3D renderings of Solar System bodies

Mercury
Mercury Heavily cratered Mercury from a distance of 55000 km. These two Mercury images were rendered using a bumpmap created by Leonard Wikberg. Mercury's northern hemisphere Here the distance is 30000 and the field of view 20°. Mercury is rather similar to the Moon in appearance, the main difference being the absence of "seas" (large, dark areas) on Mercury.
Venus
Venus Venus from a distance of 40000 km. The low contrast of Venus' cloud features is apparent, the well known Y-shaped cloud feature is barely discernible. The field of view is 30°. Venus' southern hemisphere Venus' southern hemisphere. Faint cloud markings are visible, including a tilted midlatitude band near the top.
Crescent Venus A crescent Venus. The cloud features visible in these renderings are much more obvious in ultraviolet light, in visible light the contrast is very low. A closeup of Venus A closeup of Venus with some faint cloud features visible.
The Galileo Venus flyby Back in 1990 the Galileo spacecraft flew by Venus en route to Jupiter. This rendering shows the spacecraft at a distance of 48000 km from Venus shortly after closest approach. The Cassini Venus flyby And in 1999 the Cassini spacecraft flew by Venus en route to Saturn. This rendering shows it about 3500 km above the cloud tops shortly after closest approach. The field of view is 40°.
Mars
Crescent Mars New Mars' crescent from a distance of 15000 km. The field of view is 35°. The huge Hellas impact basin is visible at lower left. It is frequentley filled with thin fog so its color is slightly different from the color of adjacent areas. Valles Marineris New A portion of the huge Valles Marineris canyon system shortly after sunrise with morning fog visible on the canyon floor. The altitude above Mars' surface is 600 km and the field of view is 40°.
Mars - global (Old & outdated) A global view of Mars from a distance of 15000 km from its center. The great Vallis Marineris canyon can be seen at lower left. Mars' north pole (Old & outdated) A close-up Mars' north pole from an altitude of 1400 km.
The Valles Marineris canyon on Mars (Old & outdated) A portion of the huge Vallis Marineris canyon, which is 4500 km long and upto 600 km wide and 7 km deep. This is the largest feature of this kind in the solar system. A dark area on Mars (Old & outdated) The dark Syrtis Major region from a 400 km altitude. Note the many streaks (caused by light dust), revealing the prevailing wind direction.
The Uranian system
Uranus and Miranda The narrow crescent of Uranus and the strange satellite Miranda. Uranus and its faint rings Uranus and its faint rings. The rings are very narrow and dark (darker than coal !) so the fact that they actually can be seen here means that their brightness is exaggerated in this rendering.
Uranus' rings in forward scattered light Uranus' rings with the sun almost directly behind. Because of dust in the rings they look fairly bright here, as if looking at the sun through a dusty windshield. Looking at the sun through Uranus' rings The sun is shining through the rings in this wide angle (75°) rendering. The rings are brightest near the sun because of scattering by small particles of dust. I don't know if this is realistic or not.
The Neptunian system
neptune_vgr.jpg (2328 bytes) The Voyager 2 spacecraft 200000 km from Neptune. In this "composite rendering", Neptune is rendered in my renderer and the spacecraft in POV-Ray using Constantine Thomas' model. nept_vgr_vw.jpg (1977 bytes) A rendering showing Neptune from a distance of 10 million km. The viewing and lighting geometry is identical to the one Voyager 2 had at this distance and also the field of view (0.424°).
neptune_tilt.jpg (1710 bytes) An equatorial view of Neptune from a distance of 180000 km. Because Voyager 2 did not image the high northern latitudes the cloud features in these areas shown here are fictional. neptune_clouds.jpg (1703 bytes) Several of Neptune's more prominent cloud features can be seen in this rendering, including the dark spot "D2" (lower left) and the bright "Scooter" (lower right). The distance from Neptune is 185000 km.

All renderings are copyright © 1998-2005, 2006 Björn Jónsson