Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
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Without a magnetic field any changes we do are seemingly temporary. As we make atmosphere it will be torn away by double solar winds. Double solar winds are the worst, occurring about 15% of the time this occurs when a faster solar wave catches a slower and rolls into one bigger wave. And these happen frequently, very frequently! First Edberg and his ...


33

It can keep an atmosphere, and in fact does. The atmosphere is something akin to a high grade Earth-based vacuum. But that's probably not what you are looking for. Okay, so what would happen with, say, an Earth sized atmosphere on the Moon? A lot of really interesting things would happen actually. First of all, in longest days of the night, the atmosphere ...


26

Since the question states that the answer can be "hypothetical": Since the core of Mars does not have enough heat to start the convection process, we can drill a hole to the solid core and connect them to a source of electricity, and pass a huge current so it heats up ($\textrm{Heat}~=I^2*\textrm{Resistance of core}*\textrm{Time of passage of current}$) the ...


23

There are some very good ideas. This requires a multiple answer approach. This can not be resolved by one method only. I don't believe mass is the issue (if) the iron core is large enough in comparison to the over all mass of the planet. If that is the case then re-starting the mantel is within our current technology to do. We may be able to reach and ...


21

Using liberally "The Case For Mars" second edition. Here's a few facts that help out in the discussion. There is substantial Carbon Dioxide at the poles, which if all of it melted, would thicken the atmosphere considerably. The theory is current that a 4 degree centigrade rise in temperature in the South Pole (Sustained) would trigger a run away greenhouse ...


19

To some extent, we can answer the question for the tools currently available to life, using basic physical principles, and the answer to that is "no". This needs consideration of the atmosphere of Venus and the nature of photosynthesis. The goal of terraforming would primarily be to sequester (or "lock away") the extra atmosphere. So we mainly need to ...


18

This answers the question on how to block ions coming directly from the Sun from hitting Mars by a satellite stationed at L1. It does not cover the fact whether such a shield is effective in reducing the radiation level on Mars surface. See e.g. here for more details on radiation. First, let's have a look at the magnetic field needed. Inside a magnetic ...


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Question: Why not bring cyanobacteria and fertilizer to the atmosphere of Venus to improve conditions for life there by producing oxygen ? ... Only a few scientists have speculated that thermoacidophilic extremophile microorganims might exist in the lower-temperature, acidic upper layers of the Venusian atmosphere. It has been speculated that the ...


14

Other factors being equal, planetary temperature (measured on an absolute scale e.g. degrees Kelvin) falls with the square root of distance from the sun, so a merely Earth-like atmosphere isn't enough to warm Mars. According to this planetary temperature calculator, an Earth-like planet (similar albedo and greenhouse-effect atmosphere) at Mars's orbital ...


13

A few of reasons for not mounting such a terraforming mission now are: Cost-effectiveness. It's expensive to go to Mars, and simply throwing some seeds and fertilizer at the place is too unlikely to yield a desirable result to be worth doing. All terrestrial life is adapted to terrestrial environments and ecosystems, especially complex life like plants. ...


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The key thing to doing this is to accelerate some of the mass of Venus outside of the planet, or alternatively bringing in some mass. Thus, there are 2 main things that could be done to alter the rotation speed. These ideas are explained in Wikipedia. Carefully plan a series of asteroid impacts in a direction where they can increase the rotational energy of ...


12

Here Robert Zubrin and Christopher McKay talk about terraforming Mars. Have your browser find "Moving Ammonia Asteroids" and it will take you to the relevant section about 3/4 down the page. Zubrin and McKay talk about using a gravity assist. But using Saturn's gravity to toss down a 2.8 kilometer Centaur, not Neptune's gravity to toss down a 240 kilometer ...


11

Rearranging the lifeless rocky planets might make terraforming and transportation easier. No, it mightn't, because the amounts of energy it would involve are so ridiculously gigantic that terraforming a planet is a very easy job in comparison. The kinetic energy of an orbiting body is $\epsilon_k = G\cdot \frac{m\cdot M}{2\cdot r}$ where $G$ is the ...


11

The Martian atmospheric pressure is around 600 Pascals. At that pressure the boiling point of water is around 0°C. The average temperature on the surface of Mars is -55°C. The melting point of water is also lower, but this usually changes by a much smaller fraction so we'll assume you want to get it to just below boiling. So you only need to increase ...


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PearsonArtPhoto covers the basic issue, which is that light molecules move so fast that they reach lunar escape velocity. The average speed of the molecules of a particular gas is proportional to the square root of (temperature in Kelvin divided by molecular mass) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root-mean-square_speed I propose a couple of gases with a ...


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According to Wikipedia on formal definition of the dynamo theory, which itself paraphrases The Earth as a Distant Planet, Vázquez et al.: There are three requisites for a dynamo to operate: An electrically conductive fluid medium Kinetic energy provided by planetary rotation An internal energy source to drive convective motions within the ...


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Yes, this is purely speculation (+: (apart from the content available from web-references) Wikipedia writes to say Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the "Red Planet" because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish ...


10

Planets are much, much bigger than you think. The total mass of all the bodies in the main asteroid belt is about half of 1% of Mars's present mass. There's no realistic way to round up enough loose matter to appreciably increase the mass of a planet. 38% of Earth's gravity is pretty substantial. Humans have managed to survive a year in microgravity ...


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There's several advantages and disadvantages to Venus compared to Mars terraforming and colonization: Advantages: Venus's gravity is ~0.9 G which is very similar to Earth's Venus is closer to the earth with less communication lag and more frequent launch windows (around every 600 days instead of 800 days to mars) At high altitudes, temperatures are in ...


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There is nitrogen in the atmosphere of Venus, four times the amount of nitrogen on Earth. Because Venus' atmosphere is so dense, made up almost entirely of carbon dixode, the percentage of nitrogen is rather small in comparison to Earth's atmosphere, but the nitrogen is there. Space.com: Venus' Atmosphere: Composition, Climate and Weather Atmospheric ...


9

A short answer is no, Venus wouldn't lose its ionosphere if the target state of terraforming is matching Earth's atmospheric composition, temperature and pressure. The long answer is a bit more interesting though, particularly why that is a problem, and not a solution to Venusian lack of magnetic field. Let's first address the first point, and I'll slowly ...


9

First of all, while Xenon would be the most stable due to it's molecular weight being the largest non-radioactive gas, there are other gases that would work as well. Sulfur Hexafloride would be a particularly interesting choice, and that should be easier than Xenon to find. Okay, that notwithstanding, how well would it work to fly in an atmosphere of Xenon ...


9

If you are able to terraform Mars in some reasonable amount of time, let's say in 100 years, then you don't need a magnetic field. Just do whatever you did to terraform the planet, but at one billionth of that rate, in order to counter the loss of atmosphere to the solar wind. Or don't even bother at all, leaving the problem to your great1000000-...


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The reason Mars gets more attention than Venus is because we could walk on Mars. Our current technology can handle Mars. Venus on the other hand everything dissolves in a few hours from the heat and acid which makes it a terrifying planet to visit. But on the subject of terraforming. Terraforming is still very much sci-fi and far off from any fact. We are ...


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Earth's atmosphere is also slowly "leaking" into space, but very slowly. This is because there are multiple processes involved in escaping atmospheres. One of those processes is Jeans escape, where due to Maxwell speed distribution and long enough mean free path molecules are able reach escape velocity and escape the atmosphere before "bumping" into another ...


8

Setting aside the fact that this would be a very bad idea and that there are far less energy intensive ways to terraform the surface of a planet, the most energy efficient way to do this I can think of is by using Oort Cloud objects. It takes very little $\Delta V$ to make an Oort cloud object dive towards the Sun. In fact, it is the source of most comets. ...


8

The Venus ionosphere would definitely not be destroyed. Ionospheres are formed by interaction between the atmosphere and the ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. The UV radiation is more intense closer to the Sun, so Earth-like atmosphere on Venus would probably have even denser ionosphere than actual Earth has. Venus receives 1.9-times the irradiance in ...


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This question assumes Mars doesn't have a magnetic field because Mars' core is frozen solid. It's not. Mars has a partially liquid core, just as does the Earth. (The Earth has a liquid outer core and a solid inner core.) Whether Mars has a solid inner core is unknown, but it certainly does have a liquid outer core (and possibly a fully liquid core). (See C.F....


7

Mars's has an exceedingly low flux magnetic field generated by its core because there is very little convection of its conductive core material. This is likely because the natural nuclear fission process in the core has stalled. When planets form they become molten, which causes the constituent materials to differentiate. Lighter materials e.g. silicates ...


7

No. You could use various techniques to convert/fix all the harmful substances in Venus' atmosphere, but photosynthesis is not likely to be one of them. This is because Venus has an incredibly opaque atmosphere, so all you would be able to photosynthesise (assuming you had bacteria resistant to the acidic sulphur compounds found n the atmosphere) would be ...


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