Author Topic: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say  (Read 946 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« on: July 23, 2013, 03:01:32 AM »
http://now.msn.com/mars-may-have-had-ocean-covering-a-third-of-its-surface-say-scientists?ocid=ansnowex


Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
16 hrs ago



Forget a measly river: Scientists think a massive ocean may have once covered up to a third of Mars. High-resolution images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show ridgelike features that researchers say are inverted channels that look an awfully lot like patterns made by water flowing into a large body of water. "Scientists are finding a rich sedimentary record on Mars that is revealing its past environments, which include rain, flowing water, rivers, deltas and potentially oceans," says Mike Lamb of the California Institute of Technology. "Scientists have long hypothesized that the northern lowlands of Mars are a dried-up ocean bottom, but no one yet has found the smoking gun." So maybe global warming is an intergalactic thing. [Source]

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 03:06:47 AM »

Offline Relic

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 09:28:08 AM »
Mars is fascinating to me. The stuff I've seen proposes that Mars developed an ecosphere early on. The problem with Mars now, and why terraforming isn't likely is that Mars has no magnetic field. The core of the planet seems to have cooled, likely due to it's smaller size. No magnetic field, no shield from the sun's radiation means no complex life.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 10:24:32 PM »
Mars is fascinating to me. The stuff I've seen proposes that Mars developed an ecosphere early on. The problem with Mars now, and why terraforming isn't likely is that Mars has no magnetic field. The core of the planet seems to have cooled, likely due to it's smaller size. No magnetic field, no shield from the sun's radiation means no complex life.

Is Venus any more terraformable?

Offline Relic

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 09:37:30 AM »
Is Venus any more terraformable?

I don't think so. The atmosphere is dense, with a large component of sulfuric acid and it's hot. Like 400 degrees hot. There may be life, but nothing we'd recognize.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 10:17:47 PM »
I don't think so. The atmosphere is dense, with a large component of sulfuric acid and it's hot. Like 400 degrees hot. There may be life, but nothing we'd recognize.

True enough, but terraforming necessarily implies making vast changes in a planet's global climatology, which I would assume includes making changes to the composition of the planet's atmosphere.

Offline Relic

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 12:10:11 AM »
True enough, but terraforming necessarily implies making vast changes in a planet's global climatology, which I would assume includes making changes to the composition of the planet's atmosphere.

Right, but in the case of Mars, given the existence of water/ice, it would be fairly easy. The problem is, no magnetic shield. I guess it one could be generated locally, but not on a big enough scale to make terraforming practical.

In the case of Venus, I'm unaware of a technology to thin out the atmosphere and change the chemical composition.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Copycat Mars may have had huge ocean, scientists say
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 01:42:02 AM »
Right, but in the case of Mars, given the existence of water/ice, it would be fairly easy. The problem is, no magnetic shield. I guess it one could be generated locally, but not on a big enough scale to make terraforming practical.

In the case of Venus, I'm unaware of a technology to thin out the atmosphere and change the chemical composition.

What about orbiting shields that significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet?  That should reduce the overall temperature of the planet, thereby allowing some of the material in the atmosphere to condense and form oceans of some sort.  If Earth didn't have its oceans, the atmospheric pressure down at the "bottom" would be substantially higher than it is at the "bottom" now.

The chemical composition could be changed by either (a) liberating desirable compounds from the existing lithosphere, or locking undesirables in, or (b) dropping in meteors and/or comets containing desireable compounds.  In fact, if I recall, Venus has a dearth of water - although I don't know if it has a corresponding dearth of oxygen- and hydrogen- based compounds other than water - and so dropping a few comets onto the planet might be one way of changing the composition of the atmosphere by bringing more water to it.  I think there might also be issues with Venus' magnetic system as well.


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