2021-09-06

Can we really “turn Mars into Earth”?

By yqqlm yqqlm

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Can we really “turn Mars into Earth”?

Most importantly, the temperature of Mars is relatively low. Billions of years ago, Mars had a thick, carbon-rich atmosphere and liquid water. The lakes and oceans formed may even have fluffy white clouds in the sky. This is because the solar radiation intensity was not high at that time, but occasionally it was more violent than today, and occasionally violent solar radiation occurred, which means that the current solar system is more than 30%. A hundred million years ago, it was more suitable for life to survive, but now Mars is a red dead planet.

Sadly, Mars was destined to be destroyed from the beginning. It is smaller than the earth, which means it cools faster. The core of the earth is still molten, and the core of the earth is rich in iron. The viscous material will power the earth’s powerful magnetic field. The magnetic field can block and deflect the solar wind, which is a never-ending stream of high-energy particles, which is continuously ejected from the surface of the sun.

When Mars cools down, its inner core will solidify, the magnetic field will stop, and the Martian atmosphere will be exposed to the raging destruction of the solar wind. In about 100 million years, the solar wind stripped the atmosphere of Mars. When the air pressure dropped to near a vacuum, the seawater on the surface of Mars evaporated in ancient times, and the entire planet became increasingly dry.

This is a very tempting point of view: ancient Mars is very similar to the earth, is there a way to restore the green environment of Mars?

Is the Martian pole a “reservoir”?

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on people’s point of view), mankind has mastered many lessons about planetary warming. With the development of human industry, carbon emissions have increased in recent centuries. , Under the simple greenhouse mechanism, the earth’s surface temperature gradually rises. The earth emits a lot of carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide makes it easier for the sun’s rays to enter the earth’s atmosphere and prevent thermal radiation from escaping, so this carbon dioxide is like a huge invisible blanket covering the earth.

As the earth’s temperature rises, it will encourage water to leave the ocean and enter the earth’s atmosphere in the form of water vapor. A vicious circle.

If this circulation mechanism works on the earth, it may be effective on Mars. Now we cannot enter the Martian atmosphere because it has completely disappeared in space, but there is indeed a lot of water in the Martian poles. Ice and frozen carbon dioxide deposits, and some are below the surface. If we heat the poles of Mars in a certain way, a large amount of carbon may be released into the Martian atmosphere, thereby starting the trend of greenhouse gas warming. What we need to do is to calm down, observe and analyze hundreds of years of data records, and wait for the physical effects to be exerted. Mars becomes a clean and green planet. Regrettably, this simple idea may not be realized.

The first is to develop the latest technology for heating the polar regions of Mars. Scientists have proposed many solutions, including: spraying dust on the poles of Mars to make the poles reflect less light and heat them up; build a huge space Mirror surface; high beams are placed in the orbit of Mars to illuminate the poles of Mars and so on.

But any idea requires a radical technological leap. At present, our space manufacturing technology is still very poor. If we want to make a space mirror, we need at least about 200,000 tons of aluminum in space, which we don’t have today. The mining capacity of foreign planets is also unable to transport 200,000 tons of aluminum from the earth to the orbit of Mars.

However, it is regrettable that we realize that storing a large amount of carbon dioxide on the surface of Mars will not trigger a decent climate warming trend. At present, the atmospheric pressure of Mars is less than 1% of the pressure of the earth’s sea level. If people can evaporate all the carbon dioxide and water molecules of Mars and make them enter the atmosphere, then the pressure of this red planet is only 2% of that of the earth. This means that twice the Martian atmosphere will be needed to prevent the sweat and oil from boiling on the skin, and 10 times the Martian atmosphere will be required to eliminate the need to wear a pressurized suit.

So let alone how to solve the problem of lack of oxygen on Mars, it is even more difficult! In order to solve the problem of lack of greenhouse gases on Mars, scientists have made some radical suggestions. Maybe we can build factories that specialize in the production of chlorofluorocarbons. CFCs are a very annoying greenhouse gas, or we can get rich ammonia from outside the solar system. Collected on the comet, the ammonia gas itself is a huge “greenhouse blanket”, and eventually it will be decomposed into harmless nitrogen, which becomes the vast majority of elements in the earth’s atmosphere.

Assuming that we can overcome the technical challenges associated with these proposals, there is still an important obstacle: the lack of a magnetic field. Unless we protect Mars, every molecule we inject into the atmosphere is easily blown away by the solar wind, just like building a pyramid from desert sand.

We can come up with some creative solutions. Maybe we can build a huge electromagnet in space to deflect the solar wind. Maybe we can use superconductors to orbit Mars and make Mars an artificial Magnetosphere. Of course, so far we have no mature technology to achieve the above two solutions.

In the future, is it possible for us to transform Mars into the earth, making this barren planet suitable for human survival? Of course, this is possible. There are no laws of physics to hinder the development of human science and technology. I believe that in the near future, we will build human homes on the surface of Mars.

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