MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: Will the solar wind allow terraforming a 'human' Martian atmosphere?

Date: Thu Feb 1 02:51:50 2001
Posted by Michael
Grade level: nonaligned School: No school entered.
City: Vancouver State/Province: BC Country: Canada
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 981013910.As

The announcement yesterday (Jan 31 2001) that the solar wind may have 
stripped off the early Martian atmosphere when the Martian magnetic field 
died and Mars lost its protective magnetosphere implies that, as a follow-
on consequence, humans' potential attempts to terraform Mars by producing 
an earthlike atmosphere may suffer a similar fate. How seriously does this 
finding hurt the chances of terraforming Mars? Will humans be able to 
restart the internal Martian dynamo to resurrect the Martian areomagnetic 
field? Could any other process protect an atmosphere from the solar wind? 
Or does this finding imply that Martian colonists will necessarily be 
confined to domed/tented communities, and that a renascent Martian 
atmosphere is impossible?

Re: Will the solar wind allow terraforming a 'human' Martian atmosphere?

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