Gale Crater at Terra Cimeria, 4.5 degrees south of the Martian equator is an odd one to look at. This 154 kilometer-wide (96 miles) crater boasts a 5.5 kilometer-high (18,000′) mountain in the middle.
This image was created by Kees Veenenbos in 2002.
Kees Veenenbos, a native of Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, was in that time very active in creating Mars images. As a space artist he won acclaim for his images as part of the Mars Exploration Rover missions. Kees, on request from NASA, created images of the six landing sites under discussion for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) A and B (Spirit and Opportunity) to facilitate the choice of the best landing site for both rovers. Also in 2004 Kees supplied National Geographic Magazine with the image of Gusev Crater that was its cover design for the issue about the Mars Exploration Rovers, plus Kees designed the cover image of the “Science Breakthrough of the Year 2004″ for Science Magazine. Only one other Dutchman ever designed the cover of National Geographic Magazine before Kees.
Kees bases his artwork on the exact, and complete data of the MOLA instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor. Without the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter team and its wealth of data Kees would not be able to create his beautiful and evocative images of Mars. While they might look like ‘pictures’ to you, the images are ‘renders’, which is to say computer generated graphics. To create them using Terragen software Kees has computers calculate what Mars would look like if you interpret the MOLA data as if you have an oblique view of the Martian surface. In reality all MOLA images are flat, two dimensional images as the MOLA instrument was designed to measure the the height of surface features on Mars, as this is important to mapping the planet correctly. MOLA collected altimetry data until June 30, 2001. It is Kees who gives the MOLA images their ‘real picture’ and depth appearance. According to Kees ‘Without the MOLA team my Mars art would not exist, and I am immensly grateful to them for the kind assistence to lend me when using their raw data’.
Note: When you are watching a Mars program on Discovery Channel or National Geographic Channel you will always also be watching Kees Veenenbos images, as they are used as backdrop to interview luminaries like Dr. Chris McKay.
In his daily life Kees is the content manager of the website of the city of Apeldoorn.
To view more images of Mars visit: www.Space4Case.com