It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Creating an atmosphere on mars, or the moon?

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 28 2004 @ 06:27 PM
link   
Question that i've allways pondered after seeing such films like...Total Recall and The Red Planet.

How...or would it be possible to create a liveable atmosphere on the planet Mars?
How would it be done?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

In Total Recall, they created a breathable atmosphere by sticking red hot poles into frozen ice, which gave off steam, then the atmosphere became breathable (Just like magic! lol)
In The Red Planet, they cultivated algae, which put oxygen into the air and made it breathable (Something like that)




posted on May, 28 2004 @ 06:30 PM
link   
On Mars, absolutely... If only water was an abundant source. plants thrive on Carbon-Dioxide, which Mars is filled with. it would be more than possible to grow plants here, if, as I said, water was present. It would take a VERY long time to do however...



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 07:42 PM
link   
It is Possible to terraform mars but the moon is a whole different story



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 01:50 AM
link   
mars, yes. it would take several hundred years though

the moon, no. the moon is too small and not massive enough to contain much more of an atmosphere than it already does.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 02:06 AM
link   
Mars could be teraformed by creating green house gases like we do one earth but do it on purpose and to a much greater degree that would warm the planet up perhaps melting ice on mars which would add even more atmosphere then when it warmed up enough you could and simple forms of harder algea or bacteria that would produces gases to add even more atmosphere working up later to plants and trees. As stated before though this process would take hundreds if not thousands of years



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 02:13 AM
link   

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Mars could be teraformed by creating green house gases like we do one earth but do it on purpose and to a much greater degree that would warm the planet up perhaps melting ice on mars which would add even more atmosphere then when it warmed up enough you could and simple forms of harder algea or bacteria that would produces gases to add even more atmosphere working up later to plants and trees. As stated before though this process would take hundreds if not thousands of years



Pfff... Just gimmie a weeks supply of Taco Bell and a lighter, an I'll have it feeling like the tropics!



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 03:04 AM
link   
Mars can not be terraformed, I should know I'm becomming a Geologist and DR could have seconded me we've had discussions about this before, and I've discussed this with other geologists so forth. The idea of terraforming Mars is an adle-brained idea that does not look at the facts.

First Mars has no magnetosphere and no way to create any geo-magnetic field. Therefore you could never walk the surface of Mars without a radiation suit.

Second, the lack of a geo-magnetic field causes solar radiation to bombard the atmosphere, this is a problem for lighter gasses such as O2 and vaporized H2O which are blasted into space by the added energy of solar radiation. The fact that Mars is less dense and smaller than Earth only heightens this by having a lesser escape velocity therefore gasseous molecules can escape faster than on Venus or Earth.

Third, any water you introduce will react with the CO2 to form Limestone. This happens on Earth often it is a part of the great "Carbon cycle" that without our world would end up like...Mars. The difference between Earth and Mars is the substantial tectonic system on the Earth which subducts limestone and other carbon bearing rocks into the Earth where they are broken down chemically to form carbon-dioxide and water. This is then spewed back to the surface in volcanoes and rift valleys and returned to the atmosphere. Mars has no such process, so any water you introduce on the surface would quickly become locked in rocks and so would any carbon-dioxide. Both are essential in the terraforming process.

The final problem is the lack of any tectonic system denies Mars any method of generating gasses or water. And also denies any ability in maintaining liquid water which would not exist on Mars even if her atmosphere were as thick with the same composition as the Earth's.

These problems are all in themselves unchangeable by man-kind and each will deny us the ability to terraform Mars, these are just four problems I can name off my head.

I hope I have disillusioned anyone who was previously misunderstood about the possibilities of terraforming Mars.

Now to dispell a few misconceptions in posts.

ShadowXIX the southern Polar Ice Cap is mainly CO2 which you say that as it melts will add to the atmosphere.

What you don't realize is that it does melt, completely, every year. And every year as it freezes again it takes away 30% of the maximum amount of atmosphere of Mars. The total atmosphere is some 3-4 millibars where as Earth's I believe is around 700-1000 millibars? Either way the pressure on Mars is almost 1/760ths that of Earths at its maximum atmospheric pressure. So any contribution there will be infintesimal.

DarkHelmet you said Mars is filled with CO2.

While it is true that Mars's atmosphere is virtually 98% CO2, it's atmosphere as stated above is so minimal that it could be fully contained with-in the plant/bacterial/animal life of probably the mojave desert. (That's a baseless guess but it wouldn't surprise me at all, most life on Earth is formed of carbon which is drawn from many sources and on Mars that source would be limestones and the minor atmosphere.)

Anyways to fully and directly answer deimos, no Mars can not be terraformed and the Moon has even more problems in terraforming than Mars does.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 03:53 AM
link   

Originally posted by Warhappy
It is Possible to terraform mars but the moon is a whole different story


I'm not sure it's possible to terraform mars. Of course there is water on mars but the time process to go from water, simple molecular organisms to threes and forest producing Oxygene is quite long. I mean that it will take thousands centuries before terraforming mars.

And we don't know if chemicals components of the actual mars athmosphere won't make simply impossible any project of mars terraforming.

Actually the better solution seem to be terraforming only smalls areas on mars (like in total recall) with geodesics domes.


www.applied-synergetics.com...



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 07:08 AM
link   
Thanks for the detailed explanation FreeMason, even if it was kinda depressing, lol
Oh well
I'm guessing there's no way to create a magnetosphere either eh?

[Edited on 29-5-2004 by Deimos]



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 07:37 AM
link   

Originally posted by Deimos
I'm guessing there's no way to create a magnetosphere either eh?
[Edited on 29-5-2004 by Deimos]


Magnetosphere on a planetary scale require a liquid outter core of iron spinning fast enough to generate the magnetic field.

Mar's core is cold and dead. Man kind can not generate that kind of magnetic field. The closest we can get are EM pulses from nukes and those last only miliseconds.

Mars may have chemicals we can mine however to create a sustainable base, but will never be an earthlike planet.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 08:32 PM
link   
If we got on mars, and we create our surroundings which allow us to live there..
Wouldn't that cause a different reality to the individuals there.. in other words: a paradigm shift?

we have artificial limits in this reality, time for example.. But isn't time just a mathemetical calculation based on planetary positions? Is it therefor possible that there's a different "time" on another planet to which our animal species adapt?

In history as we know, we adapt to our surroundings/reality before we can change our surroundings/reality. (Is there a possibility that our material bodies will also adapt and that we get a more alien look?)



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 08:41 PM
link   
FM and Quest are correct about the problems of terraforming Mars. It's not possible with our current (and near future) technology --and add to the problems a lighter gravity, which doesn't hold the air as densely as we'd like it.


Originally posted by puppetmaster
If we got on mars, and we create our surroundings which allow us to live there..
Wouldn't that cause a different reality to the individuals there.. in other words: a paradigm shift?

Err... depends on what you mean by "paradigm shift." Being able (with a Magnetic Core-Starter Kit, a Block O' Oceans Kit and other such things) to turn Mars into a place where humans could live without domes and spacesuits would not cause any change in human consciousness or in the reality of space and time.



we have artificial limits in this reality, time for example.. But isn't time just a mathemetical calculation based on planetary positions? Is it therefor possible that there's a different "time" on another planet to which our animal species adapt?

Err... yes ... and no. Time exists as something that's not dependent on the position of stars or anything else. We measure time based on astronomical events (the concept of a "day" or a "year") and the lenght of the day and year can be different on other planets. But a second is a second, whether or not you measure it on Pluto or on Earth or on a planet orbiting a star across the universe.

(I'm glossing over the black hole stuff.)


In history as we know, we adapt to our surroundings/reality before we can change our surroundings/reality. (Is there a possibility that our material bodies will also adapt and that we get a more alien look?)

Possibly, but such changes take place over many, many generations and you can't quite predict which mutations will be the most useful.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 08:46 PM
link   
Well FreeMason, you may have years of school and a considerable amount of knowledge that tells us it isn't possible. But I have a few beers and I say it is possible. As we all know (or will know one day) A drunk beats a scholar every time.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 09:17 PM
link   

Originally posted by FreeMason
Third, any water you introduce will react with the CO2 to form Limestone.


Limestone is formed from organic remains (shells or coral), and consists mainly of calcium carbonate. Can you tell me how this argument applies to Mars? How could Mars have limestone without life?



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 09:31 PM
link   
NASA seems to think its possible to terraform Mars.


NASA scientists believe that it is technologically possible at the present time to create considerable global climate changes, allowing humans to live on Mars. But this will not be by any means an easy task. Raising the atmospheric pressure and surface temperature alone could be achieved in a few decades.

quest.arc.nasa.gov...


Again from NASA.


Transforming Mars will be a long and complicated process. But this is exactly the type of subject that interests space researchers like Christopher McKay of NASA Ames Research Center. First, greenhouse gases, like chlorofluorocarbons that contribute to the growing ozone layer on Earth, will be released into the atmosphere. This traps the heat from the Sun and raises the surface temperature by an average of 4 degrees Celsius. In order to achieve this, factories would manufacture chlorofluorocarbons derived from the air and soil. A single factory would require the power equivalent of a large nuclear power plant.

The increasing temperature would vaporize some of the carbon dioxide in the south polar cap. Introducing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would produce additional warming, melting more of the polar cap until it has been vaporized completely. This would produce an average temperature rise of 70 degrees Celsius.

With the temperature this high, ice will start melting, providing the water needed to sustain life. This water would raise the atmospheric pressure to the equivalent of some mountaintops. While this would be a survivable level, it may still require the use of an oxygen mask. The next step, which may take up to several centuries, would be to plant trees that thrive on carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

quest.arc.nasa.gov...



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 11:24 PM
link   
Limestone is predominantly calcium carbonate and is formed by chemical precipitation which can be both inorganic chemical or biochemical processes. On Mars any abundance of water and CO2 would be locked away in limestone and other calcium carbonates through the inorganic chemical process that forms these rocks.

And frankly I don't care what NASA's "kids public relations" website has to say about Martian terraforming.

Let's have a look at the "credits" of the quest.arc.nasa.gov website.

Sandy Dueck (sandy@quest.arc.nasa.gov) leads the overall online effort, with support from Dan Helfman (witten@quest.arc.nasa.gov), Oran Cox (oran@quest.arc.nasa.gov) and Marc Siegel (msiegel@quest.arc.nasa.gov). This Mars Team Online Webspace was designed and implemented by Sandy, Dan, Marc and Linda Conrad (lindac@quest.arc.nasa.gov). In addition, the following people have made significant contributions: Chris Tanski (ctanski@mail.arc.nasa.gov), Nathan Hickson, Irene Calizo, and Jennifer Sellers (sellers@quest.arc.nasa.gov). High school seniors Noel Pacheco and Dan Munro also contributed as part of an unpaid internship.

From the same website composed by high schoolers and high school teachers. (Where are all the Doctors?)



The increasing temperature would vaporize some of the carbon dioxide in the south polar cap. Introducing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would produce additional warming, melting more of the polar cap until it has been vaporized completely. This would produce an average temperature rise of 70 degrees Celsius


I already explained, though it was off the top of my head so the pressure difference was off...I'll explain it again.

Mars in the summer time has NO southern ice cap this is due to it being composed of Carbon-Dioxide. At the summer time the pressure on Mars is 6/1000ths the pressure of that on earth. In the winter time the souther ice cap refreezes which draws as much as 30% of the atmosphere into ice, that means in the south's winter season the pressure of Mars at least locally (atmospheric conditions are not globally affected always in such a low-pressure evnironment) is only about 4/1000ths the pressure of that on earth.

I already stated, the problem with their theory is they do not realize that the ice caps they hope would melt, melt all the time. Once a year, every year, in the martian southern hemisphere's summer. Since this increase of gasses does not lead to a martian "terraforming affect" it never will. Therefore their entire argument is not just flawed but useless.

Now let's shift to a more "cheerful" note because I am a somber realist. (Whenever I eventually find a good enough political discussion here you'll really start to see that.)

But in a theoretical futuristic approach, where technology is not a problem, the most atmosphere is in the Iron-Oxide on Mars. I forget off the top of my head what the oxidation-reduction reaction is for producing Iron oxide so I can't give you an example of how many oxygen molecules will be formed by simply breaking the bonds in "rust". But it would be sufficient.

If we had technology to do it instantly we could probably generate a reasonable atmosphere for a limited period of time, in human history this time may or may not be sufficient. The other problems I presented still exist, radiation would not only kill life, but excite the quicker dissapation of lighter gasses and vapors such as Oxygen and water and thus whatever you did release from the rust would escape into the great void of space to be blown to the outer solar system where more needy planets will take them, like Jupiter or Saturn.

There's also the problem that the Iron would still exist, any substantial amount of water flow on the surface would catalyze another oxy-redux causing more rust again, locking more and more oxygen back into the Iron.

To be "real" I'd have to say the only benefit of Mars is its mineral resources.

Mars, unlike the Moon has materials for us to create a "biodome" to live in. Mars, unlike Venus has almost no surface pressure, and that's much easier to over-come. Mars, unlike Mercury isn't 500 degrees too hot.

Mars has iron literally strewn on its surface in the form of rust, so land your "colony miners" and they extract the iron using probably an electrolytic process (?) and use the oxygen for their own needs. The soil of Mars has sufficient resources to be usable for some form of plant growth so that helps a bit, and I'm sure that Mars has some other natural resources we would want and I wouldn't be surprised if it had a measure of Oil locked away in its 1,000 km thick crust.

And while we may move away from Oil for energy needs, many products are made from petroleum.

Deimos asks, "I'm guessing there's no way to create a magnetosphere either eh?"

I have often thought how this might be doable...it seems impossible. Mars has some "magnetic anomalies" nothing sufficient, so maybe we could create our own magnetic anomalies to help guard a colony but I doubt it, the energy needed is not existent. On Earth it is formed by literally 32% of the Earth's total mass, revolving around like a giant dynamo. Mars is about 33% of the mass of Earth so even if the entire planet were acting as a dynamo (which it never will) it would barely meet the energy requirements. Not to mention how do you get a frozen planet to suddenly become a hot one? How would we jumpstart this dynamo? You'd first have to melt the inner-core which in itself seems impossible and so on...so its an insurmountable task.

Puppetmaster asks, "we have artificial limits in this reality, time for example.. But isn't time just a mathemetical calculation based on planetary positions? Is it therefor possible that there's a different "time" on another planet to which our animal species adapt?"

We already have people on Earth living on Martian time, and they are in a more of a paradigm shift than those who would be on Mars because unlike Martians these people notice a 30-minute change in their day every day, while on Mars the Sun will rise relatively the same time it did last time.

Oh well, there's not really much more to say about this yet. Technologically we can't say what far off we are capable of. But if we follow the rule that man can not replace nature, then we'll never terraform Mars.

And I believe that rule because for instance, one hurricane releases the energy of 40,000 megaton nuclear bombs...per minute. The meteorite that hit the Earth killing the dinosaurs released in the impact about some 100,000,000 megatons of energy (if I remember right...). There's a place called "Jupiter Science" but I forget the URL, it really goes well into the events that occured because of that 10-mile wide meteorite. So when it comes to things like "stopping natural disasters" or "creating worlds" or terraforming planets, this is all science-fiction fluff that Hollywood makes non-scientists believe is "close to the truth".

The biggest problem in terraforming is something no terraformist has ever thought of, and never will, because as soon as they think of it they realize how futile it will be.

Energy.

I can go back to my first geology book and look at the first paragraph of the second chapter, and I remember it almost completely, "Earth's geologic atmospheric and hydrologic activities are all a part of a move towards 'equilibrium'".

That is what causes life...

Your body is not in equilibrium as my teacher of biology put it bluntly, when you acheive equilibrium, you are dead.

Physicists call it "heat-death" the end of the universe. When the universe acheives equilibrium, everything reaches absolute zero and nothing happens.

Mars has reached its equilibrium...well...it's very close to it. The Sun causes a few irregularities of energy that cause things like "Dust storms", just as when the heating of the mid-Atlantic causes an imbalance of energy in our atmosphere and releases the mighty hurricane to rebalance the energies.

Lightning as we all know is a "release of an imbalance of charges to return to a state of equilibrium".

Energy is the problem of terraforming.

How do we break an equilibrium? A state where all the energies are in near perfect balances.

In a chemical reaction in a test-tube it is fairly easy because the over-all energy in use is small.

But when you think of the world such as Mars. You have to realize that the rough estimate of the energy involved is E=mc^2.

The mass of Mars is about 33% of Earth (rough estimate) so we can say that the energy involved to change Mars's climate would be 33% of that to change the Earths. (This is also why I believe that man causing Global Warming is a load of crap, and so do most Geologists. Global Warming is beyond our ability to cause, we can only excite natural processes that already exist to go faster, we if anything at all are just a catalyst). On Mars we'd have to create stuff from nothing, because there are nor natural causes to "catalyze" or to excite in our favor. It is a dead world in that respect.

Throw into the mix that we can not even create, correction, all the energy we have released and have the potential to release with current technologies do not even amount to a fraction of the meteorite impact 65 million years ago. And that impact did not "destroy" the Earth because the Earth's system (that energy system not yet in equilibrium) is so massive it simply absorbed it.

This is all very simplistic but if you understand the concept you realize the problems.

In the end, I know how to terraform Mars, I think most would agree with me.

Hit Mars with Ceres (the largest Asteroid in the Asteroid Belt).

Ceres is about 1/3rd the diamter of Mars (more less but not too far off).

Ceres will pulverize Mars and itself and the release of this energy will hopefully shatter both bodies into a globular mess of superheated rock and debris, which will coalesce into a knew "mass".

This mass will hopefully trap a significant amount of energy like the Earth and allow us to have geologic processes to work with to terraform the planet.

Of course the waiting time for the globular mess to re-form is not known to me but I'd have to say it'd be somewhere around a billion years before Mars had a semi-solid (non-molten) surface.

But that is honestly the only way you can over-come the equilibrium problems that Mars presents...at least that's the only way I see. Again I'm just one opinion.

Wow I've written a lot but this is very interesting and even fun. Oh well, everything after where I stated "I'm a realist" is pretty much entering the realm of "theoretical" so do not confuse that with the stuff before it which is pretty much real obsticales that I'm sure a doctor in Planetary Geology would recognize. Everything here is subject to errors but the more theoretical stuff like smashing Mars with Ceres is simply beyond my science, I've not done any calculations nor even know where to begin on such calculations to determine whether or not Ceres would achieve a desired affect.

Hmm just had a thought so I shall interrupt my disclaimer.


I remember reading somewhere about how geographically the great impact crater on Mars is nearly opposite on the world from the "Tharsis Bulge"

That bulge is the only location of significant volcanic activity resulting in 4 volcanoes each larger than mount Everest.

I remember reading a theory about how the Tharsis Bulge was a result of the impact on the other side of the planet, which was not an impact anywhere near the size of Ceres.

So if that impact could possibly create volcanic activity (essential to atmosphere creation), hitting Mars with Ceres might not be such a bad idea.

Anways, end of disclaimer:

This is all just superficial stuff, mainly I wanted to just refute some points given by kinglizard and clarify the issue of Limestone. Everything else drifts off towards the realm of possibilities and I didn't want anyone to become confused since previously in this thread I've only stated what is more absolute and certain as barriers to over-come.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 11:30 PM
link   
Oh also from that same NASA website presented by kinglizard, they state that "chloroflourocarbons" contribute to a thickening of the Ozone layer.

Well, no actually it is CFCs that are known to cause the destruction of the Ozone.

Ozone is O3 a very unstable compound created by ultraviolet radiation hitting Oxygen atoms in our atmosphere, think of it as the planet's "tanning" process, the resultant tan "Ozone" proctects the rest of the planet from radiations.

The destruction of our Ozone has little to do with global-warming, though supposedly it has a lot to do with skin-cancer.

And because of such evidence as localized Ozone depletions such as over Antarctica, there's more evidence that the Ozone is not depleting because of CFCs even though those can do it.

I forget the chemical reaction but it has to do with the flouride in CFCs literally ripping one of the Os off the O3 creating O2 and some other compound.

Either way, this is off the top of my head any corrections are welcomed



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 11:30 PM
link   
What about Venus?



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 11:41 PM
link   
Venus? I love Venus, Venus is Geologically active. The Atmosphere is so thick that if it were transparent, the light that it would bend would be so significant that you could see the light from the other side of the world.

(Basically take a globe of the earth, take where you are on the earth, unwrap the surface, put it in a bowl: You'd have to expand the point opposite you, like the distortions of a mercator map where Greenland is like 50 times bigger than africa, but this is what you'd see when you looked up at day on a Venus with a transparent atmosphere.)

The pressure I think is that of 92 oceans?

And it is so hot that it literally snows metal...lead to be exact a form of lead I forget the mineral's name. But the mountains of Venus are capped in this "metallic snow" heh.

But the main thing is it has a Geological process, a turbulent atmosphere and so something to work with.

It's a whole other story but to make it short, I read an over-simplified argument that you could disburse sulfur eating bacteria into the atmosphere. Since most of the atmosphere is sulfurs and carbon-dioxide, the sulfur eating bacteria eventually would eat the sulfur making it a part of their "bodies" and then decend into the atmosphere to the planet surface thus reducing the pressure.

Then you could begin with archaic-bacteria that eat CO2 and produce O2 to reduce more atmospheric pressure in a similar manner and from there work to try and lock remaining CO2 and sulfurs into minerals and rocks and so forth.

Venus's over-active Volcanic activity still posses a problem, and I don't know how much Nitrogen is there (Nitrogen is essential to life as well, and 70% of Earth's atmosphere, it's essential for plant growth).

But unlike Mars which is like a naked person in an ice-age blizzard. Venus is like a person in the same blizzard with too much clothes on (earth having just the right amount for the time being).

If you remember the wilderness lesson, always go into the cold with more clothes than you need, because it is easier to take clothes off when you're too hot, than it is to put clothes on that you don't have when you are too cold.

Oh well, that's all I have to say for Venus in a quick little bit, but Venus would definately be my option for terraforming candidate.



posted on May, 29 2004 @ 11:54 PM
link   
even scientist that think teraforming of mars could be a done state that it would take hundreds if not thousands of years whos to say by then the technologly we have will not be able to overcome any such problems in teraforming mars. People that state that anything is not possible have been proven wrong time and time again.



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join