Many space artists have depicted
terraforming scenes in their work.
Mars, as terraformed by Michael
Carroll. If we really could come up with all that water, it
would drain to the northern plains and form an ocean covering up
to 25% of the planet.
In 1991 this image was used on the front
cover of the 'Making Mars Habitable' issue of Nature.
A terraformed Mars as seen from
Phobos, by David A. Hardy. This picture was used for the front
cover of Arthur C. Clarke's book 'The Snows of Olympus: A Garden
Aerial exploration of a dry valley
on Mars. This painting, by David A. Hardy, depicts the dirigible
airship Arrowhead described in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel 'Red
Designed as a cover, the picture graced the front of Interzone as well as that of an edition of the novel itself.
Stan Robinson described the Arrowhead as being 100 m long and
120 m wide across the wings, with a pencil-shaped gondola
extended under most of the length of the underside.
achieved in the thin air on Mars by buoyant hydrogen within the
body of the craft, lift from the wings and turboprops at each
wing tip and under the gondola.
Another book cover by Hardy for Carl
Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot'.
Again, we see Mars from Phobos: a
planet at an advanced stage of terraforming with the Tharsis
volcanoes, a flooded Mariner Valley and the Boreal Ocean clearly
and accurately portrayed.
Another nice image of a terraformed
Mars, look at the clouds and the blue of that sea!
Fantastic images of the "Tharsis"
and "Hellas" hemispheres of a terraformed Mars, rendered as if
viewed from the altitude of Deimos's orbit.
I love the detail such as an ice cap
atop the Tharsis bulge and the green of vegetation on the shores
of the Hellas and Isidis Seas.
This well known painting by Michael
Carroll depicts a "Terraforming Survey Team" examining an
ecosystem taking root on Mars. Planetary engineering is
evidently boosting the atmospheric pressure: hence the wearing
of masks instead of full pressure suits.
On the shores of the Great Boreal
Ocean, beneath a blue sky. The ultimate dream of some
terraformers: making a home of Mars.
The Mars Worldhouse: a quasi-global
building conceived by Richard Taylor as a rapid solution for "paraterraforming
These next two images come from the
Millenium Mars Calendar by James M. Graham and Kandis Elliot: a
calendar spanning one Mars year, divided into 20 "months", and based
on a terraforming theme.
A research vehicle explores summer
at the South Pole of Mars by venturing into one of the
wind-eroded canyons in the ice cap.
A valley system on Mars begins to
flood as terraforming proceeds. Fluvial erosion is seen on the
Red Planet again for perhaps the first time in a billion years.
A cylindrical projection of the
terraformed Mars that results in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel
Superb rendering of a terraformed
Mars showing Tharsis, the North Polar Cap and the flooded Chryse
Basin to the East. Notice the light of settlements on the dark
The availability of 3D landscape
rendering software, allows amateurs to have a go at this art-form.
A Zubrin statite mirror cluster
warms the South Pole of Mars in order to liberate its frozen
It is possible that substantial
water reserves might be released during terraforming by drilling
into pressurized aquifers beneath the northern plains. Here,
from the crest of the southern uplands, we see a huge geyser
erupting in the distance. frost is already condensing nearby.
Illustrations of more exotic planetary
engineering projects are welcome
Believe it or not, but it is just
possible to terraform the Earth's moon, so long as you are
prepared to keep its imported volatiles topped up every few
thousand years or so!
It is probably impractical, but what a
fine sight such a blue moon would be from the surface of the
A supramundane planet under
construction over Jupiter according to the concept of Paul
The vast habitable strip over the tropical regions,
supported by a cage of dynamic compression members, could be
extended to englobe the entire planet. Built at the 1 g level,
its surface area would be up to 316 Earths.