Terraforming is the process of making non-Earth-like worlds, well, Earth-like. Habitable to human and other terrestrial life in the same way that Earth is. To be honest, I don’t really see the need for terraformation. If we upload ourselves, or even just move our brains over to robotic bodies, we become able to survive in a much wider range of environments than the 1 bar, Nitrogen-Oxygen, 0-100 degree Fahrenheit one we currently live in. Granted there is some leeway there (a human can survive in 0.2 bar of pure oxygen, for example) but the hard vaccuum of space? Nope. The crushing 90 bar CO2 atmosphere of Venus? Nope. Of course, these present challenges of their own for uploaded people in robotic bodies (especially Venus), but it is much more conceivable that we might one day be able to.

Of course, I think the human race might end up terraforming other planets anyway, for asthetic reasons. We like life. We are life, and we feel a special kinship with other forms of life and are more attracted to it than rock and ice. If people are going to start living on other worlds for their entire lives, they’ll probably want a place much more Earth-like than anything.

As an example, I’ve stitched together several speculative images made by others of Mars, Venus, the Moon, and Mercury, all terraformed and adjusted to relative scale. Tell me it just isn’t beautiful:


(Note: click for a larger image. Warning: 1.4 MB)

Interesting story while making this. I found all the images of the terraformed worlds on Wikipedia (Mercury is actually an alternate image of the Moon, just flipped vertically). I wanted to use an actual picture for Earth, but I noticed something strange. All the terraformed worlds were lit from the right, while all the images of Earth I could find were lit from the left. Why this might be I have no idea. Anyway, I didn’t just want to stick in a wrongly lit Earth because it would just look wrong, and, to me, having a world lit from the right just looks better than one lit from the left. And, obviously, I couldn’t just flip the Earth because that would be blatantly noticeable. (If any of these links don’t work right, just right-click and say “Save Target As…”, though maybe it’s just my computer being being a @#$&ing %^&$. )

So what’s  a phenomenally intelligent human of the year 2009 to do? Why, go into orbit and take the photograph myself, of course! Well, no… I used the space software Celestia.

Anyway, my original point was that, though we might not need to terraform worlds, we might want to anyway. And, as you know, if we as a species want to do something, and there’s nothing preventing us from doing it, it’s going to happen. Period.


4 Responses to “Terraforming”

  1. 1 Dan Carter October 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    If one wants to terraform Mars, it will require a large Moon like Jupiters moon Io that would cause the planet to create a tidal lock around it. The tidal lock is caused by the planet’s molten core. The larger the moon the harder the planet’s core will have to work in order to maintain its hold on the moon, which results in a strong magnetic field that prevents it from escaping. A strong magnetic field blocks the solar winds, which will allow Mars to generate a thick atmosphere, which in turn will lead to the rise in surface pressure and water. The key towards relocating Io to encircle Mars is the dwarf planet Ceres that could be used to help toward Io away from Jupiter to Mars.

    As for Venus, since its tidal lock around the Sun, the key solution is to pull it away from the Sun towards the space between Earth and Mars, which will allow its axis rotation to increase to 24hrs a day. In addition, Venus will need Mercury as its moon in order for the planet to generate its magnetic field. To terraform Venus is to make the Sun’s gravitational pull into a gravitational push away from it as its rotating around the Sun, passing the Earth, towards its new location.

    The tools for terraforming Mars and Venus are already in place, The hard part is developing the technology to make them work together. The reason to why Earth has a magnetic field is because of its Lunar Moon. Otherwise, Earth would likely be another Venus or Mars.

  2. 2 mpijblog February 18, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Planets or space rocks needed some atmosphere in order to be terraformed and there are some subtle news. Mercury, and Luna don’t have an atmosphere, therefore they can’t be terraformed right away, so astronomers are trying to figure out some techniques to help create an atmosphere in these rocks. Some ways could be to throw some very strong acids, acids very strong enough to melt rock. If the rocks begin to melt, then it may seep down through the mantle and then too much volcanoes might erupt, and if it continues to happen, the atmosphere might form. The other ways could be to spray some atmospheric dust to form the atmosphere.
    If the space rock has an atmosphere, it can be terraformed right away. If the space rock lacks an atmosphere, we needed to form the atmosphere first before terraforming.
    I think that the Mars and Venus will be terraformed first since they already have an atmosphere, but Mercury and Luna will be working on creating and atmosphere during that time since they lack an atmosphere. After their atmosphere formed, we can start terraforming Mercury and Luna, so they’ll be terraformed later on.

  3. 3 mpijblog February 18, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    That means that how long will it take for a space rock to be terraformed also depends on whether they have an atmosphere or not. If they have an atmosphere, they might be terraformed sooner but if they don’t, they’ll be terraformed later on because they needed to form an atmosphere first before they start terraforming into a livable planet.
    Planets also needs to atmosphere to support life. Atmosphere regulates the planet’s temperature, give some bright colors to the day sky, like light blue sky for earth and give some air for us to breathe. If the planets lacks an atmosphere, then the planets will experience extreme temperatures, which means the day side will be scorching hot and the night side will be pretty frigid, which we’ll either burn or freeze to death, the sky will be black like night all the time, even during daytime and there won’t be air for us to breathe.

  4. 4 mpijblog February 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Maybe there’s a fun trick with terraforming. We can try to terraform the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos. There are some problems with Martian moons. Firstly, Martian moons are very small, which are smaller than some countries on earth. Phobos has a diameter of 23 km long and Deimos is about 12 km long. That’s quite crazy as there’s only a few space available. If you move on the earth for quite a long distance, but not very long, you won’t return to where you started moving. However, if you move on the Martian moons, then for quite a long distance, but not for very long, you’ll soon return to where you started moving and you would have revolved around the rock. Moving on Deimos will be twice as fast as moving on Phobos as it’s almost half the size of Phobos. Secondly, the Martian moons aren’t very round and sphere like most planets and space objects like stars, and they look like huge potatoes and have un unstable shape like the asteroid belt, so the surface looks unstable and you can’t walk around properly.

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