terraformer

10 questions
  • 1:How much of your family is biological compared to found?
  • 2:Earth is nearly inhabitable, so almost everyone goes to space and splits into different factions. Are you part of the Extraterrestrial Terraforming Initiative, the Infinite Starfleet, the Inter-Planetary Embassy, or the Earthen Reshaper Circle?
  • 3:What animal feels most sacred to you?
  • 4:Are you comfortable with your relationship to your emotions [or lack thereof]?
  • 5:You draw power from one or two parts of your body. Where's your energy core[s] located in your body?
  • 6:There's three types of defensive-only martial arts becoming popular. One focuses on "defanging" your opponent, another on "outlasting" your opponent, and another on "turning" your opponent. Which do you choose and why?
  • 7:What's the biggest parameter you use to define yourself? [Ideals, relationships, personality, strengths, potential, possessions, appearance, influence, etc.]
  • 8:What influences your day-to-day music taste the most? [What determines what you're in the mood for?]
  • 9:What do you [want to] symbolise?
  • 10:Would you stop sleeping if you no longer needed it? Would you change your sleeping patterns?

stelmarias replied to your post: stelmarias replied to your post: stelm…

Pretty sure a fuckton of people died in MoS and as much as people try to justify that Clark DID try to keep the fighting away from Metropolis there was no canonical follow-up to that. It’s beside the point, anyway. Dark/grimdark isn’t a label given to whichever movie has the higher body count. As frustrating as Marvel’s lack of follow-up and how casually their prioritization of action over exposition are, the tone is still easy-going, in the end.

I have never found Marvel’s movie tone easygoing, though, that’s the thing. While watching it, I’m always really stressed and it’s a chore to like the heroes when they are gleefully barely better than the villains. 

Also, they started the evacuation of Metropolis when Zod’s terraforming engine started working. By the time Superman arrived on the scene, the only people remaining were the last stragglers leaving the city (which is why the climactic scene had to take place in the train station) and people who’d been trapped in the rubble earlier (like Jenny). They intentionally showed Superman and Zod flying through empty, abandoned buildings so that when Superman knocked one down you’d know nobody was in there. 

And I know it’s not about body count, but like, I just don’t get how any of Marvel’s stuff is less grim or dark. Is it that they wear brighter costumes, or that they don’t consider non-lethal options and stay just as flippant and sarcastic after they’ve killed a bunch of people? 

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Imagine a Living Mars

Mars was likely not always the desolate, red-rocked planet that we see today. The Curiosity rover has found what appear to be water-smoothed pebbles, shaped by ancient rivers of flowing water. Curiosity and previous missions have also seen footprints of alluvial fans and river deltas, sure signs of a previously wet world.

Software engineer Kevin Gill has taken those observations to the next level with these simulations of a “living” Mars, covered with seas and lakes and teeming with vegetation and clouds. He used a survey of Martian terrain and elevation, plugged in a sea level to form oceans, and then painted the clouds and terrain as it might look or have looked.

It’s definitely more an exercise in imagination than in reality, as there’s no indication of past forests or marshy plains on the red planet, but it’s an informed imagination, a realization of a planet’s possible rich past or terraformed future.

Check out Kevin Gill on Flickr.

(via io9)

Terraforming other planets is a common theme of sci-fi books and movies; humans need to leave Earth and inhabit new worlds, but first they have to make them livable. These maps are a play on that idea. I used digital elevation models of Mars (where a large northern ocean may actually have existed if/when the planet had a thicker atmosphere) and the Moon, and simply filled them with water to three elevations. I will note that many people have made far prettier versions of terraformed maps (e.g., Mars, Moon). The goal here was to show how changes in sea level relative to datum affect the land-sea balance.

Part of the reason I elected to show multiple sea levels was that the notion of datum on other planetary bodies is somewhat arbitrary. Without an actual ocean, we have to choose what will be considered zero elevation. For rocky planets and moons where we have a global DEM, we tend to use the average equatorial radius of the equipotential surface. So I flooded Mars and the Moon to their respective datums, then added and subtracted a kilometer to the sea level on each.

Without tectonics neither really has distinct continents; the topography and dichotomies result primarily from volcanism and cratering. I image that having only one large continent with a lot of crater lakes/oceans would be pretty bad. Fortunately, it’s not something we need to consider seriously…for now…

Data source: ftp://pdsimage2.wr.usgs.gov/pub/pigpen/

Absolutely I think we can :)

Here’s the issue with Mars:

  • Temperature: Martian day averages to approximately 186K (-87 ˚C), and Martian night is approximately 268K (-5˚C), both of which is below the freezing point of water, and thus all water on Mars exists in solid form. It would be difficult to find anything to drink—need energy to melt the ice. Also, there would be no lakes/rivers/oceans to drive the water cycle. No water for plants and animals. Worst of all, no coffee!!
  • Atmosphere: Mars has a very tenuous atmosphere. It would be difficult to breathe because of the difference in pressure (again, we are used to approx. 1atm. Mars has about 6 x 10-3 atm).  Also, it’s mainly composed of CO2, although too thin to provide a substantial greenhouse effect, it’s still at a high enough percentage for carbon dioxide poisoning for humans. 
  • Weather: Tidal heating can lead to a dynamic cycle of CO2 sublimation/condensation. This can lead to high wind speeds, which would not be good for structural engineering, or aerospace engineering. Also, prevalent dust storms can lead to issues with…dust getting everywhere…visibility…etc. Dust storms can also change the albedo, though that might not affect human habitability as it would have by directly affecting the surface inhabitants. 
  • Nitrogen: There’s missing nitrogen in the Martian atmosphere. The nitrogen gas is an important component of the Earth atmosphere. While this might not be a huge deal, the nitrogen cycle itself is crucial to Earth life forms. Plants and bacteria are in an extremely intimate relationship via nitrogen cycling (ammonia to nitrates back to ammonia, etc). This would make it difficult for plant life to exist on Mars. If there’s nitrogen fixing bacteria around, theoretically, it can recycle the nitrates that we *think* is locked up in Martian regolith, and provide nutrients to plant/animals. Nitrogen is a crucial element for life (DNA, protein, etc). 
  • Radiation: Because of its tenuous atmosphere, and negligible (or non-existent?) magnetic field, Mars does not have a steady protection from the Sun’s radiation. So the surface is constantly bombarded with UV, cosmic rays, crazy electromagnetic waves etc. Humans wouldn’t be able to withstand this high amount of a radiation—we don’t have the biological capacity to reverse such damage (some bacteria might). 
  • Geology: Mars has a super thick lithosphere, no tectonic plates, and has many inactive (big) volcanoes. This inactive geology would make habitability difficult because there would be no movements of plates, thus no water, thus no ocean (it’s too cold anyway), thus no water cycle. Also because it’s so small, Mars may have already lost most/all of its heat. Regardless of how much energy we can pump into the system to make it warm/habitable, it’s going to become a frozen world one day, completely unable to warm up enough using solely internal heat. But this would take a very very long time, so it might not be a huge issue with temporary terraformation. 

Here is how to solve it:

  • Temperature & Atmosphere: If we pump up the heat a *little* bit (no, actually, a lot—but a little bit on a thermodynamic scale), we might be able to unlock the subsurface water that is buried underneath Martian regolith as ice. Something like this can be solved by increasing the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, to drive up the effective temperature. Pumping CO2 would require possibly jump starting a volcano (how on Earth can that even be done??—not a pun). A more plausible idea is to build power plants all over the planet (as have suggested by Chris McKay from NASA). Or simply by seeding the planet with respiring life that uses inorganic molecules to utilize energy and produce CO2. Early microbial life forms do this (before the evolution of cyanobacteria/photosynthesis). Those microbes were methanogens, sulfur-loving, and can probably also metabolize nitrates. 
  • Weather: Dust storms can be mitigated by living in closed quarters. 
  • Radiation: The problem with UV radiation (and lack of magnetic field) can probably be solved by producing artificial magnetic field. This kind of engineering can only applied to small area, not globally. Again, it’s almost impossible to jump start the solid core again, therefore such an issue can only be tackled on a small scale. 
  • Geology: Mars would have a similar problem as Venus. While there might be enough water on the surface, there’s no convection in the mantle to drive tectonic plates. So while its geology might be change momentarily (lasting maybe about a billion years), it would be difficult to keep it stable as the planet loses more and more heat.  
  • Ethics!!: If there is no Martian life, yes, we should terraform it (although we could never be sure—ack, science!). If there is Martian life, we must do everything we can to preserve it—not necessarily protect it, but at the very least observe/study it without directly affecting it like we have done so for many other endangered species on Earth. 

This is copied verbatim from one of my homeworks from my astronomy class last semester, The Science and Fiction of Planetary Systems

The actual problem with terrafoming Mars is MONEY. Who will pay for what, and which nation should get what piece of land– It’s all politics that I’m not willing to discuss. 

But we will get there. I absolutely believe it. We will get there. 

How do we terraform Venus?

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

This planet has been the center of corny nerd fantasies and awful behavioral gender oversimplifications from days of yore.

There are many real reasons to admire Venus from afar, but my favorite, much like Mars, is the potential to turn it into a vacation spot and haven for mad science planetary engineering. Venus is a virtual twin of Earth. It has a solid surface and very similar gravity to Earth.

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[SPOILERS FOR TERRAFORMING CHAPTER 3]

even though I don’t ascribe to the headcanon that Archie and Maxie worked in Team Rocket before the events of ORAS, I find myself enjoying fanfics that play with the idea… and one of my faves is Terraforming. the third chapter gave me some SERIOUS brain-images and I wanted to draw out some scenes, so I did!

Mew is such a little shit in that chapter and I love it.

T'Gai Terraforming Ship

Profile: Ancient automated terraformer from a race known as the T'Gai. Some 15,000 years ago they launched these ships with the mission of finding habitable worlds for them and terraforming them for their needs, bombarding the planets they found with radiation to kill off the local fauna and flora and replace it with their own, usually fully formed samples stored aboard. A colony ship would then arrive with colonists and begin settlement.

Pictured: A malfunction ship attempts to destroy all life on the Harahni colony on Beta Mariotia 5 in the 2360s.

Appeared in Star Trek #58-60, DC-V2

Several days have passed and the exploration of the colony is well underway.  Tracks from the rover are scattered among the rocky and flat landscape.  The region seems to have a vast amounts of water to south and west as well as a river that originates from an unknown location to the east.  Several life forms have presented themselves.  They seem peaceful and willing to assist us to develop the area.