Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Mars T-shirt Design - w/ Blow-ups

Recently I've become inspired by Mars again... around the same time I learnt that the Spirit Rover - the "little engine that could" was no longer operational, and had finally been "laid to rest". For everyone but a Mars enthusiast - "Martians" in particular - this news is a non-event. After all, what did the rover do but take a lot of photos of a dead planet... images of rocks and rocks only - a geologist's treasure trove, but surely not the stuff of Lowell's, and Bradbury's dreams (see Wiki's article: Mars in Fiction.)

But I, as one might expect, beg to differ. Years ago - in 2005 - I was the web mistress of "The House of Spirits - in Search of Hydapsis", a web site devoted to those "rocks" the Spirit Rover found. I designed a (tongue firmly in cheek) "Mars Archaeological Society" T-shirt at the time showing details of the rover's amazing discoveries. Well, amazing to me, at any rate. I remember combing through NASA's Spirit website - specifically the "raw image" data - like a raven in search of shiny objects. I simply had to see for myself what was there.

Mac Tonnies was coming around to my point of view, though neither he nor I could even begin to identify the "alien artifacts", if artifacts they were. But Mac and I had a shared enthusiasm for the possibility of ancient intelligent life on Mars... or, at least, the possibility of a visiting civilization there, if not indigenous to the planet per se. We made a pact to someday meet as archaeologists on Mars in some far-distant future... and I sometimes think we still might.

So, I redesigned the shirt in Mac's memory, too, as well as the Spirit Rover's. I have no idea what the objects are in the images, but one thing is true: I did not retouch the photos... No "artwork" is involved. That the "things" are a bit fuzzy around the edges is due to the lack of quality of the website photos, regardless of my attempts to heighten the contrast and sharpen the image (quite a challenge in itself!).

What you see is what there is... a secret between the Spirit Rover and the Martians among us. ;-)

(Yes, the design should read "Mars Amateur Archaeological Society", but it didn't work as well in the design!)

(click on images - upper and lower - for larger views)

Above are blown-up versions of the T-shirt image added March 9, 2015. I removed some of the color in hopes of gaining clarity but wasn't entirely successful. Why bother? Just for the record...

Above are some details of the details (left to right): (left) detail of the "fin" of the first, upper image on your left.
(center) detail of the 5th image - on your right. (right) detail of the 9th image - on your right.

Links to the original images on the the Spirit Rover site will follow - you, too, can be an "archaeologist".


As promised, here are the links to the "raw" "panoramic" image views on the Spirit Rover website in regards to the images on the T-shirt design... in order of the objects (left to right, top to bottom) on the shirt...

#1, from Sol 60:
(my original source image seems to be missing... here is an alternative shot...)

#2 from Sol 12:

#3, from Sol 12:

#4 & 6, from Sol 12:

#5, from Sol 136:
(my original source image seems to be missing... here are two alternative shots...)

#7, from Sol 12:

#8, #9, #10, from Sol 12:


Note: Currently there are no actual shirts for sale to the general public. Interested Martians, however, may contact me, Dia:

Subject line: Mars T


  1. Dia,

    Yes!! Love the idea of the t-shirt.

    Certainly one might argue that the "artifacts" are due to cognitive bias, but must have their dreams...and Mars has long been the planet of mystery.

    Too bad I missed the first incarnation of "House of Spirits" - perhaps it too, shall come around again.

  2. Thanks, Bob.

    Then again, "cognitive bias" works both ways...

    I never really bought the fact of any sort of intelligent life on Mars till I saw these images. Now I entertain the idea.


  3. Love it! Sign me up for one!
    - Kartott

  4. (Well, K, as a matter of fact, I designed it with our bracelets in mind... shhhh!)