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Can the ancient magnetic field surrounding Mars be 'revived' in any way?

Emily Rodriguez Emily Rodriguez Dec 01, 2019 · 2 mins read
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The possibility of “reviving” the ancient magnetic field surrounding Mars has been a topic of interest for scientists for a long time. Mars is known to have had a magnetic field in the past, which would have protected it from the harmful effects of the solar wind. However, the field disappeared around 4 billion years ago, leaving the planet vulnerable to the solar wind and radiation.

The question of whether we can bring back the magnetic field has been raised by many scientists. One proposal is to create an artificial magnetic field around Mars. This concept was first proposed in the 1960s by physicist Robert L. Forward. He suggested that a large loop of superconducting wire, called a “magnetosphere,” could be placed in orbit around Mars. The magnetic field generated by the electric current flowing through the superconducting wire could protect the planet from the solar wind.

However, the technology required to create such a magnetosphere is still in the early stages of development. It would require a significant amount of energy, which could be provided by a nuclear reactor or a series of solar power cells. Additionally, the magnetosphere would need to be able to withstand the intense radiation and solar wind at Mars, which could damage it or cause it to malfunction.

Another proposal that has been suggested is to create an artificial magnetic field using a network of satellites orbiting the planet. The satellites would generate a magnetic field that could surround and protect the planet. This proposal is less energy-intensive than the magnetosphere concept, but it would still require a significant amount of resources to implement.

There is also the possibility of restoring Mars’ own magnetic field. One theory is that the planet’s magnetic field was generated by the motion of its molten iron core. If this is the case, then there may be a chance of restoring the magnetic field by increasing the temperature of the core. This could be achieved through the injection of a radioactive isotope such as plutonium-238, which would generate heat through its decay.

However, this theory is still untested, and there are many uncertainties around the idea of restarting Mars’ core. It is not yet clear whether the core is still molten or whether it has solidified. Additionally, the core’s composition and structure are not well understood.

In conclusion, the possibility of reviving the ancient magnetic field surrounding Mars is an intriguing concept, but it is still a long way from becoming a reality. The technology required to create an artificial magnetosphere or satellite network is still in its early stages, and the feasibility of restarting the planet’s core is still uncertain. However, with continued research and exploration, we may one day be able to bring back the protective shield that Mars lost so long ago.

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Emily Rodriguez
Written by Emily Rodriguez
Making waves wherever I go