# Can we melt mars ?

• February 11th, 2012, 12:52 PM
Max Time Taken
Can we melt mars ?
With 1kg enriched plutonium we can dissolve the earth so can we simply melt mars and wait for it to crust ? I am pretty sure heat is all that's needed for atmosphere.
• February 11th, 2012, 01:31 PM
Janus
Where in the world did you get that figure from?
The energy in 1kg of enriched plutonium is many magnitudes less than that needed to have any significant effect on the Earth as a whole and 1kg is much smaller than the critical mass of plutonium needed for a chain reaction.

To give you an idea of how far off you are, let's consider what it would take to just melt 1/100 of the mass of Mars. Even if rock is just at the temperature it melts at, it would take a minumum of 270,000 joules of energy per kg to melt it. Mars is 1/10 the mass of Earth, so 1/100 of that is 6 x 10^21 kg. This means you would need 1.6 x 10^27 joules to melt it. The total conversion of 1 kg of matter would release 9 x 10^16 joules. Thus you would need to convert at least 18,000,000,000 kg of matter to energy to melt just 1/100 of the mass of Mars.

And that is with total mass to energy conversion. Even enriched Plutonium only converts a small fraction of its mass to energy.
• February 11th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Janus
Where in the world did you get that figure from?
The energy in 1kg of enriched plutonium is many magnitudes less than that needed to have any significant effect on the Earth as a whole and 1kg is much smaller than the critical mass of plutonium needed for a chain reaction.

Can't recall where figure originated but was related to critical mass, the bang that bangs so hard it makes explosives of all that is near it.
• February 11th, 2012, 03:43 PM
skeptic
To Max

The energy from every nuclear weapon the world possesses is less than the energy released by the eruption of the Pinatubo Volcano. So forget using nuclear means to provide an atmosphere for Mars.

There have been a lot of suggestions made. Gravity is a good source of energy. From gravity, we get massive release of energy when something big falls into Mars. One suggestion for the medium future is to fire vast quantities of ice at Mars - collected from comets or from Saturn's rings, or some other similar source, and use some kind of ion drive to steer them so they fall onto Mars surface. This would release enormous heat from atmospheric friction, and dump lots of liquid water onto Mars.

After all this is over, it may be possible to keep Mars warm with orbiting mirrors.

At least these are ideas presented during the last conference on terraforming Mars.
• February 11th, 2012, 03:50 PM
Lynx_Fox
Using direct means isn't a good way to go. Leverage nature is a better way. For example what is that Plutonium is running a factory to produce CFCs (a greenhouse gas) on the surface, which will in time raise temperature, sublimate the huge amounts of Co2 and water vapor (two more greenhouses gases) just below the surface into the atmosphere, increase atmospheric pressure and create a strong positive feedback on the temperature which turn will sublimate more Co2, H2O ...etc.
• February 11th, 2012, 04:03 PM
Janus
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Janus
Where in the world did you get that figure from?
The energy in 1kg of enriched plutonium is many magnitudes less than that needed to have any significant effect on the Earth as a whole and 1kg is much smaller than the critical mass of plutonium needed for a chain reaction.

Can't recall where figure originated but was related to critical mass, the bang that bangs so hard it makes explosives of all that is near it.

That's not what critical mass means. Critical mass is the minimum amount of a fissionable material you need to have a self-maintaining nuclear reaction. For Plutonium 238, this is 10 kg. This reaction only pertains to the fissionable material itself and does not in any way involve anything else around it.
• February 12th, 2012, 06:04 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by skeptic
To Max

The energy from every nuclear weapon the world possesses is less than the energy released by the eruption of the Pinatubo Volcano. So forget using nuclear means to provide an atmosphere for Mars.

There have been a lot of suggestions made. Gravity is a good source of energy. From gravity, we get massive release of energy when something big falls into Mars. One suggestion for the medium future is to fire vast quantities of ice at Mars - collected from comets or from Saturn's rings, or some other similar source, and use some kind of ion drive to steer them so they fall onto Mars surface. This would release enormous heat from atmospheric friction, and dump lots of liquid water onto Mars.

After all this is over, it may be possible to keep Mars warm with orbiting mirrors.

At least these are ideas presented during the last conference on terraforming Mars.

At least with present nuclear technology, but then we release a very small amount of the E=MC^2 equation with current bombs. Mirrors are heavy and hard to produce.
I do like the idea of self moling(drilling) induction rings with solar panels.
• February 12th, 2012, 06:05 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
Using direct means isn't a good way to go. Leverage nature is a better way. For example what is that Plutonium is running a factory to produce CFCs (a greenhouse gas) on the surface, which will in time raise temperature, sublimate the huge amounts of Co2 and water vapor (two more greenhouses gases) just below the surface into the atmosphere, increase atmospheric pressure and create a strong positive feedback on the temperature which turn will sublimate more Co2, H2O ...etc.

All equipment made and sent costs the earth ;)
• February 12th, 2012, 06:08 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Janus
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Janus
Where in the world did you get that figure from?
The energy in 1kg of enriched plutonium is many magnitudes less than that needed to have any significant effect on the Earth as a whole and 1kg is much smaller than the critical mass of plutonium needed for a chain reaction.

Can't recall where figure originated but was related to critical mass, the bang that bangs so hard it makes explosives of all that is near it.

That's not what critical mass means. Critical mass is the minimum amount of a fissionable material you need to have a self-maintaining nuclear reaction. For Plutonium 238, this is 10 kg. This reaction only pertains to the fissionable material itself and does not in any way involve anything else around it.

Thank you for that, I have not researched enough. 10kg should melt a hole right through to the centre with enough gravity/inertia, right ? And keep burning ?
• February 12th, 2012, 07:17 AM
Strange
You might want to read this: How to destroy the Earth @ Things Of Interest
• February 12th, 2012, 08:08 AM
Max Time Taken
What a load of rubbish , 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000ball of iron.
What is silicone, what is carbon ?
How hot is the core, is it all liquid ?

• February 12th, 2012, 08:19 AM
Harold14370
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
10kg should melt a hole right through to the centre with enough gravity/inertia, right ? And keep burning ?

Wrong. Refer to the following article which describes what actually happens.
Corium (nuclear reactor) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• February 12th, 2012, 09:27 AM
Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
What a load of rubbish , 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000 [tonne] ball of iron.

The mass is about right. Iron is the most common element on earth. It is a bit of an exaggeration to describe it as a ball of iron, but not by much.

Quote:

What is silicone
An inert synthetic polymer.

Quote:

How hot is the core, is it all liquid ?
There is a solid inner core with a radius of ~1,220 km and a liquid outer core with a radius of ~3,400 km. I think the temperature is about 5,500K.
• February 12th, 2012, 05:53 PM
Max Time Taken
Ball of iron, small exaggeration ?
iron: 34 .1 %
oxygen: 28 .2 %
silicon: 17 .2 %
magnesium: 15 .9 %
nickel: 1 .6 %
calcium: 1 .6 %
aluminium: 1 .5 %
sulfur: 0 .70 %
sodium: 0 .25 %
titanium: 0 .071 %
potassium: 0 .019 %
other elements: 0 .53 %

Nice info on the core thanks.
• February 12th, 2012, 06:09 PM
Strange
OK. A rusty ball of iron. That accounts for the majority.
• February 12th, 2012, 06:11 PM
MeteorWayne
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Ball of iron, small exaggeration ?
iron: 34 .1 %
oxygen: 28 .2 %
silicon: 17 .2 %
magnesium: 15 .9 %
nickel: 1 .6 %
calcium: 1 .6 %
aluminium: 1 .5 %
sulfur: 0 .70 %
sodium: 0 .25 %
titanium: 0 .071 %
potassium: 0 .019 %
other elements: 0 .53 %

Nice info on the core thanks.

What's the source for that? It sound more like the bulk composition of the earth, rather than the core. You do know the difference, right?

The core is mostly iron, nickel, and a few other minor siderophiles. Plus I think the sulpher percentage is higher.

Is it by weight or percentage of atoms?
• February 13th, 2012, 09:00 AM
drowsy turtle
Quote:

Originally Posted by skeptic
There have been a lot of suggestions made. Gravity is a good source of energy. From gravity, we get massive release of energy when something big falls into Mars. One suggestion for the medium future is to fire vast quantities of ice at Mars - collected from comets or from Saturn's rings, or some other similar source, and use some kind of ion drive to steer them so they fall onto Mars surface. This would release enormous heat from atmospheric friction, and dump lots of liquid water onto Mars.

Mars (probably) had liquid water, and still has some ice. The problem is its gravity - water vapour escapes very rapidly from the martian atmosphere compared to Earth's. Heating the planets surface will accelerate this process.

Then again, on human timescales it wouldn't be such an issue - even if you have to replace the atmosphere every few centuries, you get an entire planet in return.
• February 13th, 2012, 01:13 PM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by MeteorWayne
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Ball of iron, small exaggeration ?
iron: 34 .1 %
oxygen: 28 .2 %
silicon: 17 .2 %
magnesium: 15 .9 %
nickel: 1 .6 %
calcium: 1 .6 %
aluminium: 1 .5 %
sulfur: 0 .70 %
sodium: 0 .25 %
titanium: 0 .071 %
potassium: 0 .019 %
other elements: 0 .53 %

Nice info on the core thanks.

What's the source for that? It sound more like the bulk composition of the earth, rather than the core. You do know the difference, right?

The core is mostly iron, nickel, and a few other minor siderophiles. Plus I think the sulpher percentage is higher.

Is it by weight or percentage of atoms?

Wikipedia structure of earth, by weight not moles.
• February 13th, 2012, 01:16 PM
Max Time Taken
• February 13th, 2012, 01:22 PM
Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Wikipedia structure of earth, by weight not moles.

Structure of the Earth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? I don't see it.

(Why is it so hard for people to provide a reference to their sources? What do they teach young people nowadays? Grumble, grumble...)
• February 14th, 2012, 05:34 AM
Max Time Taken
If the earth has a fossil iron core why can we not manufacture fossil iron ?
• February 14th, 2012, 05:38 AM
Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
If the earth has a fossil iron core why can we not manufacture fossil iron ?

Can you explain what that means; what is "fossil iron"?

Also, can you clarify where you got that distribution of the elements from?
• February 14th, 2012, 05:52 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Wikipedia structure of earth, by weight not moles.

Structure of the Earth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? I don't see it.

(Why is it so hard for people to provide a reference to their sources? What do they teach young people nowadays? Grumble, grumble...)

Wiki changes too often.
• February 14th, 2012, 05:55 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
If the earth has a fossil iron core why can we not manufacture fossil iron ?

Can you explain what that means; what is "fossil iron"?

Also, can you clarify where you got that distribution of the elements from?

File:Carbon basic phase diagram.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Fossil would be the hot formed hard bit as seen in this diagram for carbon.

I got that ref from the same site you visited but the stats have been adjusted no overall composition chart any more.
• February 14th, 2012, 06:04 AM
Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
File:Carbon basic phase diagram.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Fossil would be the hot formed hard bit as seen in this diagram for carbon.

That doesn't seem to have anything to do with the formation of fossils and absolutely nothing to do with iron, so I am still not clear what you mean by the phrase "fossil iron".

Quote:

I got that ref from the same site you visited but the stats have been adjusted no overall composition chart any more.
When did you find that information because it hasn't been updated since January? I had a look through previous versions of the page and couldn't see any sign of that table. Do you think it might have come from somewhere else?
• February 15th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
File:Carbon basic phase diagram.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Fossil would be the hot formed hard bit as seen in this diagram for carbon.

That doesn't seem to have anything to do with the formation of fossils and absolutely nothing to do with iron, so I am still not clear what you mean by the phrase "fossil iron".

1. Compressed at heat till no gaps in atoms, netted perfectly so to speak. Pressure / Time in geology I believe, add temp to make it interesting. Just the same way any fossil, even hail, is formed.

Quote:

I got that ref from the same site you visited but the stats have been adjusted no overall composition chart any more.
When did you find that information because it hasn't been updated since January? I had a look through previous versions of the page and couldn't see any sign of that table. Do you think it might have come from somewhere else?

2.I got it from a link on an answer to that question , yahoo answers 2 days ago.
I have not been able to revisit the same page in wiki, for a link to post.
• February 15th, 2012, 09:16 AM
Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by Strange
That doesn't seem to have anything to do with the formation of fossils and absolutely nothing to do with iron, so I am still not clear what you mean by the phrase "fossil iron".

1. Compressed at heat till no gaps in atoms, netted perfectly so to speak. Pressure / Time in geology I believe, add temp to make it interesting. Just the same way any fossil, even hail, is formed.

Are you trying to say there should be a denser/more compressed form of iron?

This has nothing to do with the way a fossil is formed. Fossilization is the replacement of organic matter by minerals; it isn't just a "denser" version of the original.

Quote:

I have not been able to revisit the same page in wiki, for a link to post.
That is a shame. It looked like a useful reference...
• February 16th, 2012, 05:35 AM
Max Time Taken
1. I am saying that if iron can be solid at over 5700K then it must be more dense than the stuff we manufacture. Fossils are not just made by replacement of minerals, gravity/time(heat) = geological compression.

2. Here is where I got that info... What is the most common Element on Earth ? - Yahoo! Answers
• February 16th, 2012, 07:14 AM
MeteorWayne
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
1. I am saying that if iron can be solid at over 5700K then it must be more dense than the stuff we manufacture. Fossils are not just made by replacement of minerals, gravity/time(heat) = geological compression.

That is quite simply wrong.

Quote:
Right, so as I said, it is the composition of the bulk earth, NOT the core. As I said in post # 16.

Planetary differentiation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• February 16th, 2012, 07:47 AM
John Galt
Max time Taken, you chose to ignore my last advice, so I shall be more specific this time. Before hitting the Post key why not take the time to study what your are posting on, learn something about it, and thereby stop posting utter bilge.
• February 16th, 2012, 08:01 AM
Strange
Quote:

Originally Posted by Max Time Taken
1. I am saying that if iron can be solid at over 5700K then it must be more dense than the stuff we manufacture.

I don't think it is quite that hot. But it is under enormous pressure that is what keeps it solid. I doubt the density is significantly different. If you were to bring a sample to the earth's surface (at the same temperature) it would melt.

Here you go, phase diagram for iron: Iron's structure at the temperatures and pressures of Earth's core
(Although I did see a mention somewhere that recent research shows it may return to a bcc structure at very high temp and pressure.)
• February 16th, 2012, 11:50 AM
Max Time Taken
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Galt
Max time Taken, you chose to ignore my last advice, so I shall be more specific this time. Before hitting the Post key why not take the time to study what your are posting on, learn something about it, and thereby stop posting utter bilge.

Wise advice it may have been.
• February 16th, 2012, 04:08 PM
Raziell
Wait... making Mars a habitable planet and being able to colonize it is scientifically possible?

I was born 300 years to early...

fuck my life... -.-
• February 16th, 2012, 10:13 PM
icewendigo
Could Solar sails be used to drag asteroids on a collision with Mars?
Or maybe collide with one of Mars moons to try to knock it on a collision course with Mars.
If enough ice can be thrown maybe engineered life can create greenhouse gas, though Im not sure what would happen with the lack of a magnetic field as strong as earth?

Maybe it would be less time consuming to just build domed cities and underground forests and forget the terraforming part?
• February 17th, 2012, 05:48 AM
Max Time Taken
Going to need forges, sunlight is strong(photo voltaic induction ring drills), terraforming could be part and parcel for both.