Friday, January 26, 2007

Mars May Be Holding Its Atmospheric Breath Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
After previously thinking that Martian oceans may be underground, now some scientists speculate that its atmosphere may lie underneath as well.

( New findings suggests the missing atmosphere of Mars might be locked up in hidden reservoirs on the planet, rather than having been chafed away by billions of years' worth of solar winds as previously thought.

Combining two years of observations by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, researchers determined that Mars is currently losing only about 20 grams of air per second into space.

Extrapolating this measurement back over 3.5 billion years, they estimate that only a small fraction, 0.2 to 4 millibars, of carbon dioxide and a few centimeters of water could have been lost to solar winds during that timeframe. (A bar is a unit for measuring pressure; Earth’s atmospheric pressure is about 1 bar.)

If most of the Martian atmosphere lies under the soil, then there is serious hope of not only colonizing the red planet, but cultivating it into a second Earth. The key to doing this would be to simply find a way to unleash (or free) the CO2 trapped underneath the surface, which would therefore allow streams and rivers (and maybe even oceans) to grace its desert surface.

Of course if humanity had the technology to do this, the process would probably take thousands of years (if not 100,000). Even though terraforming would be quite expensive, it may become a necessary evil if humanity is to become independent of Earth within this system, as well as beyond.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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