Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Having a planet in opposition means that it lines up perfectly with the Earth and the sun.

Terraforming - that is, making an inhospitable planet comfortable enough that humans could settle on it without living in domes - is a concept that was popularized long ago by science fiction and while we might some day have a system for turning planets like Mars into more Earth-like homes for humanity, that's still a long ways off.

"Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be put back into the atmosphere" to terraform the planet, NASA said in a press release on the new study. During their encounter, Mars and the Sun will be on directly opposite sides of Earth. One way to give the atmosphere a boost is by releasing more Carbon dioxide and scientists know that there's some of that trapped in Martian ice and rock. The most accessible source is Carbon dioxide in the polar ice caps; it could be vaporized by spreading dust on it to absorb more solar radiation or by using explosives. However, all that effort would only result in a planet with an atmospheric pressure 1.2 percent that of Earth's at sea level.

"There's a massive amount of Carbon dioxide on Mars adsorbed into soil that'd be released upon heating". Despite that though, that's probably still as close as we are going to get for a while.

That would change if we could increase the pressure and temperature on Mars. The problem is you see is that we now require a lot of energy just to escape Earth. Selfie-taking Curiosity, the best-known of the two, is drilling into the hard rock of the planet to find out whether small life forms called microbes could ever have lived on Mars. In brief, getting water and an atmosphere. Over time, much of the Martian atmosphere was blown out into space due to solar winds. Even if this loss were prevented somehow, allowing the atmosphere to build up slowly from outgassing by geologic activity, current outgassing is extremely low; it would take about 10 million years just to double Mars' current atmosphere, according to the team. "As a result, terraforming Mars is not possible using present-day technology", said Jakosky.

The scientists say that any successful effort to terraform Mars could only be completed in the very distant future.

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