Now you can hold the fourth rock from the Sun in the palm of your hand with our latest Mars globe.
The mosaic used for this 6-inch (15-cm) globe consists of more than 6,000 images acquired by cameras aboard NASA’s Viking orbiters. Added shading details come from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor.
To create this dramatic portrayal, the editors of Sky & Telescope worked with planetary specialists at the U.S. Geological Survey to produce a custom base map showing details as small as 2 miles (3 km) across. Special image processing has preserved the natural coloring of the Martian surface while allowing labels to stand out clearly.
The names of more than 120 craters and other features are shown, as are the landing sites and dates for seven NASA spacecraft.
The globe comes with a freestanding, clear plastic base and an information card describing key Mars facts and how the globe was made.
When it comes to space exploration, we live in especially exciting times. Our existing and future spacecraft are being sent to worlds all across the solar system. And the planet Mars is getting the most attention, with orbiters, landers, and rovers keeping it under constant study. Our 6-inch Mars globe shows the landing sites for seven of these spacecraft, along with the major geologic features that have shaped this planet’s surface. Future spacecraft will no doubt search for evidence of past — or existing! — life on Mars. Hold our Mars globe in your hand, and then imagine where that evidence might lie. Will we find it at the planet’s icy poles? In its deep protected valleys? Or perhaps clinging to the rim of an ancient crater?
Did You Know?
Mars, named for the Roman god of war, is sometimes called the Red Planet. When seen in the night sky by eye or through a telescope, it really does have a salmon-colored hue. But why? It turns out that much of its surface rocks are covered with a thin veneer of iron oxide. In other words, Mars looks red because its rocks are rusty.