Ever wonder what the landscape of Mars would look like if, you know, it were a little more like Earth? By that I mean if it were capable of supporting life. Kevin Gill certainly did, and he went so far as to make this video of what a “living Mars” might look like. The animation takes the entire daily rotation of a fully terraformed Mars and compresses it into just under a minute of run time.
According to Gill, a software engineer when he isn’t moonlighting as a creator of worlds, he made educated guesses about what much of the planet would look like based on similar geographic features here on Earth—taking into account location on the globe, elevation, physical features, closeness to oceans, and the like—though he did derive some from quantifiable data. The facts and figures he used came from satellite pictures from the Blue Marble Next Generation project, and from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft.
His sea level was rather arbitrarily established, though he did have some parameters, and wanted it “such that it would flood much of Valles Marineris as well as provide shoreline near the cliffs on the outer edges of Olympus Mons.” The clouds are also randomly dispersed throughout the Martian atmosphere. Still, it looks convincing, and perhaps the Red Planet could have looked like this in the past, or had things in our solar system worked out in a different manner.