Mars globe

The mars globe, oriented as it looks through the telescope.

This page allows to see the orientation of the Mars globe, as it is seen by the Earth observer now or at some given time. While Moon is always turned the same side to the Earth observer, other planets show different views depending on the time and date. Surely the telescope is required to see the surface of the remote planet. However the surface of Mars is not difficult to view with tools available to many amateurs. The first detailed maps of Mars were published in 1877 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli.

In our applet it is seen that Mars rotates over time, very much like Earth does. Mars day is surprisingly close by duration to the Earth day (24.6229 hours) but as it is not the same the different surface will show at the same Earth time on the different day. The surface also changes because Mars and Earth move with relation to each other.

Mars has no oceans, so it has no sea level, while some maps use blue colous to indicate some lower elevations. The applet uses satellite images from NASA and contains the interesting code to project the flat image picture into the sphere and then get the projection of the sphere as a second image.