Artificial Magnetic Fields For Artifical Worlds

Posted by on Apr 9, 2007 in Blog, Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Saturn, Solar Essay, Technology, Titan | 8 comments

(Image Credit: NASA)

Aside from war and disease, the biggest threat to our (future) space faring species is radiation. Whether it comes from the Sun, a Jovian parent, or from a distant black hole, radiation can easily determine which worlds will be ruled by humans and which ones will be roamed by our robotic friends.

Although many may point to underground colonies as a means to survive on these sterile worlds, such an idea may not attract the masses (as living underground does not provide a glamorous view of the universe). Worse, underground colonies may have a counter affect on us colonizing our solar system, with the vast majority of people opting to live on the home world than off world.

But what if we could construct gigantic magnetic devices enabling a planet or moon to be shielded by a magnetic field? Such a device would enable our species to not only colonize Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s E-ring moons (which are too radioactive for surface habitation, respectively) but also enable various plants and animals to thrive on the red planet.

Without such a device our species would be limited to colonizing Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Callisto, not to mention Saturn’s Titan. Although radiation on Mars may be tolerable, it would probably not be the ideal place to terraform as any ecosystems exported there may suffer from the wrath of a solar flare.

Despite the fact that this technology would be centuries away, it may be reasonable to explore current ways of developing artificial magnetic fields, as it would enable us to not only conquer our own solar system, but those that orbit other stars.

(Image Credit: Windows to the Universe)

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83 Colony Worlds Orbit Our Star?

Posted by on Apr 1, 2007 in Blog, Callisto, Exploration, Ganymede, Mars, Random, Titan | 2 comments

(Hat Tip: Cosmic Variance)

Many space geeks (I included) seem to be excited about an image by KOKOGIAK displaying the 88 largest bodies in our solar system (of which 83 are “terrestrial” or have a surface we can actually land upon).

After searching online on these various worlds, many with an abundance of ice water upon them (a good sign), it became apparent that many of these worlds would not become favorable homes (for raising kids) due to either radiation, distance or lack of appeal.

Currently there seem to be four worlds that show some promise of becoming future homes which are:

  • Mars (which has tolerable levels of radiation)
  • Ganymede (which has a magnetic field)
  • Callisto (which is not within Jupiter’s radiation belts)
  • Titan (atmosphere plus Saturn’s magnetic field may protect it)

Unless artificial magnetic fields can be created upon other worlds, they may only attract corporate industries and scientists, but not the huge populations necessary in order to establish our species as a “space faring civilization.”

Hopefully I’ll get some more time to post about these four worlds, as they hold much promise for our race four or five generations from now.

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