New Hypsometric Mars Globe from Sternberg Institute

The last corrections of a new 15 cm diameter Mars Globe are being made now at Sternberg State Astronomical Institute (SAI), in cooperation with Space Research Institute in Moscow, Russia. The preliminary globes – 10 copies – has been made earlier and were presented at the ICC2013 conference.

We call it the green Mars globe (not to be confused with Green’s Mars map that happens to display greenish hues). It’s new color scheme shows subtle colors that doesn’t resemble any of the previous color schemes used in planetary cartography. This layout is a modification of an earlier map, published in 2004.

It’s worth noting that the Lunar LRO map by NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio/MIT/SVS, created in 2010, used yellowish green  to represent the mare elevations for the first time in a Lunar map, giving it a much warmer appearance than the previously used light blue color.

The nomenclature on the Russian Mars globe is shown only in Latin. The globe is unique in that it is a purely cartographic product and not a photomosaic. It shows the contour lines using MOLA data at 1 km intervals (2 km intervals 8-12 km and 10 km above 12 km of height).

The globe was made using the thermoplastic technology. The original hemisphere prepared with the image is placed in the plastic molding device, and at high temperature using a metal template the hemispheres are pressed. Western and Eastern hemispheres were recut as the northern and southern hemispheres in the azimuthal projection taking into account the law of deformation occurring during forming of the p lane in the hemisphere.

The very high temperatures that occur during the process alter not only geometry but also colors. This is taken into account after the test prints were analyised.

The hypsometric map  was created at the Sternberg State Astronomical Institute (SAI) in cooperation with the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics Faculty of Geography Moscow State University; the color scheme was designed by J. Brekhovskikh (Space Research Institute)

We are looking forward to seeing the final version of these wonderful pieces of cartographic art and planetary science.

The online virtual globe version is now available from the Virtual Globes Museum of Eötvös University, Hungary.


Zh. F. Rodionova , J. A. Brekhovskikh [Родионова Ж.Ф., Бреховских Ю.А]  (2013) Hypsometric Globe of Mars – 3D Model of the Planet (#610) . ICC 2013, Dresden.

Ilyukhina J.A., Rodionova Zh.F. (2004) Gipsometricheskaya karta Marsa. 1:26 000 000. Moscow, Nauka.

Новая карта рельефа Марса

Hypsometric globe of Mars 2013

The test version of the 21-cm-diameter thermoplastic globe. 68 copies have been produced in 2012.

Hypsometric globe of Mars - originals

The originals that were molded onto the spheres.


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