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RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-09, 03:22 AM
I hear a lot of smart people talking about terraforming mars.... but mars does not have a magnetic field like we do on earth probably because of a cold core. It does have magnetic spots though. Because of this any atmosphere developed there will literally be blown away by the solar winds if I'm not mistaken. Slowly but surely. That's why the atmosphere is so thin to begin with. So I think in theory terraforming mars is kinda pointless....or will be a never ending thing...you won't be able to stop the process of Terra forming because the atmosphere will be continually blowing away as your building it up. Not to mention the lack of protection from radiation.... how can you we even expect plant life as we know it to thrive there with that kind of radiation? I'm not a scientist but I think these are good questions

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John Mendenhall
2015-Aug-09, 11:56 AM
Agreed. And the gravity may not be enough to keep earthlings healthy.

Be nice if we could go find out . . .

Spacedude
2015-Aug-09, 01:19 PM
Terraforming Mars does appear that it would be a losing battle against the solar wind, weak gravity, and the lack of a strong magnetic field....but hey, we seem to making excellent progress at Venusforming the Earth. So in principle altering the chemistry of a planet's atmosphere can be accomplished under the right conditions, even when we're not really trying.

NEOWatcher
2015-Aug-09, 01:35 PM
If I did my math right, you would have to vaporize the surface of Mars to a depth of several miles to provide enough atmosphere. That seems like a nearly impossible task.

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-09, 01:42 PM
Lol agree space dude. It's my we have to bring science back to the forefront of society somehow. Science & Scientist are low key disrespected in today's culture, if this trend can be reversed the world could become a better place. We could attempt to repair our damage we caused here through technology.... I'm a firm believer that we can do whatever we want as soon as we figure out how to accomplish it. But think about it though.. aren't all planned trips to start a colony on mars a waste? I mean it would make a historical milestone to get there but I only see doing so in the name of exploration as productive. I would hate to waste lives time and resources on a foolish attempt to jump start something that is dead for a reason.

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swampyankee
2015-Aug-09, 01:51 PM
If I did my math right, you would have to vaporize the surface of Mars to a depth of several miles to provide enough atmosphere. That seems like a nearly impossible task.

Probably easier (for some odd value of "easy") to move volatiles from the Asteroid Belt or Saturn's Rings. Vaporizing the surface would seem to be counter-productive to the terraforming process and would, of course, get rid of any interesting geography.

Noclevername
2015-Aug-09, 03:17 PM
If I did my math right, you would have to vaporize the surface of Mars to a depth of several miles to provide enough atmosphere. That seems like a nearly impossible task.

How much is "enough"?

NEOWatcher
2015-Aug-09, 03:34 PM
How much is "enough"?
Similar density to Earth.

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-09, 04:04 PM
What would vaporizing the surface just add some type of atmosphere made of vaporized rock? Lol that still would not take away from the fact that the atmosphere would be blown away over time.... Ud have to keep vaping the surface over and over lol

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Noclevername
2015-Aug-09, 04:39 PM
As swampyankee said, adding volatiles from outside makes more sense. It's also more repeatable, making ongoing maintenance of the atmosphere to make up losses easier.

NEOWatcher
2015-Aug-09, 10:38 PM
What would vaporizing the surface just add some type of atmosphere made of vaporized rock? Lol that still would not take away from the fact that the atmosphere would be blown away over time.... Ud have to keep vaping the surface over and over lol


As swampyankee said, adding volatiles from outside makes more sense. It's also more repeatable, making ongoing maintenance of the atmosphere to make up losses easier.
I am not proposing it would work, how it would work, nor the best way to do it.
What I am trying to point out is the herculean task of providing material for an atmosphere.

If it takes miles of depth of surface equivalent material to provide an atmosphere, then what would it really take. Certainly a lot more. Even comets have non-volatiles. Even with comets, we are talking tens of millions of comets to do the task.

Jens
2015-Aug-09, 11:01 PM
Terraforming Mars does appear that it would be a losing battle against the solar wind, weak gravity, and the lack of a strong magnetic field....but hey, we seem to making excellent progress at Venusforming the Earth. So in principle altering the chemistry of a planet's atmosphere can be accomplished under the right conditions, even when we're not really trying.

We're not really made much progress. Despite a hundred years of serious, albeit unintentional effort, we have only managed to raise the temperature a few degrees, and the planet remains inhabitable.

Jens
2015-Aug-09, 11:08 PM
Lol agree space dude. It's my we have to bring science back to the forefront of society somehow. Science & Scientist are low key disrespected in today's culture, if this trend can be reversed the world could become a better place.

As a serious question, do you really think that scientists are not respected? It seems to me there may be a general decline in respect in general, but comparatively speaking it's to think of who might be more respected.

Noclevername
2015-Aug-09, 11:14 PM
I am not proposing it would work, how it would work, nor the best way to do it.
What I am trying to point out is the herculean task of providing material for an atmosphere.

If it takes miles of depth of surface equivalent material to provide an atmosphere, then what would it really take. Certainly a lot more. Even comets have non-volatiles. Even with comets, we are talking tens of millions of comets to do the task.

I don't know if that number is accurate, but terraforming was always going to be a Herculean task.

I think a combination of outside resources and planetary industries will be necessary, heating up the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses will probably release many millions of tons of frozen volatiles from the surface for example.

NEOWatcher
2015-Aug-09, 11:39 PM
I don't know if that number is accurate, but terraforming was always going to be a Herculean task.
As far as my calculation, it seems I did slip a digit somewhere. :doh: But; it's still huge... 15000 comets the size of 67p even if they are 100% volatile.
The numbers I used:
Earth: 196.9 million mi^2
Mars: 55.9 million mi^2
28%
Earth atmosphere: 5.148x10^18 kg
Comet 67p: 10^13 kg




I think a combination of outside resources and planetary industries will be necessary, heating up the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses will probably release many millions of tons of frozen volatiles from the surface for example.
Probably so. But to what depth? What percentage of what's needed?

But; back to the OP. How much of this can be done in a time frame fast enough that it's not a losing battle?

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-10, 12:18 AM
We're not really made much progress. Despite a hundred years of serious, albeit unintentional effort, we have only managed to raise the temperature a few degrees, and the planet remains inhabitable.
True but we have noticed drastic changes. It's not going to become uninhabitable over night. But we must stop the trend of destroying what sustains us in the name if profit. We altering the planet for a dollar... It's not worth it.

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RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-10, 12:23 AM
As a serious question, do you really think that scientists are not respected? It seems to me there may be a general decline in respect in general, but comparatively speaking it's to think of who might be more respected.
Donald Trump lol...jk but yes scientist tend to only be respected by each other from my point of view. And by people like me who live in the clouds and day dream about progress. It seems as if space exploration had to be commercialized for profit. If it doesn't make money now days it's not put on pedestal outside the scientific community. how do you feel?

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RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-10, 12:24 AM
I don't know if that number is accurate, but terraforming was always going to be a Herculean task.

I think a combination of outside resources and planetary industries will be necessary, heating up the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses will probably release many millions of tons of frozen volatiles from the surface for example.
And then the sun will blow those volatiles into space overtime lol

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RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-10, 12:26 AM
As far as my calculation, it seems I did slip a digit somewhere. :doh: But; it's still huge... 15000 comets the size of 67p even if they are 100% volatile.
The numbers I used:
Earth: 196.9 million mi^2
Mars: 55.9 million mi^2
28%
Earth atmosphere: 5.148x10^18 kg
Comet 67p: 10^13 kg




Probably so. But to what depth? What percentage of what's needed?

But; back to the OP. How much of this can be done in a time frame fast enough that it's not a losing battle?
And without a magnetic field if planetary proportions how can it ever not be a losing battle? An atmosphere doesn't magically protect itself from solar wind.

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cjameshuff
2015-Aug-10, 12:45 AM
An Earthlike atmosphere would provide ample protection against radiation, and would be stripped away on timescales of millions to billions of years, so if you could terraform Mars in the first place, you could keep it terraformed. But...that's a big "if", and it absolutely would require a high ongoing cost (or perhaps more likely, a periodic re-terraforming effort once neglect becomes impossible to ignore which is more expensive overall, but lets most generations weasel out of visibly paying the price).

Colonization doesn't require terraforming, however. It would be vastly more efficient to just build surface habitats, which can be shielded as necessary. As for plant life...the surface radiation environment is similar to that in low Earth orbit, and crop plants have short lives that give them little time to accumulate a high radiation dose...people have been in orbit much longer than a typical growing season, and do so expecting to keep living for decades afterward. Some plants might be more sensitive, but farm facilities wouldn't need anything like the shielding of human habitats.

Noclevername
2015-Aug-10, 02:53 AM
An Earthlike atmosphere would provide ample protection against radiation, and would be stripped away on timescales of millions to billions of years, so if you could terraform Mars in the first place, you could keep it terraformed. But...that's a big "if", and it absolutely would require a high ongoing cost (or perhaps more likely, a periodic re-terraforming effort once neglect becomes impossible to ignore which is more expensive overall, but lets most generations weasel out of visibly paying the price).

Colonization doesn't require terraforming, however. It would be vastly more efficient to just build surface habitats, which can be shielded as necessary. As for plant life...the surface radiation environment is similar to that in low Earth orbit, and crop plants have short lives that give them little time to accumulate a high radiation dose...people have been in orbit much longer than a typical growing season, and do so expecting to keep living for decades afterward. Some plants might be more sensitive, but farm facilities wouldn't need anything like the shielding of human habitats.

Farm domes on top, habitats underneath. Sounds a lot more workable, especially since any terraforming would require a long period of inhospitable conditions anyway.

Any colonists not willing to wait X number of centuries will be living in domes all their lives, regardless of terraforming efforts. So since this is the case, why is terraforming necessary?

John Mendenhall
2015-Aug-11, 03:09 PM
How about moving Venus out to Mars, make Mars a moon of Venus, carefully drop Ceres et al. water worlds onto Venus, and wait a million years or so to see what happens? We can watch from a terraformed Mars . . .

There. So much for the idea that yours truly is a stick in the mud old fogey.

Noclevername
2015-Aug-11, 05:48 PM
How about moving Venus out to Mars, make Mars a moon of Venus, carefully drop Ceres et al. water worlds onto Venus, and wait a million years or so to see what happens? We can watch from a terraformed Mars . . .

There. So much for the idea that yours truly is a stick in the mud old fogey.

If we truly reach the point in advanced space infrastructure and technology where we can move planets, we won't need planets.

BigDon
2015-Aug-11, 08:08 PM
Interesting bit of relevant trivia.

If you gassed up the Moon to 1 atmosphere at "sea level" it would take 3000 years of atmosphere loss before humans would need respirators again.

Mars gassed up the same way would take ten thousand years.

Spacedude
2015-Aug-11, 09:35 PM
Jens : We're not really made much progress. Despite a hundred years of serious, albeit unintentional effort, we have only managed to raise the temperature a few degrees, and the planet remains inhabitable.

I'm certain that you meant "habitable" and yes I agree. We'll adapt and still inhabit, but at a cost.

Back to Mars, even with a decent enough atmosphere to breath and grow things there, without a planetary magnetic field we wouldn't be out of the woods.....may we be so fortunate to ever establish "woods" on Mars.

Noclevername
2015-Aug-11, 10:09 PM
Back to Mars, even with a decent enough atmosphere to breath and grow things there, without a planetary magnetic field we wouldn't be out of the woods.....may we be so fortunate to ever establish "woods" on Mars.

Even with a magnetosphere, gravity will be the determining factor in retaining an atmosphere, and atmospheric density is most of what protects from cosmic rays. Humans on Mars, even if terraformed, will probably become a mostly subterranean species.

Jens
2015-Aug-11, 11:08 PM
I'm certain that you meant "habitable" and yes I agree. We'll adapt and still inhabit, but at a cost.


I suppose this could be a US versus British thing, but at least in American English, habitable and inhabitable are synonyms. The opposite is uninhabitable. We also say inhabitants for the people who live in a place.

John Mendenhall
2015-Aug-12, 03:17 AM
How about moving Venus out to Mars, make Mars a moon of Venus, carefully drop Ceres et al. water worlds onto Venus, and wait a million years or so to see what happens? We can watch from a terraformed Mars . . .

There. So much for the idea that yours truly is a stick in the mud old fogey.

Continuing with ultra conservative fuddy-duddy ideas, how about Mars-morphing humans so they can live on Mars as Mars is?

I think green would be a nice skin color. Maybe subcutaneous chlorophyll?

cjameshuff
2015-Aug-12, 03:44 AM
Even with a magnetosphere, gravity will be the determining factor in retaining an atmosphere, and atmospheric density is most of what protects from cosmic rays. Humans on Mars, even if terraformed, will probably become a mostly subterranean species.

Not sure what you mean here. With its lower gravity, a Martian atmosphere that provides a similar surface pressure to Earth's will be even better than Earth's at shielding radiation. It'd lose gases faster, especially hydrogen, but if you terraformed it in the first place you can easily keep up with the losses.

Noclevername
2015-Aug-12, 04:12 AM
Not sure what you mean here. With its lower gravity, a Martian atmosphere that provides a similar surface pressure to Earth's will be even better than Earth's at shielding radiation. It'd lose gases faster, especially hydrogen, but if you terraformed it in the first place you can easily keep up with the losses.

I didn't know that it would be better at shielding.

cjameshuff
2015-Aug-12, 12:06 PM
I didn't know that it would be better at shielding.

Surface gravity of 3.7 m/s^2. To a first approximation, you'll need 2.6 times as much mass of atmosphere for a given ground area to achieve the same pressure, so incoming radiation has a lot more to plow through before it reaches the ground.

swampyankee
2015-Aug-12, 12:42 PM
I'm certain that you meant "habitable" and yes I agree. We'll adapt and still inhabit, but at a cost.

Back to Mars, even with a decent enough atmosphere to breath and grow things there, without a planetary magnetic field we wouldn't be out of the woods.....may we be so fortunate to ever establish "woods" on Mars.

"Inhabitable (http://i.word.com/ithesaurus/inhabitable)" is the adjective form of "inhabit,"

Spacedude
2015-Aug-12, 01:13 PM
Yes, my bad Jens. Another example would be flammable and inflammable. Language can be a funny thing at times.

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-22, 03:50 AM
An Earthlike atmosphere would provide ample protection against radiation, and would be stripped away on timescales of millions to billions of years, so if you could terraform Mars in the first place, you could keep it terraformed. But...that's a big "if", and it absolutely would require a high ongoing cost (or perhaps more likely, a periodic re-terraforming effort once neglect becomes impossible to ignore which is more expensive overall, but lets most generations weasel out of visibly paying the price).

Colonization doesn't require terraforming, however. It would be vastly more efficient to just build surface habitats, which can be shielded as necessary. As for plant life...the surface radiation environment is similar to that in low Earth orbit, and crop plants have short lives that give them little time to accumulate a high radiation dose...people have been in orbit much longer than a typical growing season, and do so expecting to keep living for decades afterward. Some plants might be more sensitive, but farm facilities wouldn't need anything like the shielding of human habitats.



The second paragraph I totally agree with. The first paragraph I still have to question though. It is true that our atmosphere helps protect us from radiation....but that layer of protection goes 1)Magnetosphere(magetic field) 2) Ozone Layer 3) Then other atmospheric absorbing and scattering effect I dont feel like going into lol
Step 1 deflects most of the radiation, without it step 2 would be obliterated....and I question wether that process would take millions of years because the ozone layer is the thickness of two pennies....once step two is obliteraded because of the lack of step one any subsequent life below is susceptable to very potent radiation. But hell even step 3 happens because of oxygen and nitrogen absorbing the cosmic radiation.....not sure if those molecules are responsible for protecting us from xrays and gamma so the other guys post about using meteors or vaporizing the surface wont really work to protect us from radiation effectively... unless vaporized rocks are just as effective(oonce again not your post im just blabering) Im sure u know this im just long winded as hell hahaha. Im all for the contained habitats thats feasible...i just believe without a magnetosphere terraforming by definition CANNOT happen on mars. No matter how you look at it or what you would do to achieve it. Im not a scientist so I could be way off base

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-22, 03:55 AM
An Earthlike atmosphere would provide ample protection against radiation, and would be stripped away on timescales of millions to billions of years, so if you could terraform Mars in the first place, you could keep it terraformed. But...that's a big "if", and it absolutely would require a high ongoing cost (or perhaps more likely, a periodic re-terraforming effort once neglect becomes impossible to ignore which is more expensive overall, but lets most generations weasel out of visibly paying the price).

Colonization doesn't require terraforming, however. It would be vastly more efficient to just build surface habitats, which can be shielded as necessary. As for plant life...the surface radiation environment is similar to that in low Earth orbit, and crop plants have short lives that give them little time to accumulate a high radiation dose...people have been in orbit much longer than a typical growing season, and do so expecting to keep living for decades afterward. Some plants might be more sensitive, but farm facilities wouldn't need anything like the shielding of human habitats.




OH I forgot to mention that yes humans have been in earth orbit longer than a typical growing season...that doesnt negate much because they were still protected in our magetosphere....just not by the ozone and atmosphere. space radiation is a major major hazard outside our little blue orb

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-22, 04:10 AM
Farm domes on top, habitats underneath. Sounds a lot more workable, especially since any terraforming would require a long period of inhospitable conditions anyway.

Any colonists not willing to wait X number of centuries will be living in domes all their lives, regardless of terraforming efforts. So since this is the case, why is terraforming necessary?

I personally think it is a complete and total waste.......we could do the same thing on the moon and only be 3 days travel away

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-22, 04:15 AM
Interesting bit of relevant trivia.

If you gassed up the Moon to 1 atmosphere at "sea level" it would take 3000 years of atmosphere loss before humans would need respirators again.

Mars gassed up the same way would take ten thousand years.

Interesting....still probably need suits due to radiation on the moon and mars.....pple are infatuated with the atmosphere.....ull still probably die soon thereafter unless still shielded by a radiation suit of sorts

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-22, 04:19 AM
I didn't know that it would be better at shielding.
lol neither did I. i still see everyone completely discounting the magnetospheres importance...i agree witht he underground on mars guy...whats teh point we can just dig in on earth lol IJS.

RULEOFAQUISITION101
2015-Aug-22, 04:22 AM
Surface gravity of 3.7 m/s^2. To a first approximation, you'll need 2.6 times as much mass of atmosphere for a given ground area to achieve the same pressure, so incoming radiation has a lot more to plow through before it reaches the ground.

http://www.iflscience.com/space/without-magnetic-field-any-life-exoplanets-may-be-doomed

cjameshuff
2015-Aug-22, 01:52 PM
The second paragraph I totally agree with. The first paragraph I still have to question though. It is true that our atmosphere helps protect us from radiation....but that layer of protection goes 1)Magnetosphere(magetic field) 2) Ozone Layer 3) Then other atmospheric absorbing and scattering effect I dont feel like going into lol
Step 1 deflects most of the radiation, without it step 2 would be obliterated....and I question wether that process would take millions of years because the ozone layer is the thickness of two pennies....once step two is obliteraded because of the lack of step one any subsequent life below is susceptable to very potent radiation. But hell even step 3 happens because of oxygen and nitrogen absorbing the cosmic radiation.....not sure if those molecules are responsible for protecting us from xrays and gamma so the other guys post about using meteors or vaporizing the surface wont really work to protect us from radiation effectively... unless vaporized rocks are just as effective(oonce again not your post im just blabering) Im sure u know this im just long winded as hell hahaha. Im all for the contained habitats thats feasible...i just believe without a magnetosphere terraforming by definition CANNOT happen on mars. No matter how you look at it or what you would do to achieve it. Im not a scientist so I could be way off base

The ozone layer absorbs solar UV and does nothing else, and would not be affected one way or another by the lack of a magnetosphere. It is a product of an oxygenated atmosphere and solar UV, which is unaffected by the magnetosphere. It is also not "the thickness of two pennies", it is a region about 10 km deep in the lower stratosphere (20-30 km altitude) where ozone concentrations are relatively high (as in 10 parts per million). At these altitudes, much of the charged particle radiation of energies low enough to be blocked by the magnetosphere would also be blocked by the atmosphere. (Again, the surface environment of Mars, with a very thin atmosphere and no significant magnetic field, is similar to low Earth orbit, within Earth's magnetosphere.)

And in fact, Earth regularly goes for extended periods with no strong magnetic field. The resulting increase in surface radiation is small, and no traces of effects on surface life have been found. With the thicker atmosphere needed to maintain an Earthlike surface environment, a terraformed Mars with no magnetic field would likely be better protected against radiation than Earth. The absence of a magnetic field is a long term concern with loss of hydrogen (and thus water) over geological timescales, not a short term one with radiation.

eburacum45
2015-Aug-23, 05:55 PM
The most optimistic scenario is that there is a lot of water ice and other volatiles trapped beneath the surface of Mars; this could be at least partly liberated by the same impacts that bring the volatiles from out-system. The number of required impacts could then be reduced considerably, even more so if the polar CO2 is released as well, warming the planet and releasing even more volatiles.

One problem that probably will arise is that a warm Mars would need a lot of greenhouse gases, exceeding the level which is toxic to humans. I would expect that a mature science/technology of genetic engineering would allow humans to exist in a CO2-rich atmosphere, but it might mean that the populations of Earth and Mars would be necessarily separate.

The lack of a magnetosphere would have an effect on the atmosphere in the long term, but would make very little difference to the habitability in the short term.

Thunder medicine
2017-Jul-16, 04:42 AM
Probably easier (for some odd value of "easy") to move volatiles from the Asteroid Belt or Saturn's Rings. Vaporizing the surface would seem to be counter-productive to the terraforming process and would, of course, get rid of any interesting geography.

How much water does Ceres have ?

How much water does Enceladus have?


When we can 3d print megasructures robotically in space we can water Mars/ Venus with Saturn's water.
I think Enceladus would be a better choice than Ceres.
Venus is a better long term choice for us.

Cooling it off may not be so difficult in the future.
Warming Mars is technically easier for us now than cooling Venus.
By the time we can do this creating a magnetic field around Mars may not be out of our reach.
Until then domed pressurized colonies is what we do now.
Mars is a dry and frozen planet he'll, yes but

Enough people want to go or die trying.
We know how to warm up a planet now.

publiusr
2017-Jul-21, 10:32 PM
Psyche has lots of metal and some ice. That's what you want for mining. A combination

speach
2017-Jul-22, 02:35 AM
Shall we get there first, before we start to thinking of making a magnetic shield of some sort.