New images show a 'living' Mars

Jan 03, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
This is a conception view of the Western hemisphere of Mars with oceans and clouds. Olympus Mons is visible on the horizon beyond the Tharsis Montes volcanoes and the Valles Marineris canyons near the center. Credit: Kevin Gill

Over the years, scientists have found evidence revealing that an ocean may have covered parts of the Red Planet billions of years ago. Others suggest that a future terraformed Mars could be lush with oceans and vegetation. In either scenario, what would Mars look like as a planet alive with water and life? By combining data from several sources—along with a bit of creative license—software engineer Kevin Gill has created some gorgeous images showing concepts of what a "living Mars" might look like from orbit, turning the Red Planet into its own version of the Blue Marble.

"This was something that I did both out of curiosity of what it would look like and to improve the software I was rendering this in," Gill said via email. "I am a software engineer by trade and certainly no , so with the exception of any parts derived from actual data, most of it is assumptions I made based on simply comparing the Mars terrain to similar features here on Earth (e.g. elevation, proximity to bodies of water, , geographical position, etc) and then using the corresponding textures from the Blue Marble images to paint the flat image layer in a graphics program."

For example, the view below is of the of Mars, with Olympus Mons on the horizon beyond the Tharsis Montes volcanoes and the Valles Marineris canyons near the center. Gill said the height of the clouds and atmosphere are largely arbitrary and set for the sake of appearance. The terrain is also exaggerated by about 10 times. The orbital "eye" view is about 10,000 km (~6,200 miles) from the surface.

A conception of an ancient and/or future Mars, flush with oceans, clouds and life. Credit: Kevin Gill

"This wasn't intended as an exhaustive scientific scenario as I'm sure (and expect) some of my assumptions will prove incorrect," Gill said on Google+. "I'm hoping at least to trigger the imagination, so please enjoy!"

He outlined his steps in creating the images:

A two dimensional was first rendered in jDem846 (an open-source learning project of mine) using the MRO MOLA 128 pix/deg elevation dataset. In that model, I picked a sea level and scripted it such that terrain at or below that level was flat and blue.

The resulting model was then brought into GIMP were I painted in land features using a NASA Blue Marble Next Generation image for the source textures. There is no scientific reasoning behind how I painted it; I tried to envision how the land would appear given certain features or the effects of likely atmospheric climate. For example, I didn't see much green taking hold within the area of Olympus Mons and the surrounding volcanoes, both due to the volcanic activity and the proximity to the equator (thus a more tropical climate). For these desert-like areas I mostly used textures taken from the Sahara in Africa and some of Australia. Likewise, as the terrain gets higher or lower in latitude I added darker flora along with tundra and glacial ice. These northern and southern areas textures are largely taken from around northern Russia. Tropical and subtropical greens were based on the rainforests of South America and Africa.

Finally, that image was brought back into jDem846 as a layer to be reapplied to the same MOLA dataset, but rendered as a spherical projection (like Google Earth). I scripted the model to apply a three-dimensional cloud layer, add an atmosphere, and dampen specular lighting on dry land and under clouds. There are some other scripted tweaks here and there.

Gill has also done other visualizations of and also the Moon, which can be seen on his G+ or Flickr page.

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Kieseyhow
5 / 5 (5) Jan 03, 2013
There is enough water floating about in space that this may be entirely possible.
Sinister1811
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 03, 2013
This isn't really anything new. There are images all over the internet, portraying a terraformed Mars. But I do admit that those images look amazing.

http://en.wikiped..._of_Mars

They could create one for Venus as well.

http://en.wikiped...of_Venus

There is enough water floating about in space that this may be entirely possible.


That's true. But you also need to increase the atmospheric pressure/content to resemble Earth's. Apparently, one of the problems with this is Mars's weak gravity, which would make it more of a challenge to sustain a thicker atmosphere.
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 03, 2013
Do you see how motherhuge Olympus Mons is? Only with the graphical addition of an atmospheric layer do you really get to appreciate what an enormous formation it is.
Sinister1811
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 03, 2013
Agreed. Largest volcano in the solar system. It would make a spectacular sight.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 03, 2013
Science fiction shows it ugly head at Phys.org, isn't that special.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Jan 03, 2013
With erosion working it would look very different in "short" order...

Still pretty cool.
Lurker2358
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 03, 2013
That's true. But you also need to increase the atmospheric pressure/content to resemble Earth's. Apparently, one of the problems with this is Mars's weak gravity, which would make it more of a challenge to sustain a thicker atmosphere.


Atmosphere needs to be 2.66 times as thick as Earth per unit surface area in order to produce Earth-like pressures of 1000mb. So you need an amount of mass equal to 75% of the Earth's atmosphere in order to produce Earth-like surface pressures.

However, humans survive the low pressure of category 5 hurricanes, 880 to 920mb, well enough as long as they aren't killed by projectiles, so you may not need 1000mb.

Mars has plenty CO2, but it's frozen. The planet needs NITROGEN in order to distribute heat from the equator, where it's above the sublimation point of CO2, up to the poles before it radiates away. This would vaporize the CO2 and start a greenhouse effect.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
One problem is there is actually too much CO2 on Mars in it's ice caps.

In order to keep the CO2 below poisonous levels (by percent,) you might actually need to "over pressurize" mars, but we don't have a lot of information about what is toxic CO2 levels to Earth continental life with over-pressurized conditions.

Still, you might only need to add a couple millibars equivalent worth of nitrogen in order to start sublimating the CO2 ice caps, and once the CO2 gets in the atmosphere with the nitrogen stabilizing it, then the planet should warm up and start a chain reaction of warming.

Water could come from Ceres if we had nuclear rocketry, and assuming Ceres actually has as much water-ice as is believed. We'll know shortly from Dawn spacecraft is all goes as planned.

Now people may say the Sun will blow it away. Not really in human life terms, because the Sun doesn't just magically strip atmospheres or water. It takes a very, very long time...
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
My concern is that because there is so much CO2, you would need alga to convert it to oxygen, but CO2 about 6% composition at 1 atmosphere starts to be toxic. Too much oxygen also starts to be toxic to mammals at ultra-high concentrations. While you don't need an exact replica of Earth conditions, you need enough nitrogen to balance the CO2 and oxygen in percents that aren't toxic to Earth plant and animal life.

Bacteria and alga may be able to convert enough carbon from the CO2 to make soils, but I think that would take a very long time, because the conditions would initially be so hostile to most ordinary life. most extremophiles on Earth don't even use oxygen or CO2, they use hydrates or sulfates for their "respiration.

I suppose if you had the nitrogen to stabilize the CO2, it would be more favorable to the photosynthetic life we know, but it becomes a question of whether those life forms could get nutrients from the soils or newly made lakes from the space-water.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
One problem is there is actually too much CO2 on Mars in it's ice caps.

Not really. Most of the CO2 is in the atmosphere. Mars atmosphere is 95% CO2 but only 1% as dense as Earth's . If one could 'fill up ' the atmosphere with oxygen and nitrogen to the right density then the CO2 content would be OK for humans.
(but adding such huge amounts of other gases isn't realistic - not even in a far flung future Sci-Fi scenario. Do the math. The volumes are so enormous that we couldn't hope to achieve a billionth of the needed work in any appreciable timeframe )
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
I don't know the real numbers, but the wiki article says the southern cap has a permanent layer of 8m thick dry ice which is 350km diameter (with about 3km thick water-ice there as well,) and further it frosts by about another 1m CO2-ice thickness during the southern winter. This comes to 770 cubic kilometers of permanent CO2 ice, plus about another 100 cubic kilometers of CO2 ice which oscillates back and forth from pole to pole.

This is 1.2 quadrillion tons of CO2.

The Earth has only 2 trillion tons of CO2 in it's atmosphere.

So if the Martian poles totally sublimated their CO2, there would be 600 times as much CO2 in the martian atmosphere, by mass, as what atmospheric CO2 exists on Earth.

I don't know if that's a problem or not, because it would be farther away from the Sun than the Earth, so the greenhouse wouldnt be as strong as on Earth, but maybe it's a good thing to warm it up more than it might otherwise be, IF AND ONLY IF the CO2 isn't too much to be toxic to life.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
Do the math. The volumes are so enormous that we couldn't hope to achieve a billionth of the needed work in any appreciable timeframe.


Depends. In the future humans will hopefully do more and better long-term planning. The ability to modify an entire planet to make it livable may seem daunting to us today, but if they have fusion power, or large enough solar sails or something similar, it may be possible to move these amounts of material over centuries of directed robotic efforts.

Ceres has ultra-low gravity. It may be possible to make a space tractor which can haul huge volumes of water-ice, perhaps cubic kilometers in one go, and put them on a collision course with Mars.

Here's the kinetic Energy needed to ideally accelerate a cubic kilometer of water-ice from the surface of Ceres to Ceres escape velocity:

130,050,000,000,000,000 Joules.

Humans currently use 3,883 times that much energy every year, most from fossil fuels and nuclear power.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
Starting at 5% CO2 (at Earth atmosphere pressure) will cause serious health problems (dizziness, slowed heartbeat, hyperacidic conditions, increase in blood pressure, unconsciousness). Anything beyond 8% is lethal within an hour.

So you REALLY don't want that CO2 from the poles to sublime.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
So if you had the ships, then using about 10% of our current energy consumption level, you could realistically move about 130 cubic kilometers of water from Ceres to a Mars collision course every year.

Okay, seriously, at that rate it would take 370,000 years to move enough water to Mars to cover roughly 1/3rd of the planet to an average depth of one-half kilometer.

However, that is assuming an amount of energy only equal to 10% of existing human energy consumption. in the future as self-assembling robots are built, it may be possible to make exponentially more powerful systems which can produce thousands of times as much energy by some combination of harvesting asteroids for fissile materials, or concentration of solar, etc.

Robots could build enormous machines using materials harvested from asteroids,d warf planets, and dwarf moons where launch costs from gravity are negligible. These machines could then be giant engines used to move enormous amounts of material with nuke rocketry
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
However, that is assuming an amount of energy only equal to 10% of existing human energy consumption. in the future as self-assembling robots are built, it may be possible to make exponentially more powerful systems

Yeah. And when we invent magic then we'll make it a paradise.

In any case. Changing the atmosphere doesn't change gravity. And I'm pretty sure raising a child in 1/3 gravity isn't beneficial to its health (if it isn't downright lethal). So there's no real point in terraforming Mars.

(and if we can alter ourselves to live in different conditions then there's doubly no point in terraforming Mars - because then we can just live there the way it is now)
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2013
AP:

While you may be right, we would never know if we don't try it.

One of the problems with alternatives, such as space stations with simulated gravity (such as spinning,) is Entropy will eventually win, and destroy the system. It would reach a condition where the majority of work done in the system will be maintenance and repair costs, such as cleaning and patching the hull, and fixing corrosion problems and such.

If Mars can harbor life, even if it isn't human life, we may have some sort of moral responsibility to spread life to Mars to maximize and preserve life in the cosmos.

I won't live to see it I suppose, but it would be interesting to actually run the "tallest possible tree" experiment on Mars, and see if we can break 1600 feet for a Sequoia, as I calculated should be possible based on the growth of weight vs growth of strength relationship seen in Earth trees, which should be the reciprocal of g raised to the 3/2 power multiplied by Earth height.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (3) Jan 03, 2013
Unfortunately, I won't live to see most of the experiments I'm interested in.

Oh yeah, I was not referring to "magic," but rather economies of scale and exponential growth.

You believe self-replicating robots are science fiction.

I believe they are already a fact with biological prototypes made by the creator.

A tree grows from a tiny seed, and may be 100 million times as massive as the original seed. This is an example how self replication can work to produce something exponentially larger than itself to perform other functions.

I didn't say designing robotic systems to work like this would be easy. in fact it would take many teams of experts in nearly ever field of material science and computer science to accomplish what I have in mind.

There is nothing in the laws of physics to say that it isn't possible, and the energy levels while huge by today's standards, are surprisingly low by type 1 or type 2 standards...
RealScience
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
@lurker: Dry ice has a density of ~1.5 g/cm3 = 1.5 tonnes/m3 = 1.5 x 10^9 tonnes per cubic kilometer, so 870 cubic kilometers would be only ~1.3 x 10^12 tonnes (1.3 trillion, not 1.2 quadrillion).
Lurker2358
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 03, 2013
@lurker: Dry ice has a density of ~1.5 g/cm3 = 1.5 tonnes/m3 = 1.5 x 10^9 tonnes per cubic kilometer, so 870 cubic kilometers would be only ~1.3 x 10^12 tonnes (1.3 trillion, not 1.2 quadrillion).


I don't know how I got off by a factor of a thousand, but you are right.

I got 1.2 instead of 1.3 because I used a lower density for CO2 ice since I figured lower gravity probably doesn't make it as dense as here on Earth.

With that correction it would mean the total amount isn't all that different than Earth after all.

Perhaps we could increase nitrogen by importing Ammonia from Pluto.

I did find that if you were moving Nitrogen at the same rate I had calculated for Water above, then you could move enough Nitrogen to Mars to reach the amount that would be proportionate to Earth composition IF Mars was at 1 atmosphere pressure in just 20,000 years. This is much less than the time needed to move the water to cover 1/3rd of the surface.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2013
1,1,1 hehe.

Anyway, I foudn that if you devoted an amount of energy equal to the existing use of Humanity to moving nitrogen to Mars, you could complete the task in just 2000 years. If you devoted ten times that amount, it could be done in just 200 years, plus the amount of time it takes the self-replicating robotic infrastructure to grow itself to that energy level.

If hydrogen fusion is ever figured out, then fusion rockets could get their power from the water on Ceres.

While 10 times present day human energy consumption is an enormous amount, it is still somewhere between 100 and 1000 times smaller than a type 1 civilization.

Generational projects requiring 40 years to complete have been done on Earth in the ancient world, before modern logistics existed, so a 200 year project is not beyond reasonable possibilities once the energy problem is solved.

Again, the energy level is probably not a question of "if," but "when".
javjav
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
Apparently, one of the problems with this is Mars's weak gravity, which would make it more of a challenge to sustain a thicker atmosphere.

I don't think so. Both Venus and Titan have a thicker atmosphere than Earth, but they have much weaker gravity. In one case closer to Sun and far away in the other, so radiation does not seem to be a big issue. The question is: There where oceans, so where is all the water now? Is at least part of it under the surface? under the surface there is enough pressure to keep it salty water liquid, the possibility of underground lakes does not sound crazy alternative at all. It happens on earth everywhere, and it does not dependent too much on atmosphere parameters.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2013
The question is: There where oceans, so where is all the water now?


Elementary, my dear Watson.

That is, the water chemically reacted with the soil, oxidizing the iron to make the red rusty soil. The hydrogen could still be around somewhere in other rock chemistry, although some of it may well have been blown away by ionizing radiation, but not all. After all, most of the ice caps on the planet are made from water-ice.

There's actually enough water-ice on Mars in the permanent ice caps so that if it were spread out evenly, it would coat the entire surface of the planet to a depth of 22.2 meters.

Obviously, if it were liquified, it will eventually tend to accumulate in lakes and canyons.

This is why I suggest any terraforming project should start with the much easier task of bringing in the Nitrogen first in order to stabilize atmospheric temperature, pressure, and chemistry.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2013
At any rate, you are correct. The gravity has next to nothing to do with it.

Europa and Enceladus are each far less massive than Mars or Earth, yet they each have more water than the Earth has.

Mainstream physics are terrible at communicating physics to the public, either because they are bad communicators, or else because they don't understand it themselves.

Think of the iron oxides on Mars as being more analogous to the silicates and alumina on Earth. They lock up a lot of oxygen, and there's not much you can do about it. So to stabilize mars atmosphere for Earth-like life, you need only bring in more water and oxygen. That is, after the Nitrogen to stabilize the existing water and determine what the optimal amount of water is for Earth-like life.

You'd want to aim to get nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor ratios to what is good for earth life, but it might not be exactly identical because distance to the Sun is greater.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2013
Now if the water I mentioned above was accumulated in lakes covering 1/3rd of the surface of the planet, it would be 66 meters deep (215 feet) on average. This is actually deeper than a LOT of aquatic life on Earth.

Anyway, ultimately, a lack of nitrogen is in fact Mars' biggest hurdle to being habitable. Not lack of water nor even temperature. We have creatures on Earth which live (and even thrive,) in far colder environments than some of the locations in the Martian tropics, for example. If you increase the atmospheric pressure to 70% of 1 atmosphere by bringing in 70% equivalent of nitrogen, then the polar ice caps will begin to have more heat and pressure distributed to them, which will help first of all sublimated the CO2, and then melt some of the water-ice.

There are sufficient amounts of nitrogen in the solar system on small bodies. It's just a matter of figuring out how to harvest it.
javjav
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
The question is: There where oceans, so where is all the water now?


Elementary, my dear Watson.

That is, the water chemically reacted with the soil, oxidizing the iron

Not so elementary Holmes. I have to say that your theory sounds correct (thanks for the explanation), but it is not incompatible with what I suggest. When there where oceans, a significant water portion formed underground lakes. This is almost sure, as Mars surface is not impermeable, caves and lava tubes are visible in many places. Deep caves are under a much bigger pressure than surface, and they may not suffer similar water cycles (vapour, rain..) as surface oceans. And underground lakes are enclosed in a limited surface area to react with it. So underground lakes had to existed in ancient times, and my question is, could those underground lakes still survive?
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2013
And underground lakes are enclosed in a limited surface area to react with it. So underground lakes had to existed in ancient times, and my question is, could those underground lakes still survive?


I think you need to have somehow sealed off the cave, such as via collapse during a quake or impact or something.

Also, you need geothermal energy to maintain temperature, which could be a problem because mars was likely never as geothermally active as Earth (in terms of total energy content,) simply because it's so much less massive. You need enough temperature so it doesn't freeze, but enough pressure so it doesn't boil.

Not impossible, just we don't know enough about the planet to say, because on Earth we have wells and mines everywhere. We have only a handful of pathetic rovers on Mars.

It's a good idea though.

Pressure also increases at the base of canyons.

However, I was speaking more or less about making a good chunk of the surface habitable to Earth-like life.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
Not a likely image.

We don't see massive banded iron formations on Mars from oxygenation by organisms, and it took some time before it appears on Earth too. (Massive amounts of banded iron formations, too large to be explained by photodissociation or photochemical reactions driven by UV in an anoxic atmosphere.)

So the greenery is visual but a bit too much. Same goes for the land use, since without oxygen the UV would have been forbidding. Early photochemical metabolism was mostly IR akin to today's purple bacteria, hence would appear as a dark, and stay away from the water surface.

You would probably only see life deep in the oceans from a distance with exacting spectrographic techniques.

So, nice illustrations of water and atmosphere extent, but not doing so much to illustrate any putative early biosphere.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
@ Lurker: "With that correction it would mean the total amount isn't all that different than Earth after all."

Yes, the terrestrials outside of Mercury would have roughly the same amount of water and carbon (so carbon dioxide) from the protoplanetary disk conditions. We already know that from mantle water original content (Earth, Moon and Mars mantle samples) and carbon (Venus, Earth, Mars estimates - note that Venus cooked off all its C).

@ javjav: Curiosity just confirmed earlier martian D/H ratios at ~ 5 times larger than Earth, implying ~ 80 % of its original water was lost to space.

The rest is believed to be permafrost under the near surface, such as Phoenix found. The current question is if there is a habitable liquid water table beneath. See NASA pages on their mission proposals to look for this by drilling.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Jan 03, 2013
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 03, 2013
Agreed. Largest volcano in the solar system. It would make a spectacular sight.


How would it "make a spectacular sight". To see it all in one glance you would have to be in a 1000km orbit.
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2013
Science fiction shows it ugly head at Phys.org, isn't that special.

No, you show up all the time with your science fiction. its nothing out of the ordinary at all. we are all pretty used to it.
rubberman
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 04, 2013
The lack of a planetary magnetic field rules out Mars as a viable planet for Terra forming. It is fun to imagine the possibilities were this not a factor.
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 04, 2013
(but adding such huge amounts of other gases isn't realistic - not even in a far flung future Sci-Fi scenario. Do the math. The volumes are so enormous that we couldn't hope to achieve a billionth of the needed work in any appreciable timeframe )


I'd disagree. Far flung future sci-fi scenarios are often underestimated. With mature nano-technology it could be accomplished virtually overnight. With current levels of tech though I'd heartily agree.

The lack of a planetary magnetic field rules out Mars as a viable planet for Terra forming. It is fun to imagine the possibilities were this not a factor.


This is potentially a bigger problem than atmosphere. It might be more "economical" to do something else for living space than to melt a planetary core and spin it up. However to a future human society with arbitrary levels of resources and technology it might be the difference between adding sugar to their coffee or not. It WOULD be doable though at some point.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (1) Jan 05, 2013
There's definitely enough energy in the solar system to Terraform Mars if you have some form of hydrogen fusion. The hydrogen on Europa and Enceladus is actually enough to turn them into world ships and fly them to a nearby star about about 0.1C, in theory. so moving the needed matter around inside the solar system is actually peanuts by comparison.

Self replicating robots to build these mega-scale space engines and mine the materials.

Engines run on hydrogen fusion (presumably) and move large quantities of nitrogen compounds from Triton or Pluto (unless there's a closer, easier target,) as well as large amounts of ice from Ceres or Europa.

A True Type 1 equivalent civilization, mostly comprised of worker robots and fusion engines, could move the needed water in just 34 years, and could move the needed nitrogen in just 2 years or so, although it would actually be much more resource efficient to take it slower...
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (5) Jan 05, 2013
Agreed. Largest volcano in the solar system. It would make a spectacular sight.


How would it "make a spectacular sight". To see it all in one glance you would have to be in a 1000km orbit.


Fair point. I guess you could at least get quite a glance of the base of the volcano from a distance. Now that would still make a spectacular sight.
RealScience
5 / 5 (3) Jan 05, 2013

Do you see how motherhuge Olympus Mons is? Only with the graphical addition of an atmospheric layer do you really get to appreciate what an enormous formation it is.


According to the article:

The terrain is also exaggerated by about 10 times.


So while Olympus Mons it is truly huge, it is only ~1/10 as huge as it looks in the rendering shown.
marble89
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 05, 2013
Take off your blue tinged earth glasses my fellow Trekers. There is overwhelming evidence that ancient Mars was extremely cold. So cold that any CO2 atmosphere would be vulnerable to collapse. All of the fluvial features on Mars, with the possible exception of the Tharis outflow channels, can be explained by subglacial liquid CO2. All it takes is 100 meters of CO2ice and a tiny amount of geothermal heat to start basal melting of the dry ice. And liquid CO2 is as dense as wet cement but has the viscosity of a gas.
There are two articles in the latest planetary science journal Icarus you all should read. At least the abstracts
loneislander
1 / 5 (3) Jan 06, 2013
There is enough water floating about in space that this may be entirely possible.


Right you are. The challenge is getting it from where it is to Mars and then getting it slowed down so that when it "falls" onto the surface its kinetic energy won't melt the surface and boil the water back into space. Use the sun and it'll take tens of thousands of years to get it all done; use chemical or nuclear energy and the question becomes, 'from where?' and it still might take thousands of years.

But friggit' that's for the engineers, for now the theoreticians have a pretty picture :)
bugmenot23
1 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2013
In English, we say "conceptual view", not "conception view".
The former is a view that illustrates a concept, the latter is what we term "pornography".

In future, you might consider asking a native speaker to proof read your articles for you.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2013
There is enough water floating about in space that this may be entirely possible.


Right you are.

*facepalm*

You have no uidea of the sizes/amounts you speak of.
- amount needed 8size of a planet, size of an atmosphere, ... )
- size of space in which this stuff is distributed
- mass to be moved
- capabilities of today's space systems (even including those in the pipe in labs and those which are just wet dreams on the drawing boards of theoretical physicists)
- ...

Please do some VERY ELEMENTARY math before claiming something is 'entirely possible'. This isn't Hogwarts. This is real life.

Birger
5 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2013
It is just a matter of how much time you are willing to invest.
Using the orbit of 1996TL66 as an example, a very minor delta-vee at aphelion would shift the perihelion to the same solar distance as Neptune, for a possible gravity assist to the inner solar system and Mars.
There are many, many objects like this in the "scattered disc" component of the Kuiper belt, all of them rich in volatiles, including nitrogen-rich compounds.
The downside is the time span -ca. 2000 years.