Earthly Mission

How Ancient Mars Might Have Looked

The below map by atlas-v7x shows Planet Mars during the late Noachian Period, around 3.8 billion years ago, labelled with modern feature names.

Until around 3.5 billion years ago, Mars had a thicker atmosphere and was warmer than present day, and evidence suggests that liquid water flowed on its surface, carving out many river channels that remain there today. The lakes shown on this map are supposed to have existed around that time. In the north was an ocean, though it was probably never as high as hereby shown. It is believed that much of this water was lost to space, carried away over time by solar wind, and most of what remains on Mars today stays there frozen in the polar ice caps.

Also included on this map are the locations of the 7 successful Mars landers.

Check out the original version (43MB) here.

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1 Comment

  1. Dan Sutton

    Interesting… something tells me the impact craters wouldn’t have been there, though: thicker atmosphere = fewer impacts (see Earth for details).

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