Chasma Boreale

This piece was made using data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) aboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, and shows the the martian northern polar layered deposits (NPLD). Chasma Boreale is featured in the top left. The layers papers reflect the layering observed in the NPLD, which is caused by different amounts of dust trapped in the ice during different climate regimes. This piece won 2nd Place in the 2017 Art of Planetary Science exhibition in the Data Art category. (Yes, it is my art show but I was not a judge!).

This piece was made as a gift for my PhD advisor who studies martian polar processes, among other things. It was the second paper planet I made, and much simpler (and faster) than the Book of Moon. It did require substantial development on the code to help automate the process for future works. This is what the topography data looks like (on left), along with a sample layer during processing.

The biggest lesson I learned in making this one was regarding page curling when I added the red layers in the back. Each page is cut on a sticky mat that’s fed through the machine, so the newer/stickier the mat, the more curly the pages would be. Certain papers also curl more than others. I make sure to leave time now to flatten all the pages when putting a new piece together.

View my Etsy shop