Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 – 24 September 2021
Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 September – 24 September 2021
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 15, EPSC2021-457, 2021
European Planetary Science Congress 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Infographics and illustrations for planetary science

José Utreras1 and Paul Roche2,3
José Utreras and Paul Roche
  • 1Planeta Errante, Santiago, Chile (
  • 2Faulkes Telescope Project, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • 3Cardiff University, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

Communicating our knowledge in astronomy is our duty with society, and this should be done in a format that is appealing and comprehensive. This last part is a difficult task. According to theory, verbal information and pictorial information are processed in different cognitive systems. Graphics that are not related to verbal information, or that do not take into account prior knowledge of individuals may interfere with mental model construction. Creating scientific illustrations for learners needs to tackle three points: (1) accurate scientific knowledge (2) appealing design (3) learner experience.   

Illustrations and infographics have the benefit of simplifying problems, can show us abstract representations, or can tell stories about discoveries, making them a flexible tool to take into account learner experience. That has led Europlanet to develop illustrated material that can be easily shared online or be used in public talks or school activities.

During the last months, we have been creating illustrations for different topics of planetary science: moons, icy objects, and an illustrated guide to Mars. We want to show our work and progress to our peers, get feedback, and hopefully show to the scientific community the benefits of using illustrations and art to communicate with a broader audience. Specifically, we want to present part of the illustrated guide to Mars through our poster, showing that not only we can show information about Mars, we can also tell a bit about the history of the exploration of the red planet.

The style of this material has already been tested successfully on social media platforms. We will translate the infographics into multiple languages starting with English and Spanish.

Here are some of the illustrations that we have created.




How to cite: Utreras, J. and Roche, P.: Infographics and illustrations for planetary science, European Planetary Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-457,, 2021.