Talk:Terraforming of Mars/Archive01

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Do we need three "artist's conceptions" of what a terraformed Mars might look like? I've removed the top one, as it's the widest and most obtrusive. ▫ UrbaneLegend talk 13:16, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

is there a map of Mars, like the one of Earth? 16:12, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

a map like that of Mars would be of the current Mars, not really relevant for this article. Eddie mars (talk) 20:07, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

ReDirect/Merge from Colonization of Mars?[edit]

Do we really ned 2 distinct articles, namely Teraforming of Mars and Colonization of Mars? It's not like colonization is likely to happen without teraforming or parateraforming.

The 2 seem rather duplicative.

  • I think having two articles linking to eachother as they are now is better than a single article for two reasons. First, both are vast subjects that could easily be large pages in and of themselves. Second, human colonization would be possible without terraforming, not on the scale of millions but hundreds or thousands. --AndrewBuck 15:39, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Colonization of a planet usually refers to humans building some kind of structures to hold us, not changing the planet itself in any way. I do agree though that the two articles do contain some redundant information. Eddie mars (talk) 17:43, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
If millions of Canadians can thrive during the local winter in their underground cities I don't see why millions of Martians couldn't do the same year-'round. :) It's also handy having separate articles from an organizational standpoint too, since with things as they are now we can have "see main article at" links in both the colonization of Mars and Terraforming articles, neither of which has significantly more "claim" to the subject than the other. Bryan 00:28, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
As a Canadian living Canada's most northern major city (Edmonton: >1 million) I think it's importanat that I point out we don't live in underground cities. This city is no more underground than any other city I've lived in, including London, Cape Town, and Amsterdam. Humans adjust to temperature quite well; Edmonton gets and annual range from below -30 C to above 30 C. The main problem with Mars is a lack of breathable air, the surface temp has been monitored as getting up to 16 C (ESA: 2005), but without a sufficient atmosphere there is no way to hold the heat, and it dissapates a few cm from the surface. Scottphilp 20:34, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

blame the magnetic field[edit]

Mars didn't lose its atmosphere because it had less gravity, it lost its magnetosphere and its atmosphere had no protection from the sun. 3 billion years ago venus, earth and mars were probably all very similar. Add a magnetic field and it will be easier to terraform mars. However, we can never colonize mars or terraform it. T.Neo 10:42, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Please give more information on how to add a magnetic field to mars by using only what human is capable of. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, I read somewhere (Possibly an older version of this article) that a nuclear fusion powered electromagnet at each pole would generate a sufficient magnetic feild. With future advances in power generation and superconductors, I think this is possible. Anyway, building a huge magnet would be childs play compared to importing buffer gas from Venus or Titan. P.S. I take back my earlier comment: Mars can be colonized and could possibly be terrraformed. T.Neo (talk contribs review me ) 08:22, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Smashing Asteroids[edit]

That would be a good name for a band...

But seriously -- is the line about adding mass to Mars by crashing small asteroids into it worth keeping? If I got my math right, tossing the entire asteroid belt onto Mars would increase its mass a bit over 1/2%! While giving more mass to the planet would make it more earth-like, I think that notion is more science fiction than good sense. Dismalscholar (talk) 10:15, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Increasing Mars' mass might be a negligible effect. But how about increasing temperature this way through the release of impact energy? -- The Cascade (talk) 08:55, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
This discussion illustrates my point (above): it is obvious that the authors of the Wikipedia article are themselves speculating and reasoning about the topic, and basing the content of the article on their reasoning. That's extremely inappropriate. "Would it work" is completely the wrong question. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a public think tank. The questions we should be asking are more along the lines of "Who first introduced this idea to the scientific community", "How was this idea received by the scientific community", and so forth. If we can't answer those kinds of questions, the article does not belong in an encyclopedia. --Jonadab the Unsightly One, 2008 Apr 05
Actually, that's not the Wikipedia community speculating. That's a well published idea on how to increase the temperature of the planet. I thought it was bogus at first too, but it turns out some real smart people thought about it and have written books about it. See the references, and read "The greening of mars" if you have disputes.--MaizeAndBlue86 (talk) 19:29, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

--Pinkfloyd2050 (talk) 01:18, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Smashing asteroids on Mars is not about increasing mass. You should realize that! Its about adding either impact energy or special material, or both. F.ex. smashing a KBO would add more water, carbon dioxide (sic), nitrogen and other stuff. Since there are atmospheric models that a surface pressure of 300 hPa would be fairly stable, if just the temperature goes up a few degrees, just a little changed conditions may alter the climate profoundly. Said: Rursus 18:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
The site Technological Requirements for Terraforming Mars (Pioneer Astronautics guy and NASA guy) says that increasing the temperature 4K globally would suffice. I once read about a method of plunking asteroids one by one into Mars in order to increase the surface temperature, but as indicated before, I prefer KBO:s and I prefer one only. Original Research: the KBO:s of the Centaur class, notably 2060 Chiron and his wife 10199 Chariklo, have unstable orbits in the long term. Now the expensive stuff: paint one side of either black. Since they're near enough to the sun that they have cometary atmospheres, painting one of them black on one side will have an effect on the future development of the orbit. Plan the half-black-painting so that the centaur in question bobs around and peruses the gravity of the Jovians in such away as to reach the orbit of Mars ASAP. There crash. Once. The centaur would add to surface energy, greenhouse gasses and so. If not enough take 2, a.s.o. Said: Rursus 19:28, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Reading the rest of that article, I saw that they already thought about approximately that: Chiron but ammonia instead of carbon dioxide. And they think about smashing some 40 really small centaurs of say 2.6 km instead of my one big one once only. Said: Rursus 19:37, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Added a mini-discussion in the ":Building the atmosphere, water content" section on the dwarf Planet Ceres as a water source, etc. --Centromere (talk) 22:22, 12 August 2009 (UTC)Centromere

Mars future[edit]

As of 3 years ago on Patrick's astronomy page I've hear about when Earth becomes uninhabitable about 2 or 3 Gyrs years from now, when our solar system slowly heats up when Earth becomes a wasteland of greenhouse effect, almost like Venus today, Mars can gradually heat up. I remeber on Patrick's website they mention about Mars may eventually release CO2 and slowly get wetter and warmer. Mars can be a new home when Earth becomes a hell. My guess is in 2 to 3 Gyrs Venus and Earth will be totally identical sister greenhouse effect. Their surface is almost identical. By then Mars on the other hand will be much like Earth today. Its frozen iron oxide and CO2 will gradually sublimate, look much greener and much like Earth today. Freewayguy789194 (Any questions? - My updates) 00:47, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Except that it will have a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, magnetic field, and a small fraction of its gravity — those being listed in order of importance. It'd still require significant terraforming to make Mars habitable, even after the Sun swells in size. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 02:47, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I saw the image on the main page. How is this not a future prediction of events uncertain, I.e. WP:CRYSTAL? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Because of this from WP:CRYSTAL-->It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, provided that discussion is properly referenced. This is a discussion about current theories about terraforming, not a prediction that it will occur. Now as for properly referenced that seems to be lacking. Mad031683 17:59, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Change of layout[edit]

Now, the article seems to describe a very unprecise recipe for terraforming Mars, such as being the one and only true recipe. I think that borders to OR, and otherwise makes the article boring and unbelievable. I think it instead should treat the various proposals separately, all the time being precise in details from the sources. If a proposal is "failed" because building on obsolete theories, such as Sagan's painting the poles black, well and fine, then we write about the theory and explain that it is failed. Nobody knows the truth (yet) about how to terraform Mars, but that's not a trouble for Wikipedia, we just describe all theories, and say that nobody knows what's right or what's wrong. The current text can stand as a contextual basis: most theories require heat, some theories require greenhouse gasses, many theories believe that ammonia is the greenhouse solution of choice, others don't treat the exact choice of greenhouse gas, or maybe greenhouse at all. Said: Rursus 19:59, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

And, (grr!) by Jove! a section called Why terraform Mars?!! WP is not a propaganda central for terraforming Mars! The answer is of course: "I'm reading an article about terraforming Mars, why then should the article ask "Why?" Because: I feel for it just now, of course!". The section should be renamed to Criticism against terraforming Mars and be put at the last. There critics against terraforming can be cited. Said: Rursus 20:06, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, why terraform? is a valid question to introduce the benefits and validity of terraforming. Jdrewitt (talk) 14:43, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
My replacement proposal is started HERE! (feel free to edit by your hearts desires, if you wish to). Said: Rursus 20:47, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
It would be better to edit the current page to bring it into conformity with wikipedia guidelines, rather than trying to re-write the entire article from scratch. Jdrewitt (talk) 19:03, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

No Water?[edit]

"a significant challenge is that water is present in trace amounts, and only in the atmosphere." This is contradicted in the main Mars article where it is suggested there are vast amounts of frozen water at the poles and as permafrost down to 60degrees latitudes.It is also theorised that there may be vast amounts of ice at depth in the crust. ````frglee 25/8/08 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Frglee (talkcontribs) 20:24, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I have corrected this article re the lack of water on Mars which is demonstrably untrue.It exists in vast amounts as ice just below the surface etc. and the recent drillings by the Mars landers confirms this photographically where a revealed sample of ice sublimated within a few hours to water vapour. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Frglee (talkcontribs) 08:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Equation somewhere on the page[edit]

It's not balanced. We have 10 Oxygen's on one side and 12 on the other. Someone sort this out or get rid of it completely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Huh? I'm confused... T.Neo (talk contribs review me ) 18:30, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I have a hunch they meant the equation here but it looks balanced to me! ~ Amory (talk) 21:49, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Digg links[edit]

Just letting everyone know this article was recently featured on Digg's front page, which will likely increase the traffic and edits to it. — ThreeDee912(talk/contribs) 04:11, 16 August 2009 (UTC)


yeah.... prepare for shitflood load of vandalism —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Designed to confuse[edit]

"Alternately, any attempt to perturb the orbit of Ceres in order to add it whole to Mars (similar to the strategy of using a gravitational tractor for asteroid deflection[7]), thus increasing Mars' mass by admittedly a tiny fraction but adding a great deal of heat (no small, cosmic body Ceres, see below), must account for any resultant perturbation of the martian orbit and account for prolonged geological tumult, such as reestablishment of hydrostatic equilibrium, that would result from even the softest of impacts."

The above quotation is taken from the article where it talks about the possible sources of water for terraforming Mars. I do realise the above makes sense, and I can just about understand what is being said, but it seems to have been written more to confuse rather than explain anything. It reads like something straight out of a dull university textbook, written by some pompous lecturer for his captive audience, his long-suffering students. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Fixed the sentance. Eddie mars (talk) 19:53, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Timeline/time period?[edit]

Should there be a section on the estimated time it would take to do something such as this, or at least theories on when this could start taking place? If not, does anyone know when/if and some sources? I'm interested in this kind of thing. (talk) 02:21, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Already requested in the talk section. Eddie mars (talk) 19:57, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Needs a Complete Rewrite[edit]

There's much more going on here than just original research. This article, as it stands, does not belong in an encyclopedia at all, certainly not without some kind of strong disclaimer regarding its extremely speculative nature.

In fact, the article really should be rewritten from the perspective of describing the ways in which people (and here I mean notable people writing stuff that bills itself as non-fiction) have speculated about the topic. To my way of thinking, such an article would belong in Wikipedia, because there is little doubt in my mind that a lot of notable people have speculated in print on this subject, so documenting that seems appropriate.

It is not, however, appropriate for an encyclopedia to itself engage in the speculation. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, a tertiary source. As it stands, the article is entirely without any redeeming encyclopedic value. If any serious space agency (e.g., NASA or its equivalent in other countries) has any actual plans to attempt something like this, then that should be mentioned in the article, and if not, then the whole thing (as written) is pretty much just pure speculative science fiction.

(Indeed, like a lot of sci-fi, the article as it stands overlooks major fundamental problems with the premise, e.g., that in its present orbit Mars would need a significantly thicker atmosphere than Earth in order to maintain a habitable climate, that science has never collected any data on how quickly an Earth-like atmosphere would leak away from a planet the size and mass of Mars, that the reduced gravity may not be suitable for humans over the long term, or cetera. This is all neither here nor there, however; flaws in the article's reasoning are irrelevant, since an encyclopedia article has no business speculating about stuff like this anyway.)

I don't think the article should be deleted, though. I think it should be rewritten to document notable speculation that has been written elsewhere, without engaging in speculation directly.

One of the things that's fundamentally wrong about the article is that it follows an outline structured around a specific set of hypothetical steps, presumably those envisioned by the author(s) of the article. This is wholly inappropriate. There are various ways the article might reasonably be structured (chronologically, noting how ideas about the terraforming of Mars have changed over time, seems obvious; alternately, there could be sections covering different but mutually contemporary schools of thought on the matter), but the current arrangement is not suitable.

--Jonadab the Unsightly One, 2007 Nov 14.

I moved this to the bottom, where more people will look for new discussions Mad031683 20:58, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I think there's nothing seriously wrong with the writing or structure - most of these claims are coming from good sources, though perhaps a bit mangled by recollection. It's just that they all need sources - which is work, but not difficult. I just added two, which is perhaps 5% of the job. The current organization actually makes much more sense than an author-based organization because the original authors of these papers are reputable sources - which means they don't publish complete how-to-terraform plans but focus on proving the scientific feasibility of one particular method or step in the process. Thus the current outline form is appropriate, seeking only to classify and explain all the notable ideas on the topic. (talk) 16:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Taking an outline conjured up by the Wikipedia community and prooftexting individual statements with citations is unencyclopedic and eisegetical and certainly does not validate the outline of the plan that the article advocates. The outlines of any plans discussed, as well as the details, all must come from reliable, notable sources. -- Jonadab the Unsightly One, 2008 Apr 05
I'll second that. The structure isn't bad, since it pretty much follows an outline of the scientific/technical challenges and address those. It's sloppy, though, in a meandering fashion; the sections' headings aren't well adhered-to in their content.Dismalscholar (talk) 10:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Whose outline of the scientific/technical challenges does it follow? --Jonadab, 2008 Apr 05

I've lifted a couple of sections onto my clipboard to struggle with. Given my unpredictable opportunities to hit this, though, don't count on anything soon. Dismalscholar (talk) 10:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Anwer to first post : exactly, terraforming of Mars is impossible due to lack of mass. Mars is only 1/10th of Earth's mass. There is a reason why there's no longer any liquid water on Mars today : liquid water is intrinsically unstable on Mars and quickly dissipates into space. It's the same reason why the martian atmosphere is so thin, it's the only amount of atmosphere this small planet can hold. Plus, living in the long term within under-gravity conditions like that (38% of Earth's gravity) will kill you, your body will become weak and fragile and over time it's hard structure (bones, etc) will end up collapsing on itself. This whole article is about an impossible daydream and nothing more.

Terraforming of Venus might be another matter though. (talk) 01:03, 13 January 2010 (UTC) Luc D.


I've tagged this article with {{originalresearch}} due to the citations needed on the processes involved in terraforming and methods that could be used. 1ne 05:28, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

- That bottom assertion is just silly. There are a few "citation needed" tags in it presently which ought to go, because they're stuck to statements that are just conclusions from the prior discussion. OTOH, there are places where citations could be used that aren't tagged. It's hardly worth the effort, though, in much of the article because so many sections are just plain sloppy. Dismalscholar (talk) 10:01, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I have added references for the Citation needed's... *wipes sweat off brow* How do people think about perhaps removing one of this articles tags? Eddie mars (talk) 21:34, 5 March 2010 (UTC)