This is an artist's model of an early Mars — billions of years ago — which may have had oceans and a thicker atmosphere. It was created by filling Mars' lower altitudes with water and adding cloud cover. The locations for the ancient ocean are based on current altitudes and do not reflect the actual ancient topography.
These animations were originally created to accompany Invisible Mars, a Science-on-a-Sphere live presentation for the MAVEN mission. The animations have been rendered for use in other formats, including the NASA Hyperwall. Learn more about MAVEN and about the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
Credit: Created for the MAVEN mission by the Lunar and Planetary Institute
This artist's model shows where the landing sites are on Mars for Viking 1 & 2, Spirit, Opportunity, Phoenix, and Curiosity, in comparison to possible locations of an early ocean which may have existed billions of years ago. In this depiction, the atmosphere is thicker than the present-day Mars atmosphere, which is only about 1% of Earth’s. The locations for the ancient ocean are based on current altitudes and do not reflect the actual ancient topography.