. “Mars in the Desert”
The Red Planet may be a barren world with minimal atmosphere, yet its harsh conditions do not prevent artists from drawing inspiration from it. Indeed, its unique moons have provided artists with plenty of fodder for artistic vision throughout history.
Mars has long been an inspiration for artists and dreamers of all stripes – from Christiaan Huygens’ pen drawings to Giovanni Schiaparelli’s “canals,” which could have been made by aliens, Mars has long been seen as an intriguing planet to dream about and observe from our nearest neighbor planet. And its appeal won’t fade anytime soon!
Scientists are continually on the lookout for signs of life on Mars, and one promising possibility is that pockets of liquid water lie just under its surface. Salty seeping water could hold vital clues for finding signs of microbial life as it contains essential oxygen levels to support their survival.
Scientists don’t have an accurate grasp on how much water there is or whether or not it remains accessible, nor any way of knowing how long the current source has existed.
Artists find it challenging to portray planets such as Mars which contain water without resorting to computer-generated art. Luckily, however, there are talented and inspiring artists out there who can give us a better glimpse at what its surface might look like.
Israeli art duo Kahn & Selesnick use NASA images of Mars to create pieces that evoke its wonderment from across space. For their project MARS: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, they filmed astronauts exploring its landscape searching for any signs of past civilizations which had once existed there.
4. “Mars in the Desert”
History shows us that humans have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars and created stories around it in various cultures – from classic radio dramas such as 1938’s “War of the Worlds” to more recent science fiction shows and novels such as “Total Recall.” For generations Mars has been an object of fascination.
The Red Planet stands as one of the driest and coldest planets in our solar system. Its atmosphere is extremely thin, leaving it susceptible to cosmic rays; furthermore, its surface remains covered with dry soil that never rises above freezing (0deg C or 32deg F), remaining permanently frozen year round.
Scientists theorize that Mars once featured warmer and wetter conditions; however, an impact between an asteroid and Mars long ago caused much of its atmosphere to be drawn off, changing it into a stark desert world.
Researchers have unearthed evidence of liquid water once flowing on Mars, such as a meteorite found in Antarctica dating back billions of years that may have come from it. Now however, water remains trapped beneath ice caps on both its poles as well as being subsurface.
Scientists use these features as indicators of Mars’ past climate. Additionally, these features show that water can form flows on its surface despite Mars’ low atmosphere and cold temperature conditions.
Scientists have discovered many similarities between Earthly desert regions and those on Mars; it’s impossible to know for certain whether any organisms that live here will make an appearance there or even exist at all in some form or another. Yet scientists continue to scour these Earthly desert areas for clues to potential life on the Red Planet either now or in its past.
5. “Mars in the Desert”
Mars, our reddish planet home, has long captured human imaginations. From science fiction, comic books and television series to literature ranging from sublime to ridiculous works featuring this cosmic body as its motif – Mars has long enthralled humans.
But Mars has also served as an artistic canvas, providing artists a platform to address some of today’s most pressing and urgent concerns. Halil Altindere and Janet Biggs use Mars landscapes and space paraphernalia as metaphors to examine ideas like interplanetary migration; others such as Vibha Galhotra combine reality with fiction in their sculptures and installations.
Over the past half century, spacecraft have provided images from Mars that have helped scientists gain an insight into its geology and climate. Through missions such as Viking 1 and 2, for instance, scientists learned about seasons on the Red Planet as well as nightly calm winds.
Now, a recent discovery suggests that Mars could be home to abundant amounts of liquid water – remarkably dense pockets of seeping, salty liquid water cling to its surface in long strips that seep into it from within its core.
These channels may help microbial communities survive on Mars’ harsh surface and could provide clues as to how other extraterrestrial organisms have developed, according to researchers.
Discovering microbial communities on Mars could be an enormous boon in the search for alien life, as well as helping astronomers detect more water on other worlds. Scientists have long speculated that certain microorganisms prefer salty environments over dry ones, suggesting they’ve likely existed there for billions of years – the discovery corroborates this assumption.