Monday, June 15, 2009

Mars Needs Oceans, It Seems

A controversial new theory holds promise for terraforming Mars.
The controversial new paper, published in New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society), will deflect geophysicists’ attention from postulated motion of conducting fluids in the Earth’s core, the twentieth century’s answer to the mysteries of geomagnetism and magnetosphere.

Professor Gregory Ryskin from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in Illinois, US, has defied the long-standing convention by applying equations from magnetohydrodynamics to our oceans’ salt water (which conducts electricity) and found that the long-term changes (the secular variation) in the Earth’s main magnetic field are possibly induced by our oceans’ circulation.
If this theory holds true, then one of the big objections to settling Mars, its lack of a magnetic field, might be removed.

Warm the planet up enough to keep water liquid, and as oceans form and flow around the planet, a magnetic field might just form around the planet, protecting colonists from radiation.

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