The art of exploring Mars

By Phil Plait | May 30, 2012 11:24 am

My friend Dan Durda — astronomer, asteroid researcher, and artist — drew a pretty cool digital painting of what it will look like, sometime hence, when humans explore the rugged landscape of Mars for themselves:

Cool, huh? It’s based on pictures he took in Death Valley, which has a lot of similarities to the Red Planet.

I love Dan’s stuff (more of his work is featured in the links listed in Related Posts, below). He’s put this in his "3D Impact" store where you can get this as a poster, on a coffee mug, or even a laptop cover.

I’ll be seeing Dan this weekend at SpaceFest IV, a fun meeting for space enthusiasts being held in Tucson. There’ll be astronauts, astronomers, and artists there, and I hope a few of you as well!

Related Posts:

Your chance to lick Pluto
All these worlds are yours…
New study: 1/3 of Sun-like stars might have terrestrial planets in their habitable zones
The Beauty of Space

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Dan Durda, Mars

Comments (10)

  1. It IS an excellent image.

    I think, had I made it, that I would not have been able to resist giving the suits a red/green/gold coloration, a la Marvin the Martian, rather than white.

  2. MKS

    Is that you I see in the background, Phil, sipping a cocktail made from some water ice on Mars? :3

  3. OtherRob

    Oh, how I hope I live to see this happen in real life.

  4. ND

    I hope this doesn’t get confused as an actual Mars landing image by historians far in the future.

  5. SpKregar

    Amazing.. :-) See you both at SpaceFest! Iv’e been looking forward to it!

  6. Messier Tidy Upper

    Awesome artwork, can’t wait til we land there for real – hope it happens in my lifetime, ASAP really. 8)

    The white area in the background looks like a saltpan. Like some of those in the northern desert half (well two thirds really) of my own state of South Australia – which I gather stands in for Mars quite well and was used to film the movie ‘Pitch Black’ among others. Some of the sets are still up at Coober Pedy, seen ’em myself. :-)

    Wonder if they’ll ever hold a space fest in my state or even nation? Would love to be able to go to one.

  7. Will

    @ND You don’t have to worry about historians in the future…worry about students today. There is very little critical thinking applied to the tsunami of images and words they consume every day, and they end up full of an astounding variety of misconceptions. Many of them think we’ve been there, many think we’ve discovered life there, many think we’ve done all of the missions that have only ever happened in a CGI artist’s dreams.

  8. @Will… What’s worse? Those who believe we’ve been to Mars because they think the artist conceptions are “real”, or those who believe the “proof” that the Moon landings were faked?

    (And I wonder if there is any overlap? Those who believe NASA faked the Moon landings, but that we’ve been to Mars.)

  9. @ ^ Ken B : Yeah, that’s almost funny. Almost. Ironically the fictional movie that probably sparked boosted much of the Moon Hoax conspiracy theory rubbish – Capricorn One (wiki-linked to my name here) – was actually based on a faked Mars landing plotline.

    @8. Will : Really? Are people really that ignorant and confused between fiction and reality? ūüėģ

    Whoah, that’s just sad. :-(

    Is that just an impression though or are there any depressing stats or evidence to back that up?

    Hmm ..Do I even want to know? Guess so.


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