November 28, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Scientists have identified an opportunity to ‘reboot’ Mars’ magnetic field

Although Mars is currently an inhospitable planet on which it will be very difficult to survive for a long time, everything can change in the future. For several years now, scientists, engineers, and visionaries have been toying with the idea of ​​colonizing Mars.

colonization of mars

From a rational point of view, Mars is the most suitable planet for colonization. As the gate writes universe todayThe Red Planet has a lot in common with our planet. Someday on Mars about the length of the Earth, there is a lot of frozen water hidden under the surface, and in time it will probably be possible, using various scientific tricks, to create an atmosphere that is relatively airy.

Screenshot / Ruth Bamford / RA Bamford et al. The.

However, the biggest challenge is creating a protective barrier around Mars that protects The future colonists of dangerous radiation. The magnetic field is a complex and dynamic force that protects us on Earth from cosmic rays and charged particles from the sun.

Therefore, the magnetic field is important for life on this planet. As the gate writes futuristicHowever, Mars has a woefully weak magnetic field that simply cannot protect us from the harmful effects of space.

However, experts in a new document, which is due to be published at the beginning of next year in the journal Acta Astronautica, and is currently available on the preprint server arXiv, proposed a very interesting possibility of creating a magnetic field on Mars.

“One of the main requirements for (Mars) reclamation is protection in the form of a magnetic field, which Mars does not currently have,” Quotes excerpts from the Futurism study portal.

According to the authors, the first step or goal of reclamation is to increase atmospheric pressure above the so-called Armstrong limit, which would allow people to survive on the planet without wearing a full-body protective suit.

The Armstrong limit is the limit at which atmospheric pressure is low enough for fluids in the human body to boil at normal human temperature.

A new approach to this issue

Although, according to the authors’ calculations, the force required to turn the solar wind is roughly the same as that of a magnet, which you’ll find at home in a refrigerator, creating a magnetic field that surrounds the entire planet so it was at least 37 million kilometers2, is another “coffee”.

Screenshot / Ruth Bamford / RA Bamford et al. The.

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Since it is not easy to restart the magnetic field or excite the red planet’s iron core, several options have been discussed in the past, most of which have involved Earth or orbital solenoids that could provide a basic level of magnetic protection. Although the authors of the new study acknowledge its potential for success, they suggest a better solution.

They note that in order to create a really good magnetic field that protects the planet from cosmic rays, we need to create a ring full of charged particles around Mars. This should be possible thanks to the moon Phobos.

Phobos is the largest of the two moons of the red planet, which orbits so close that one orbit takes only 8 hours.

Phobos’ orbit drives directly through a stream of charged particles (Ions) flowing from the atmosphere of Mars. Colliding some of the atmosphere or ions fleeing from its surface, a team of experts proposed using these particles and accelerating them to create a plasma torus along the entire orbit of Phobos.

Screenshot / Ruth Bamford / RA Bamford et al. The.

As the scientists wrote in their study, the optimal solution would be to create an artificial ring filled with charged particles around the planet, and a mass ejected from one of its moons could be used to create it. Electromagnetic waves and plasma waves are used to generate an electric current in the loop, which leads to the formation of a magnetic field.

However, to create such a magnetic field, we would need an enormous amount of energy and technology that is still just the “music” of the future for us. After all, only the absolute minimum energy needed to create such a magnetic field would be, according to scientists’ calculations, 1017J – For comparison, the total electricity consumption for 2020 was 1018NS.

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