Jump to content
  • Join the online East Midlands astronomy club today!

    With active forums, two dark sites and a knowledgeable membership, East Midlands Stargazers has something for everyone.

Terraforming Mars


Perkil8r
 Share

Recommended Posts

For a few years there have been ideas floating about to increase the level of greenhouse gases on the red planet to raise the temperature and release some of the locked in water from the surface to make it habitable. In 2014 there is a chance that C/2013 L4 could hit Mars. If it does hit one prediction is that the energy released would be around 20,000 gigatons!


 


One of the methods for initiating heating up the atmosphere was to use nuclear weapons, could the 20,000 gigaton impact be enough to kick start terraforming? If so not only would it be something to observe if and when it impacts, but it could change the future of Mars and mankind in that one collision!


 


I can't find a suitable link to the theory of using weapons to kick start it, but it was on Discovery Science recently.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mars no longer has a magnetic field and with its low gravity, the new atmosphere would get stripped away by the solar wind (though it'd take many human lifetimes). I'd be more worried about the debris the impact might kick off the planet!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mars no longer has a magnetic field and with its low gravity, the new atmosphere would get stripped away by the solar wind (though it'd take many human lifetimes). I'd be more worried about the debris the impact might kick off the planet!

 

Apparently the new atmosphere would work if they can find a way to start it going. I wish I could find a link for the program I was watching before, it went into great depth on the subject. I'll continue to try and find it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mars lost its atmosphere cos i think it is smaller than us and has no molten core (magnetic field) or volcanism/plate tectonics anymore.  Which from


memory means it cannot hold onto an atmosphere.  But i am digging at the back of my brain here so i could be wrong.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's not forget Mars STILL has an atmosphere. It is theoretically possible to alter the atmosphere and also heat the planet enough. That atmosphere would require maintenance though. Still not found the blooming program :facepalm: however this wiki link does help explain a little more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars


Edited by Perkil8r
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes any atmosphere that was created or enhanced would be stripped away by the solar wind but it would take a long time in terms of human lifespans, so if me could find a way of engineering an atmosphere, you could use the same technique / industry to keep the atmosphere 'topped up'.


Angus


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes any atmosphere that was created or enhanced would be stripped away by the solar wind but it would take a long time in terms of human lifespans, so if me could find a way of engineering an atmosphere, you could use the same technique / industry to keep the atmosphere 'topped up'.

Angus

 

If thats the case we could move China up there and the problem would be sorted for the foreseeable future. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's not forget Mars STILL has an atmosphere. It is theoretically possible to alter the atmosphere and also heat the planet enough. That atmosphere would require maintenance though. Still not found the blooming program :facepalm: however this wiki link does help explain a little more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars

 

But it's a tiny amount and from what i've read it's the max that its magnetic field can hold onto! 

 

I think we should take some planetary sized heaters and re-melt the planet's core :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But it's a tiny amount and from what i've read it's the max that its magnetic field can hold onto! 

 

I think we should take some planetary sized heaters and re-melt the planet's core :lol:

 

Magnetic field is not the mechanism that holds onto an atmosphere, that job is the job of Gravity, however magnetic field is the mechanism for protecting it against solar winds stripping it away.

 

It is believed that the core is now solid but there are suspicions that may not be the case. In fact that is one of the mission objectives of Curiosity, to determine if Mars has a molten or solid core. What we do know is that it's magnetic field is weak in comparison to that of Earth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Magnetic field is not the mechanism that holds onto an atmosphere, that job is the job of Gravity, however magnetic field is the mechanism for protecting it against solar winds stripping it away.

 

It is believed that the core is now solid but there are suspicions that may not be the case. In fact that is one of the mission objectives of Curiosity, to determine if Mars has a molten or solid core. What we do know is that it's magnetic field is weak in comparison to that of Earth.

 

Sorry, I meant hold on as in protecting, I'm just horrible at wording things :lol:

 

I'm backing a solid core :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am backing a molten core myself.


If it was a solid core surely it would  'wobble' on its axis due to imbalance.


True it would have balanced its self when cooling due to centrifugal forces.


After solidifing though every time it got hit by a lump of space rock the effect must be to disturb the balance so induce a 'wobble'.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am backing a molten core myself.

If it was a solid core surely it would  'wobble' on its axis due to imbalance.

True it would have balanced its self when cooling due to centrifugal forces.

After solidifing though every time it got hit by a lump of space rock the effect must be to disturb the balance so induce a 'wobble'.

 

I really have no clue on any of this stuff :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have my 5p (last of the big spenders) on Mars's core being solid, due to the lack of a magnetic field.


 


It is the motion in the core of a planet that gives said planet it's magnetic field, the lack of one (or a very, very weak one) would indicate a solid core.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Realistically the only way to improve the chances of Mars retaining a permanent atmosphere is to increase its mass. Only under additional mass could the conditions for the geological processes that lead to a molten core, e.g. increased pressure and temperature, be realised. Only then would Mars have a magnetic field, and only if the composition of the core were suitable/similar to that of Earth.


 


I don't see how terraforming Mars would otherwise be feasible.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no idea if it would be easier to terraform Titan to be honest, it would be difficult, but mars would be hard work too...


 


Basically seeing as it's the only other place with a thick and nitrogen rich atmosphere it's a decent start. It also has a lot of water in the form of ice... One problem would be the temperature, which could be solved through pumping greenhouse gases in to help trap some of the little heat it does get, or construct some heat trapping system etc. Introduction of Oxygen wouldn't be a massive problem, seeing as we don't need much else (Nitrogen is already there)...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I look at it is you either have to use nuclear weapons to warm up the core and start the vulcanoes erupting. Or ship loads of greenhouse gases to Mars, which would help our planet, but this is mega expensive. Or move Mars moon closer to the planet, or fire comets into Mars.


 


Either way it's going to cost quadrillions of dollars and Earth does not have the money. It should spend what it does have on preserving Earth.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wouldn't it best to stop destroying the Earth then we wouldn't need to terraform any planet.

 

It's not just destroying the Earth ourselves that we should look to this for though. To increase our chances of survival as a species we need to colonize other areas or else we could easily be wiped out by an asteroid or other body. It would also allow use as a long term stepping stone to deep space. I do agree we should be investing more into the idea of stopping our planet from being destroyed by our own actions, but it would be arrogant to think we can survive here long term in the face of an Earth ending collision or invasion even. The Earth could even be destroyed from within if a chain of events and natural disasters happened to occur within a very short period such as volcanic activity and earthquakes. We simply cannot protect ourselves from extinction by standing on our solitary rock hoping nothing bad happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also what about population issues, surely in the future there will be too many of us to live on Earth, if we're not all wiped out by then that is.


 


Edit: Yes I agree, we're not looking after Earth very well at all.


Edited by Tibbz2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.