A New Hampshire software engineer endeavored to do just that by creating a series of stunning renderings of Mars with oceans, a verdant landscape and an Earth-like atmosphere.
"I had been doing similar models of Earth and have seen attempts by others of showing life on Mars, so I figured I'd give it a go," Kevin Gill told Discovery News about his project "A Living Mars." "It was a good way to learn about the planet, be creative and improve the software I was rendering it in."
Gill created the terrain using an open-source geospatial program of his own design to build the world, according to the Atlantic. The planet's vegetation -- added where barren desert now lies -- were based on NASA's Blue Marble: Next Generation imagery.
Gill admitted that he took artistic license when painting in the planet's potential past life. He said he made educated guesses based on his knowledge.