New Image of the Face on Mars

Mark J. Carlotto, Ph. D.


On April 5 1998, after over twenty years, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) re-imaged the Face on Mars. Initially imaged by a Viking orbiter spacecraft in 1976, the impression of a face was striking. But close up MGS reveals the formation to be rough and highly eroded. Many have therefore concluded that the Face is natural. But others contend that if the Face is artificial it must certainly be very old and highly eroded. We believe that it is premature at this time to render any definitive judgment concerning a natural origin for the Face. Although the new image is insufficient to provide definitive proof for artificiality, there are many anomalous qualities to the Face on Mars that remain unexplained.

The Face appears flat and featureless in JPL "contrast enhanced" image (left). Improved enhancement (right) shows more tonal diversity making it easier to analyze topographical features (JPL/Carlotto).


Geometrically-stretched image generated by JPL intended to look as if the Face is being viewed from overhead (left). Better approximation to an overhead view using elevation information derived from Viking frame 70A13 (right). In this improved version the nose ridge is centered laterally on the face (JPL/Carlotto).


This sequence fades from Face in Viking image 35A72, to Viking 70A13, to the new MGS image. Many of the features first seen in the Viking imagery are evident in the MGS image. (Carlotto).


Click here for a more detailed analysis of this image.

(Page last updated April 14, 1998)

© 2020 Mark J. Carlotto