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Mars

Warming a Tiny Piece of Mars For Terraforming 205

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ants-under-the-magnifying-glass dept.
dptalia writes "It's been a dream of science fiction writers everywhere that we would eventually terraform Mars. Now an engineering student has proposed a way to terraform only a kilometer of Mars. By building an array of space based mirrors to focus the sun's light, a small area of Mars could be warmed to about 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) which would make it easier for explorers to work and live there. Since Mars' atmosphere is thin, the mirrors would have to be carefully designed to prevent them from reflecting harmful radiation as well as light and warmth."
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Warming a Tiny Piece of Mars For Terraforming

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  • Water? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jhon (241832) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:38PM (#16857074) Homepage Journal
    And the higher temperature would melt any water ice on the ground. This could make precious liquid water available for astronauts to drink, and the water could also be used as a raw material to produce rocket fuel for the journey home, Woida says.

    Wouldn't the melted ice boil away at 68 some odd degress on Mars? Or do they plan on heating up a kilometer sized pressurized dome?

    The extra warmth would mean the astronauts would not need heavily insulated suits or living quarters, allowing them to work more easily.

    Maybe not "heavily insulated", but certainly pressurized. Working "more easily" is still not easy.
    • Re:Water? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:49PM (#16857358) Homepage

      One is reminded of the opening chapter of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars [amazon.com] . It takes place in a tent town where the tent is made out of a purely transparent fabric that blocks radiation while still letting light through to make it seem as if folks are living openly on the surface.

      But then, what's the point of terraforming a tent town with these mirrors? You could get the same heat and light from a nuclear reactor powering strategically located lamps inside the structure. You can't terraform an open space on the surface, since any atmosphere you'd create would immediately flow into the near-vacuum that is most of the planet. I'm really scratching my head at while this idea is so clever.

      • Re:Water? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:00PM (#16857578)
        It's clever because you don't actualy have to pressurise the surface to live there: a simple bodysuit can give the pressure you need, with SCUBA-style gear to make sure you've got enough oxygen. So if it is warm enough to not require active heating in the suits, you can make a suit thin enough to be worn as part of everyday clothing, which can be worn both inside and out. Then you just put on a helmet with air when you walk outside. Instead of having to put on a full pressure/temperature/air suit everytime you walk through the airlock.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Err, what? Why do you think that a space-suit (and it's still one) can be a simple thing just because you need no insulation? The only thing you will get rid of is a bit of insulation and probably you will have to care for cooling instead, because working in a sealed pressure suit without body cooling by transpiration will overheat your body very fast.

          This is useless. The whole idea is just silly.
          • by Salsaman (141471)
            Well, if you don't need insulation, all you would really need is a breathing mask and oxygen tanks.

            Doesn't seem like that stupid of an idea to me.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            it always bemuses me that whenever there is a new invention/scientific project reported on slashdot, a gaggle of slashbots assume that their casual understanding of physics/engineering means they are qualified to rubbish the entire idea as if the qualified scientists and engineers that proposed it are just pulling stuff out of their asses.

            stupid, ignorant, arrogance.
        • by J05H (5625)
          > So if it is warm enough to not require active heating in the suits.

          Disposal of waste heat is one of the 3 major issues in spacesuit design. This includes Mars suits. Maintaining body/lung pressure, oxygen supply and shedding heat. Other stuff (flexibility, duration, ruggedness) derives largely from these requirements. Mechanical Counter-pressure suits (MCP) will alleviate a lot of these issues on Mars, but I don't think reflected mirrors will matter that much for human EVA.

          Mirrors could be useful for m
        • by TheCabal (215908)
          You're forgetting the fact that Mars does not have a robust magnetic field like Earth, nor does it have a thick atmosphere. This means that our poor astronaut will be exposed to rather high doses of UV, solar radiation and cosmic rays. Not enough to kill instantly, but exposure over time will have a dramatic cumulative effect.
      • Plants (Score:3, Interesting)

        by WindBourne (631190)
        Now, you can plant various plants. It will be a small selection, but if you can keep the temp above freezing, some plants may accept the lower pressure. Of course, the question is, what happens during the winter? Besides, this may be a lot cheaper than doing a nuke approach. As it is, it could be used to sublimate some of the CO2 at the poles and restart the warming. Of course, it would be better to send a few metorites into the planet.
      • by kzinti (9651)
        I just finished reading Red Mars. I enjoyed all the stuff about terraforming, building, and digging, but the best part *had* to be when they wrecked the Martian space elevator (including how they did it).
      • by Surt (22457)
        Mirrors are small and light, and only have to be shipped to mars orbit.

        Nuclear reactors are big and heavy, and have to be landed.
        • Re:Water? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @05:06PM (#16858894) Homepage
          The explorers are going to need power no matter what, and nuclear reactors are the most efficient option, so they're going to be landed anyway.
          • Nuclear Energy (Score:2, Insightful)

            by TamCaP (900777)
            The main problem is that they have to be launched first. Although I understand that we are not talking about 5 years here but more like 50 or even 100, but there is this huge anti-nuclear-whatever trend in the world (and I am talking power-plants, research(!), etc.) so that launching any nuclear device into space may be put between the fairy tales at the moment...

            However, they definitely used to do it - look at Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 satellites for example - they were equipped with RTG generators. And I th
  • I thought the problem with Mars was the geodynamic thing with the molten core that forms a magneosphere that would prevent solar winds from blowing away an atmosphere? Am I confused? Should we be thinking about how to warm up the core a la 'Total Recall'?
    • > I thought the problem with Mars was the geodynamic thing with the molten core that forms
      > a magneosphere that would prevent solar winds from blowing away an atmosphere?

      There are several problems. Mars does not have enough mass to hold an Earth-like atmosphere, for one thing. The article title is misleading, because it's not really talking about terraforming in the traditional "you can take off your helmet and breathe freely" sense. It's just talking about a measure that would make exploration of
      • by cyngus (753668)
        Your comment about mass I don't believe is correct. Titan has one tenth the mass of Mars and has a thick nitrogen atmosphere. It could be this is possible because Titan is so much colder than Mars, but I'm not sure that explains it either.
    • by Akvum (580456)
      Another reason why Arnold should become president.
      • I know I may be accused of wearing a Tin Foil Hat like my cat did, but perhaps the reason there are electricity shortages in Caleeforneea is that it's being used by Arnold to teraform Mars?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sperbels (1008585)
      I thought the problem with Mars was the geodynamic thing with the molten core that forms a magneosphere that would prevent solar winds from blowing away an atmosphere?
      That's not really an issue addressed by the article. But if we were to one day to add atmosphere to Mars, it would bleed away slowly over thousands/millions of years. So it's no necessarily impractical (if you have the means).
  • Whoa (Score:5, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:40PM (#16857116) Homepage
    Now an engineering student has proposed a way to teraform only a kilometer of Mars.

    ...while technologically astounding, I fail to see the utility in being able to do this.

    Now, if we're talking about a square kilometer of Mars, that'd be a different matter...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:43PM (#16857202)
    The article erroneously claims ASU is in Tucson. The University of Arizona is in Tucson.
  • so our intrepid martian pioneers would have two suns to look at...that could be interesting. quite a throwback to old asimov stories.
  • Whoops! (Score:3, Funny)

    by madhatr (1008443) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:44PM (#16857210)
    Didn't Wornstrom try this in a Futurama episode? Lessons learned I guess.
  • by sillybilly (668960) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:45PM (#16857228)
    To filter out UV and higher frequency things, like our ozone layer does, just use a prizm, or better, a diffraction grating (like a cd), but then you'd end up with a rainbow down on the surface - in some parts everything would be bright red, in some others, bright blue, etc. You'd have to rehomogenize it by sending it through a second prism or diffraction grating, which makes things complicated, especially if a meteor hits and things get misaligned. I guess they should just use TiO2 coatings on mirrors that are transparent in visible but very dark in UV (don't know xray region), to act like a mirror coating ozone layer. But because a lot of UV would be absorbed where rutile coatings are black, it would heat the mirrors a lot, as opposed to purely reflecting mirrors.
    • I know.... (Score:3, Funny)

      by krell (896769)
      "To filter out UV and higher frequency things, like our ozone layer does, just use a prizm, or better, a diffraction grating (like a cd), but then you'd end up with a rainbow down on the surface"

      Always looking for a way to make real that Martian rave you've always been planning, eh?
      • Actually, I should have RTFA first, because they say everything I just said, except of course for the rave thing...
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:58PM (#16857540) Journal
      I guess they should just use TiO2 coatings on mirrors that are transparent in visible but very dark in UV (don't know xray region)
      What, like glass?

      Not making fun, it's just that there's a reason we use quartz or NaCl sample jars for UV spectroscopy... but I don't think regular glass blocks xrays, though.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bobdickgus (938017)
        Regular glass only blocks about half of the UV that reaches the earths surface, it will absorb most of the higher energy UV though.
      • 24% lead crystal does a respectable job of blocking X-rays, but the truth is even without seeing the schematics I'd suspect that most X-ray thru gamma would just go through the mirror like it wasn't even there. The angle of incidence in the X-ray-gamma region is pretty shallow; it's more like getting light through a fiber cable rather than bouncing off a mirror.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:45PM (#16857242)
    From TFA:

    > Woida points out another potential problem. If not carefully designed, the mirrors could focus harmful high-frequency radiation like gamma rays onto the surface.

    Woida, if you've got a way to make mylar balloons capable of reflecting gamma rays onto a single focal point, there are some guys in the DoE and the DoD who would like to talk to you, and they pay way better than NASA.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RobertB-DC (622190) *
      Woida, if you've got a way to make mylar balloons capable of reflecting gamma rays onto a single focal point, there are some guys in the DoE and the DoD who would like to talk to you, and they pay way better than NASA.

      That's what makes me wonder why anyone took this guy seriously in the first place. Fortunately, NASA is only giving him a token amount:

      He received $9000 to study the idea from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) in Atlanta, Georgia, US. [...] In his concept study, Woida will work
  • Toast (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:46PM (#16857280)
    I'd be curious how hot the ground would need to be to warm the tenuous atmosphere continuously blowing over it to a comfortable temperature. And wouldn't you risk creating a huge localized dust storm from the strong convection currents? Maybe you could heat a ring of land around the point you are interested in and just wait until all the dust is blown away ... but I doubt it.
    • I doubt this would be a problem. The atmosphere is so thin that I suspect its cooling effects are minimal. IIRC, when a test chamber to model Martian dust storms was set up, the biggest hurdle they faced was trying to actually get any dust storms to form - even at hundreds of kph, there was so little atmosphere that no dust was being picked up.
      • by jbeaupre (752124)
        Just my point: cooling effects are minimal. To warm the air, you have to have much warmer ground. Uncomfortably warm.

        As for the test you reference, they couldn't figure out what was wrong at first. Mars most certainly has wicked dust storms. Then they added sand. Then the dust bounces right up. There's also an electrostatic effect from dust devils (created by localized heating) which is amplified by the thin atmosphere (nice article in Science News about it).

        Of course the dust could reduce heating at
        • Ah - I somehow misread your post to mean pretty much the opposite of what it does. My fault, not yours; upon rereading, I have no idea what I was thinking.

          Still, for the same reason you ask how much heating it would take to raise the temperature of the air, I wonder how much the air temperature really matters. The scant atmosphere on Mars just doesn't have the thermal capacity to be real problem or benefit, I wouldn't think (I could be wrong, of course).
          • Same thing occurred to me; it just might be that on Mars the biggest hypothermia threat isn't from the air temperature, but from moisture on you skin boiling. They might be able to heat the air to 100 C and you could still "freeze" to death in a matter of minutes!
    • On this planet, a rapidly rising column of hot moist air creates a dangerous storm. Mars has a thinner atmosphere, but this would create a larger temperature difference to drive the process.
  • Related (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:47PM (#16857304) Journal
    Paul Birch has published [paulbirch.net] (in the Journal of the British interplanetary Society) a way to "quickly" terraform all of Mars quickly. (Don't get too mad at me if that article has long since become obsolete.)
  • by Control Group (105494) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:47PM (#16857314) Homepage
    Combine this with Kim Stanley Robinson's* deep hole, and you might have a comparatively easily maintained environment on Mars: dig a big, deep hole for much of the atmosphere to fall into, thereby increasing atmospheric pressure; use this array of mirrors suggestion to heat it up, and you've "solved" a couple of the more pressing problems with trying to live on Mars. With sufficient "natural" pressure, heat, and light, building structures in which to grow things becomes easier. This doesn't really address the lack of water, of course...

    *I call this Robinson's idea only because Red Mars is where I encountered it - I have no idea who actually came up with it.
  • Terraform Earth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by weston (16146) <westonsd@@@canncentral...org> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:48PM (#16857336) Homepage
    Aside from the difficulties with terraforming Mars mentioned in other comments, I sometimes wonder why there isn't a little more effort put into doing terraforming experiments where land and resources are a little more accessible: earth.

    There's plenty of pretty hostile environments here we could start to practice on, but I rarely see anything indicating we're doing much beyond putting good air conditioning units in new houses in Lancaster so we can build layer 60 of suburbia around LA....
    • You mean like the Genesis Effect?

      Like suppose we had this array that could heat up a Martian neighborhood from -80C to 20C.

      Imagine what it could do if we pointed it at Earth city which were already at 30-35C!

      Green Zone here we come!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LindseyJ (983603)
      What hostile environments on earth do you think we should be terraforming? The Sahara? Nope, animals live there. Can't destory their habitats, even if it would mean thousands of acres of farmland to feed a starving continent. Gobi? Nope, animals live there too.

      I never understood people who say we should "terraform" places on our planet. By the very definition, that's impossible. Our planet is already formed like terra.
      • by Knuckles (8964)
        What about not making the earth deserts bigger [usgs.gov], for practice? I don't think anyone would complain.
  • Tornado (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamie (78724) * <jamie@slashdot.org> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:48PM (#16857348) Journal
    I know Mars' atmosphere is thin. But wouldn't having a patch of dirt heated 120 deg C warmer than the rest of the planet force the air to rise over that spot, basically forming a permanent tornado?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sillybilly (668960)
      A permanent tornado going up a turbine tower [wikipedia.org] installed could be tamed and turned into a neat way to harness solar energy. You can't directly do that down here on Earth, because there are no permanent tornados, but it might be an interesting idea to try to make a permanent tornado somwhere in the middle of the Sahara, with a solar tower collector even. Of course the danger or mirrors getting misaligned and cooking up Cairo or Lagos, or even Rome have to be taken into consideration, and a SCRAM needs to be i
    • Right idea, wrong phenomenon. Tornadoes are powered by mezocyclones found in supercells. Hurricanes are powered by a rising column of warm air centered in the eye (warm ocean water is the heat source).
    • by Randseed (132501)
      Yeah, it would be like the entire planet had eaten too much Taco Bell because, as we know, in the future, all resturaunts are Taco Bell.
  • That'd make one heck of an updraft.
  • Earth II (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:59PM (#16857552) Homepage Journal
    Yes, of course we should start terraforming Mars before we've even really begun to look for existing life there that we'd destroy. Why worry about exterminating an entire planet when there's condos to be built?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nasch (598556)
      Yes, of course we should start terraforming Mars before we've even really begun to look for existing life there that we'd destroy.
      If it's us or them, I vote us. Now it may not be us or them. But if at some point we have to choose between saving Earth life and saving Mars life (should there be any), guess which way that's going?
  • scientific error (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:00PM (#16857568) Homepage

    There's at least one scientific error in the article, which is that it talks about the risk of inadvertently focusing gamma rays with a mirror. You can't focus gamma rays with a mirror. A typical gamma, with an energy of 1 MeV, interacts with matter mainly via Compton scattering. At the low-energy end of the gamma spectrum (say 10 keV) it's mostly the photoelectric effect, while at the high end (10 MeV) it's pair production. None of these process obey the law of specular reflection. This would be a more legitimate concern with UV.

    I also wondered about the idea of melting water to form lakes on the surface. Mars's atmosphere is so thin that it would be considered a pretty decent vacuum by Earth standards. Won't the water boil off pretty rapidly in a near-vacuum at 30 degrees C?

    • Won't the water boil off pretty rapidly in a near-vacuum at 30 degrees C?
      Definitely, in organic we used buchner funnels to filter materials with a vacuum assist and it was impressive to watch water boiling by being heated with body heat because I was hold the flask in my hand. I think that on Mars a person might actually be able to freeze to death no matter what the air temperature is because each gram of body fluids boiling away take 500 calories with it. The depth of skin that is actually able to hold fl
  • I know people can live at higher pressures if given time for their bodies to adjust. Does anyone know how much of a low pressure environment a human body can acclimate to?
    • by Muad'Dave (255648)
      I've wondered that, too. I ran across this paper [nasa.gov] that may help:
      • by plj (673710)
        Relevant quote:
        “The human body requires an atmospheric pressure to maintain normal physiologic processes. Below 6.3 kPa (0.9 psia) water will vaporize at body temperature.” (Chapter 2.1.)
        According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], the athmospheric pressure of Mars is only 0.7-0.9 kPa.
        • Well acutally OSHA requires air to have at least 19% oxygen so 101.4 kPa X .19 puts the lowest limit at 19.3 kPa

          Potential space habitat and EMU atmospheric pressures range from the Earth sea-level value of 101.4 kPa (14.7 psia) to as low as approximately 25.5 kPa (3.7 psia), and potential oxygen concentrations range from approximately 20 percent up to 100 percent. Atmos Pres [nasa.gov]

          to see what it would be like to breathe on Mars without a pressure suit, try exhaling through a hose exiting in water 8.3 feet deep.

  • by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart@gmail ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:12PM (#16857866)
    I've actually been wanting to explore this idea for warming winter temperatures for those of us who live in the Northern Latitudes.

    In addition to the general comfort provided by more warmth and sunlight, there is actually a huge environmental benefit. A 20 degree increase in temperatures for a large metro area would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve plenty of fuel that would have been used for heating.

    The money spent heating homes and businesses in the north are not insignificant, the last numbers I saw for Ohio indicated that statewide yearly natural gas expenses are about $1.5-$2 billion. (To be fair, you can reduce those costs in other ways as well, but using a solar array to redistribute/magnify solar light during winter has secondary benefits that geothermal heating do not. :-)

    Keep in mind, I'd only propose this for the urban areas, and not the rural areas, where I understand agricultural fields might need time to chill during winter.
    • by DrKyle (818035)
      If your idea of a northern latitude is Ohio I think you should unfold the top of your map because you're not even halfway up from the equator to the pole. Heck, I live at 53 degrees north and I don't consider it a northern latitude.
    • by peragrin (659227)
      yea that's a good idea. You do realize you would screw up the entire northen hemisphere right? A better solution would be to simply update all buildings to modern insulation levels, and stop building giant mansion sized houses. Those two steps by themselves would save each person hundreds per year, paying for them selves in just a few years of time.

      Living and growing up in NY I know one other fact. Winter is the most dangerous, when the temperatures hover around freezing. That is when Ice storms and mas
    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      Have you heard of Global Warming? While it may not be true now (as more people are debating it), what you propose is to do it on purpose.
      • by sholden (12227)
        Since he mentioned greenhouse gases, I'd say yes he has heard of global warming.
    • In addition to the general comfort provided by more warmth and sunlight, there is actually a huge environmental benefit. A 20 degree increase in temperatures for a large metro area would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve plenty of fuel that would have been used for heating.

      And dumping significant amounts of heat higher up in the atmosphere won't have any detrimental effect? (The atmosphere is not 100% transparent to visible light - thus some of the light you reflect to the surface

  • New England (Score:3, Funny)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:20PM (#16858010)
    I wish they could warm New England to 68 degrees instead.
  • This seems like a cool idea (obvious now, in retrospect). The green house effect is valid nearly anywhere you can create an enclosed environment. It's harder on Mars, since there isn't that much light to begin with to heat up your 1km radius greenhouse. But if ya got your solar collectors, etc., it could work.
  • Mars seems very likely never to be able to be self sustaining for very long. Which isn't to say it isn't worth a try, but I think Venus would have a much longer payback period for the effort and could see a sustainable biosphere developed to take advantage of Venus's plentiful Oxygen and Carbon.

    With all its CO2 all it requires is a bit of Hydrogen to start making water. The best way to get sustainable hydrogen is to get the planet spinning so that it can form its own magnetic field which would start trapp
  • The mirror idea has been discussed before and is nothing new...however, what about doing the opposite for other planets? Say you want to cool down Venus. Just stick a giant coin in an orbit somewhere between the sun and Venus. Voila, instant permanent eclipse. Might not be a bad idea to start looking into similar technology for earth. Say, manufacture a variable opacity lens, or even just some controllable slats which could be turned to different angles in order to let more or less sunlight through. T
    • by Ihlosi (895663)
      hat way if Global Warming really does get as bad as is being predicted, we can give ourselves a couple decades of twilight to try and sort out the environment.



      Yay. Suffocating ourselves is definitely going to sort things out.

      • by c6gunner (950153)
        Well, unless you're afraid of the dark and plan on shoving your head into a plastic bag, I don't see how being able to control the amount of sunlight we receive is going to cause suffocation.
        • Well it's the plant thing, when they get light, they tend to take CO2 out of the atmosphere to make more plant-stuff and give off oxygen. Giving off Oxygen is nice and all but the important thing is taking out the CO2, when it hits about 1,000 ppm the air feels "thick" and it's hard to breathe. Given the rate we're dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, that's what I'm worried about, Global warming is probably a distraction from the real problem.
  • Who in the world is worried about thin inflatable mirrors reflecting Gamma Rays!? If there were easy and cheap ways to reflect gamma rays, it would be a lot easier to build antimatter fueled photon rockets. Unfortunately, it's quite hard to reflect high energy photons except at very shallow angles of indicence. Either the person being interviewed is half-clued or the writer got something seriously wrong.
  • you get a giant umbrella in orbit between mars and the sun.
    Use a tranlucent yellow material and it will focus energy towards mars.

    because it is domed, and it's diameter will be larger then the diameter of mars, you will gt more light per Sq. Meter.

    You also have the added effect of a layer of protect from harmfull energies coming from the sun.

  • This is absurd. First, open atmo heating of a selected section will not increase pressure of that section as you have pressure "radiating" out to the lower pressure atmo at a constant and rapid rate. Seriously. High pressure flows to low pressure at the maximum potential it is allowed.

    Second, how is this any better than a pressurized dome? It would certainly cost more and take more effort.

    A Geodesic dome has a distinct advantage in that the larger the dome the smaller the apparent structures. In other words
  • Howdy. I'm studying electromagnetic waves in physics this semester, so I'm curious how someone would reflect only visible light onto an area. Would there be some kind of coating on the reflecting surface that would refract the higher frequency energy away from the area? Are there existing examples of this technology? H.
  • Sounds like someone came up with a $10^10 solution to a $~10^7 problem...

    Greenhouses are "localized terraforming" in the same sense as this proposal, would not require giant orbital mirrors to be precisely aligned, and would be far more efficient because the environment would be more contained against losses of heat and atmosphere into the ambient surroundings.

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