Monday, July 09, 2007

Can Humans Tame Martian Weather? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

(Image: Martian storm approaching explorer. Credit: Artist at

Of all the worlds that dance around our Sol star, Mars may prove to be one of the most difficult to colonize. Despite having bearable radiation levels and potentially toxic soil, the biggest threat from settling the red planet may be from the weather itself.

( "Although the storm threatens the rovers, it's giving us a great opportunity to track another powerful dust storm from start to finish," Wilson said. "We get to see where a storm starts and how it grows, then enter that information into a model to help us predict Martian weather in the future."

Callas noted that global dust storms spawn about every three Martian years (about six Earth years), and the last to occur was about two Martian years ago-so the current storm's potential to become a global event is on cue. If it does, Callas and his team will only be able to cross their fingers.

Although weather control has mainly existed in the realms of science fiction, humans have yet to devise a way to guide the weather patterns on our own planet, let alone the ones on Mars.

If we are unable to discover ways to tame Martian weather, future colonists may have to abandon the crimson world as either a scientific tourist stop or accept their fate of living below the surface.

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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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