A Day in the Life of a Living Mars

Animated. Finally.

Back in January when I first posted the Living Mars images some folks asked if I would be able animate them and do a spin around the planet.  After a lot of reworking to get the render time down and improve the quality, here it is.

The base two dimensional elevation model was generated using data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and satellite imagery from the Blue Marble Next Generation project. Sea level was set non-scientifically, but 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 straight from NASA’s Blue Marble NG project and height mapped (rather arbitrarily, but looks good) by relative opacity (The more opaque a point, the higher up in the atmosphere I put it). This was rendered using a digital elevation modeling program I am writing, jDem846, with some extras baked in through its scripting interface, and encoded to video with ffmpeg. Because I defaulted to Earth-based time, each frame is about one minute in time over twenty-four hours.

MOLA (Mars Global Surveyor): http://mola.gsfc.nasa.gov/

jDem846 Project Page: http://goo.gl/0CS6S

Original Post on Google+: http://goo.gl/8rAqE


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