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#51 2004-07-13 02:31:33

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

I'm just going to hit on a few of the issues I saw when I breifly scanned the topic. It's been proven that the Moon's crust is mostly silicon dioxide (SiO2). If you could free enough oxygen from that combo, you could easily make a pretty thick atmosphere, temporarily at least. There are serious problems, though, you need carbon to free oxygen from SiO2, which is virtually nonexistant on the Moon. Perhaps you could ship it in from the asteroid belt, but again we run into the question of "who's paying for it?"

With carbon you can turn SiO2 into one silicon atom and two CO molecules. I think that you can then get CO2 from the carbon monoxide and recycle the one surplus carbon atom back into the reactor. With some hyrogen you could make free oxygen from the CO as well, and once enough of it got into the atmosphere it would create a nice ozone layer around the Moon. So we've now solved the problem of radiation, made the air breatheable, and turned the thermostat to a reasonable setting planetwide. Still, there are massive problems on the Moon.

The 28 day day/night cycle and the lack of water will be tough to solve. The only way you could even think about solving them is to ram a whole bunch of iceteroids from the Kuiper Belt into the Moon pushing its rotation along. The problem is, in order for the iceteroid to hit the Moon hard enough to have an effect, it would blast pretty much all H2O out with it. Another set of these KBOs would have to be sent on a trajectory that would make them impact the Moon at very low speeds. As an added bonus, spinning the Moon until you get a day down to, say, 96 hours, would cause emense tidal shearing, perhaps melting its mantle and starting a magnetic field which could keep the atmosphere for you.

Still, the Moon need some CHNOPS (Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorous, Sulfur, the stuff of life). Once again, you'll have to ship this stuff in from the asteroid belt, but it will be easier once there's a noticable atmosphere since you can aerobrake. So there you have it. One huge mess of headaches and MADMEN, plus centuries of hard work, get you a shirtsleeve environment Moon. There is no way in hell any Terran country would even touch such a plan, but a Lunar Republic just might. If we ever actually get the Moon like this, it's going to need a better, more distinctive name. How about Diana? Wasn't that the original Roman name for the thing?

I wouldn't worry too much about changing the rotation. We'll have to live with what we've got. Long and hot days and long and cold nights are uncomfortable but plant, animal and human life can adjust to them (as they have done on Earth's poles). Thick atmosphere, winds, liquid water and clouds will decrease the temperature differences - this was discussed in the Terraforming Venus topic. Let's concentrate on what's achievable. If any government/organization starts thinking about how to change the rotation of the Moon (or Venus, Mercury) the terraforming project will stall before starting.

Full tarraformation may require a few hundred years but some results could be seen during one lifetime. All depends on envolvement, effort, resources. Dumping a number of asteroids containing nitrogen, oxygen and water - (there are such asteroids - nitrogen asteroids are scarce, though) may be difficult but possible and as you mentioned, the thicker the atmosphere the easier the process. Some gases can be extracted from the regolith and some shipped in large shuttles from other planets/moons. This discussions are purely theoretical.


Anatoli Titarev

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#52 2004-07-13 10:36:07

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

You would not want to change the moon rotation, rember the moon sister planet the earth? It is a double planet system, any change to the moons rotation wiil cause big changes on earth. We only see one side of the moon, increasing it rotation will cause us to see the dark side which could disrube animal cycles on earth. Also the energy you give to the moon will be felt on the earth by the tides, You could have larger tides flooding coast areas, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Best to leave the moon rotation as is, on earth life ealy deal with long days and nights, heat and cold.
What life needs is a thick protecting atmosphere, a mag sheild for long term air holding. Water, which the moon has, also just like the earth the moon was hit with the same material, P,N,S, and other elements are on the moon in small amounts.
Right now their is not enough water for a planet wide ecosystem, I hread their is the amount water close to a great lake. plenty for colonys but not terraforming. so water would be imported. If the moon was given an atmosphere now it be a desert world, where only water is found near the temperate poles. with a few lakes.


I love plants!

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#53 2004-07-13 12:56:31

Mad Grad Student
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From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

You would not want to change the moon rotation, rember the moon sister planet the earth? It is a double planet system, any change to the moons rotation wiil cause big changes on earth. We only see one side of the moon, increasing it rotation will cause us to see the dark side which could disrube animal cycles on earth.

Your joking, right? Excuse me, dark side of the Moon? You do know that that doesn't exist, and is one of the biggest idiot misconceptions about astronomy out there, ne c'est pas? Well, the Moon does have a dark side, in the same sense that Earth has a dark side, temporarily on whatever hemisphere is facing away from the sun. Spinning the Moon faster would not affect what it looks like to the naked eye on Earth at all. It would be necessary, too, because plants would wilt and die in the 14 days between sunset and sunrise. And if you want a magnetic field, you're gonna have to put Diana (I like the name, anyway) on the spin cycle.

Come to think of it terraforming the Moon might be a bad idea. The only reason to go there is because, as David Grinspoon says, it's dead. "Geologically, meteorologically, biologically, it's dead. It just sits there." The Moon is like a door to Earth's ancient past, before there was life and without oceans and an atmosphere to obscure the picture. Also, one of the most valuable resources the Moon has is its desolation. Without an atmosphere, it's the perfect place to make a massive observatory millions of times more powerful than the Hubble and without anyone living there, there's no cluttering radio chatter to obsucre radio astronomy. While I like the totally absurd idea a little more than terraforming Mars because you don't run into the ethical red tape of indiginous life, it would be much harder than Mars, and would yeild far fewer benefits. Besides, this will all remain arm waving and napkin diagrams for the next century anyway.


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#54 2004-07-13 13:55:04

MarsDog
Member
From: vancouver canada
Registered: 2004-03-24
Posts: 852

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Moon is a convenient object to build up into a sister of Earth.
Keep crashing things into it, with exactly the right momentum and composition.
-
The 30 day rotation, tidal lock, need not be changed. Eskimoes have several months of light and several months of darkness, and in cities people live independent of sunshine anyway.

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#55 2004-07-13 18:35:40

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Silly Madgrad student, I know that the moon dark side gets light. What I was saying was that it is the dark side because we never see that side, so we dont know what it look from earth. Yes I know now their are photos and maps from nasa, but only the few apollo crew ever saw the dark side of the moon with their own eyes. Dark side meaning side that never faces us silly billy!
Their is a reason why the moon is gravtational lock with one side facing the earth, even the luner crust is thiner on the near side. thats why their are so many maria. "Dark spots"
Any ways it is a fact if you increase the moon rotation to have shorter night and day it will afect the earth in a big way. Any one who has been to the ocean knows how powerful the tides are right, by increase the moon rotational energy spin, that energy will be lost through tidly energy both on the earth and moon. Why do you think their are so many gravity lock moons in the solar system, because it lost it spin to tidly energy. This effect also slowed the earth spin down to frocing the moon into an ever higher orbit from the earth. In a long time the moon will be so far away from the earth that it could be knock out of orbit by the other planets.
As for the long days and nights, at the poles in they have almost 24 hour light for the summer than 24 hour darkness durning the winter. Last time I chech life was doing just fine in cannada that frozzen waste land.
Life can change and live in what we think is harsh, all you have to do is open your mind. Like here in the desert it is like 112 f durning the day, yet the city is full of milions of people. The valley the sun seems harsh but life is there, and doing just fine. With the moon it would take big changes but life will do just fine on a terraformed moon.
For a place to be livable it does not have to be like New York, or some erutrash city. You think too small, maybe you should stop asuming that life needs 72 f 12 hours dark and light, sea level 1 bar pressure, 24 inchs of rain a year, and trees.
Cactus are just fine for me you desert hater!


I love plants!

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#56 2004-07-13 22:51:02

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Silly Madgrad student, I know that the moon dark side gets light. What I was saying was that it is the dark side because we never see that side, so we dont know what it look from earth. Yes I know now their are photos and maps from nasa, but only the few apollo crew ever saw the dark side of the moon with their own eyes. Dark side meaning side that never faces us silly billy!

Well, then don't call it the dark side, call it the far side! It's called the far side cuz it's the side facing away from Earth. Doy! (Sheesh, I'm not that silly)

Any ways it is a fact if you increase the moon rotation to have shorter night and day it will afect the earth in a big way. Any one who has been to the ocean knows how powerful the tides are right, by increase the moon rotational energy spin, that energy will be lost through tidly energy both on the earth and moon. Why do you think their are so many gravity lock moons in the solar system, because it lost it spin to tidly energy. This effect also slowed the earth spin down to frocing the moon into an ever higher orbit from the earth. In a long time the moon will be so far away from the earth that it could be knock out of orbit by the other planets.

Okay, how would speeding up the Moon's rotational speed affect Earth? The reason the Moon has been venturing farther and farther out and Earth's rotational speed has been slowing is because the Moon orbits and a point beyond GEO. Think of it this way: The Moon is close enough in size and distance to Earth to make a substantial tidal bulge, right? But since Earth takes less time to spin once than the Moon takes to orbit once, Earth pulls the bulge a little bit ahead of where it would normally be. Like a dog chasing a ball held in front of it, the Moon thus is pulled into a higher orbit and in turn Earth's day is slowed down. You see, the Moon's spin time has nothing to do with the equation. The reason it's tidally locked is because, as you said, the far side's crust is thicker than the near side's, keeping it in position like a gondolla hanging below a baloon.

As for the long days and nights, at the poles in they have almost 24 hour light for the summer than 24 hour darkness durning the winter. Last time I chech life was doing just fine in cannada that frozzen waste land.
Life can change and live in what we think is harsh, all you have to do is open your mind. Like here in the desert it is like 112 f durning the day, yet the city is full of milions of people. The valley the sun seems harsh but life is there, and doing just fine. With the moon it would take big changes but life will do just fine on a terraformed moon.
For a place to be livable it does not have to be like New York, or some erutrash city. You think too small, maybe you should stop asuming that life needs 72 f 12 hours dark and light, sea level 1 bar pressure, 24 inchs of rain a year, and trees.
Cactus are just fine for me you desert hater!

Perhaps you are forgetting something, is the entire world a frozen skating rink like Alaska or Siberia? No, because if it were, the ecosystem couldn't support itself. The reason life can get along in the northern winter is that it is summer in the south, and life can either (A) hibernate or (B) migrate. One problem, there's nowhere to migrate to on the Moon that's better. Remember the mono-climate planets in Star Wars like Tatooine? They wouldn't work because you need every biome there is to keep an ecosystem humming. As odd as it may sound, the arctic life could not survive without the balmy Carribean weather.

FYI, assuming you were refering to Phoenix (Your garbled, non-grammatical spelling is a bit difficult to decypher), I live there! Read my profile. I don't know what you think, but I can't even imagine having the luxury of 24 inches of rain a year, and I don't live in NYC or some "Eurotrash city."


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#57 2004-07-14 10:49:38

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

I now that, I look at your profile a long time ago. My poor grammer is due to that fact that I attended arizonas public schools. Yet ASU still let me in as one of their many new students in the fall. I am not sure if you are right or not mad grad student, I might ask some one smart but every one while most people are too full of them self here to answer such silly question. An ways I have never been to alska but cannada is full of life, intelligent I am not sure of yet.
If you are from Phoenix did experince last nights storm? I was out side enjoying the rain, but had to go in because of all the lightening stricks close by. Some places got 2 inches of rain and flooding occured in some streets, Cave creek was filled with water this morning, I hope that it rians to day too.
Their were two storms one at 12:00am then a stronger louder one at 2am. I like weather, but in the desert you have to wait a long time. Do you madgradstudent?
The thing about new york is that I just dont like new york, they know nothing about drought, or real heat. Calling a heat wave when it gets above 90 F, To day it will be over 110 and 65 dew point, bunch whimps?
Any ways how would low gravity affect storms, would they be bigger, larger hail, rain drops? I have always wondered how a thunder storm would behave on mars, have any one else?
Don't get mad over little things like farside and darkside it all relative to your exposure to science


I love plants!

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#58 2004-07-14 12:37:22

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

For God's sake, Earthfirst, proofread!!!!!!  :bars2:

Yeah, I saw the storm last night, it was pretty nice considering that we haven't had any rain in the last couple of months. The pool I work at was closed down because of all the dust swirling around, so I got to go home an hour early.  smile

As for low gravity storms, I don't know how they'd be effected. The drops would certainly fall slower, and in the lower gravity they'd have to get bigger to have the mass to get down in the first place. You see, thunderstroms are the peaks of massively powerful thermals and it takes a lot of effort to get down from there. Most raindrops actually fall up and down several dozen times before reaching Earth because they have to gain extra mass to make it all the way down. Other than that, I don't really know. Dang it Jim, I'm an engineer, not a meteorologist!


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#59 2004-07-14 16:09:06

TwinBeam
Member
From: Chandler, AZ
Registered: 2004-01-14
Posts: 144

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Yes - nice storm - classic Phoenix summer storm.  My dog and cat were scared out of their minds big_smile

- yet another Arizonan

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#60 2004-07-14 19:24:42

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Yes I guess that I should proof read, that is what my brother tells me too. Two house caught fire because of the lighting last night. As for low gravity storms the only examples we have is mars dust storms, but they are different from thunderstorms. We might have to wait until mars gets terraformed before any one knows, it came to me too that the termal velocitie would be less also.
At my house 35 ave and thunderbrid we got half an inch of rain, at least the lawn got watered, too bad my garden is in bad shape now is the best time for growing corn, all the corn was blown over.
sad  Good thing I have a thousand different kinds of plant to replace them.
As for the moon for us only underground colony or doomed ones will work, mars will be much easyer to terraform because most of the stuff you need is their. The moon will need lots of water comets to get an atmosphere. Both places will need a mag shield, other wise they would revert back to the way they are now.
Question for smart people how would you create a strong global mag shield for mars or the moon?


I love plants!

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#61 2004-07-17 05:36:34

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Changing the axial rotational rate of the Moon is expensive and nonnecessary and harmfull. That will not cast tidal effects on Earth, but the Moon surface and depths themselves will suffer from tidal effects dozens of times greater than the caused by the Moon on Earth.

The simulations about the climatology of slowly rotating worlds show that the heat is distributed quite evenly by the atmosphere/hydrological cycle even if the planet faces only one side towards the central star. The Moon also has little circunference so the work of the winds to distribute heat will be further eased. No earth-style of storms because lack of Coriolis force and multicelled global meteorologal model.

Mag-field -- mag sail -like ring onto the moon`s equator -- Nordley, Zubrin... or in orbit around it. A whole mag-cage of orthogobnal orbital rings could be made...

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#62 2004-07-17 07:15:40

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Changing the axial rotational rate of the Moon is expensive and nonnecessary and harmfull. That will not cast tidal effects on Earth, but the Moon surface and depths themselves will suffer from tidal effects dozens of times greater than the caused by the Moon on Earth.

The simulations about the climatology of slowly rotating worlds show that the heat is distributed quite evenly by the atmosphere/hydrological cycle even if the planet faces only one side towards the central star. The Moon also has little circunference so the work of the winds to distribute heat will be further eased. No earth-style of storms because lack of Coriolis force and multicelled global meteorologal model.

Mag-field -- mag sail -like ring onto the moon`s equator -- Nordley, Zubrin... or in orbit around it. A whole mag-cage of orthogobnal orbital rings could be made...

Thanks, Georgi. I absolutlely agree with you on this point. We shouldn't waste resources on changing the rotation speed of planets. I think the same applies to other planets/moons with a long solar day, in particular, Venus. I used to have links to web-sites describing weather simulations on different planets - Mars and Venus. What is relevant to this discussion, I remember the simulations showed that Venus climate would be quite hospitable with an atmosphere similar to Earth - the temperatures in average would be about 15 degrees C (4 C on Earth) and a somewhat thicker atmosphere (2-3 bars) with a large water surface would keep the temperatures more or less evenly spread.

In the worst case in dry areas we may get very hot noons and afternoons and very cold nights. Then life would need to hide and hibernate in the extreme weather. I spent a couple of years in the south of Mongolia (desert of Gobi) - in summer the temeperature reached +40 C sometimes, in winter it could fall to -40 C - extremely continental climate - too far away from the oceans. In order to get good atmosphere/hydrological cycles there must be an abundance of water too. Just a thick atmosphere is not enough. Clouds would build up during the hot days and reflect sunlight. Salty oceans would keep the temperatures warm during the long nights.


Anatoli Titarev

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#63 2004-07-17 07:57:24

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Yes, Anatolii I also support terraformation without changing the rotational rate of the planets. As you see from the proposed 'Dyson dynamo' scenario, you need 40 000 years and the whole amount of solar radiation energy which passes through a perpendicular to the rays direction circle with the radius of the Moon orbit to spin whole planet to dismantle. Also dozens of thousands of years will take such way to just increase the axial rotational rate of a whole planet or moon (leaving asside the tidal complications and COUNTER-effect) to earth-comparable lenght - a week long day/night at least.

Shortcuting dufferent momentums of bodies in different orbits and with different rotational rates by described by Paul Birch directly mechanicle way will be cheaper and easier and more natural, because no external to the dynamically connected two or more bodies additional power input is necessary, but it will be wiser for enough developed civilization able to do this to utilize in wiser way the enormous stockpile of energy involved.

Both on Venus and the Moon because of the altitude distribution of the first and the shear size of the second no land will be too far away from water body. Single meteorological cell model characteristic of the two will distribute quite evenly the heat -- the winds will blow to the night side and up, caring the heat towards the dark and sinking at the poles pushing the cold air to the equator...
If great super-desert occur on the bodies, they could be covered with solar panels, even through the atmosphere...
On Moon - at least 50% (?), on Venus about 70-80% of the surface will be covered with world ocean, so sufficient water tables for full scale hydrlolgical cycle will be present. On Moon the Aitken baisin - 13 km. deep could be 'plumbed' isogravitationally with the rest of the water bodies so our natural satelite to have World ocean, too...

As you said the questions about "how" are purely theoretical. The question of possibility to terraform the Moon is solved in possitive way in principle.

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#64 2004-07-17 16:18:41

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Changing the axial rotational rate of the Moon is expensive and nonnecessary and harmfull. That will not cast tidal effects on Earth, but the Moon surface and depths themselves will suffer from tidal effects dozens of times greater than the caused by the Moon on Earth.

The simulations about the climatology of slowly rotating worlds show that the heat is distributed quite evenly by the atmosphere/hydrological cycle even if the planet faces only one side towards the central star. The Moon also has little circunference so the work of the winds to distribute heat will be further eased. No earth-style of storms because lack of Coriolis force and multicelled global meteorologal model.

First paragraph: Then good! That's one of the main reasons why rotating the Moon is a good idea, let's get some tides on! Tidal sheering is all that keeps Io from being a frozen, radiation-blasted pizza, and Europa from being a boring ball of ice on rock. If we get that going on the Moon, friction from tides would be enough to start volcanic activity again, thus creating some of the precious and precious-to-industry minerals virtually absent there today. And if the shearing effect is great enough, it could liquify part of the planet's core, generating a magnetic field to protect the atmosphere and Lunar citizens.

Second paragraph: The atmosphere would probably be fine on the Moon even if it were tidally locked to the Sun. The reason we need to spin the sucker is that plants simply won't grow when there's no light for two weeks at a time. Artificially lighting them is utterly ridiculous, think about it, the amount of light that falls on Rhode Island in an (About 300 square miles) carries more energy than that created in every power plant on this planet. That ain't gonna work.

No matter how hard you try to make lunar terraforming work, you always run into one huge brick wall. By making the place like Earth, you remove any reason you'd want to go there.


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#65 2004-07-17 23:48:33

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Changing the axial rotational rate of the Moon is expensive and nonnecessary and harmfull. That will not cast tidal effects on Earth, but the Moon surface and depths themselves will suffer from tidal effects dozens of times greater than the caused by the Moon on Earth.

The simulations about the climatology of slowly rotating worlds show that the heat is distributed quite evenly by the atmosphere/hydrological cycle even if the planet faces only one side towards the central star. The Moon also has little circunference so the work of the winds to distribute heat will be further eased. No earth-style of storms because lack of Coriolis force and multicelled global meteorologal model.

First paragraph: Then good! That's one of the main reasons why rotating the Moon is a good idea, let's get some tides on! Tidal sheering is all that keeps Io from being a frozen, radiation-blasted pizza, and Europa from being a boring ball of ice on rock. If we get that going on the Moon, friction from tides would be enough to start volcanic activity again, thus creating some of the precious and precious-to-industry minerals virtually absent there today. And if the shearing effect is great enough, it could liquify part of the planet's core, generating a magnetic field to protect the atmosphere and Lunar citizens.

Second paragraph: The atmosphere would probably be fine on the Moon even if it were tidally locked to the Sun. The reason we need to spin the sucker is that plants simply won't grow when there's no light for two weeks at a time. Artificially lighting them is utterly ridiculous, think about it, the amount of light that falls on Rhode Island in an (About 300 square miles) carries more energy than that created in every power plant on this planet. That ain't gonna work.

No matter how hard you try to make lunar terraforming work, you always run into one huge brick wall. By making the place like Earth, you remove any reason you'd want to go there.

Plants will work OK in Lunar sol. Some Polar plants on Earth get light for six months then no light for another six months. They will the first to go to the Moon and Venus. Some plants will need to adjust to the new environment. When the plants are spread all over the Moon, it won't matter, anyway. While plants on the lit side produce oxygen, the plants on the dark side won't. No need to artificially lighting them.

The Lunar core is solid and dead. The faster rotational rate won't change it. Besides the cost and dangers envolved are too high.

As for the magnetic field - it will have to be done artificially, still much more realistic and feasible within a couple of decades than spinning up the whole moon.

As for the flooding of the moon, this is how I view it, you can see the Aitkin basin flooded as well on the right at the bottom (I will add some polar caps later):

Terraformed_Moon_Near_Far.gif


Anatoli Titarev

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#66 2004-07-18 01:18:53

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Not strictly on-topic but I've noticed one or two references lately, here and in the "Terraforming Venus" thread, to Earth's average temperature being 4 deg.C.
    In fact, the average global temperature of Earth is just under 15 deg.C.

    [As an aside, without our greenhouse gases, which include water vapour, it's been calculated that our average temperature would be about 0 deg.C.]

    Sorry to butt in ... just thought I'd mention these things in case they're important in the context of the discussion.
                                               smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#67 2004-07-18 12:26:53

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Plants will work OK in Lunar sol. Some Polar plants on Earth get light for six months then no light for another six months. They will the first to go to the Moon and Venus. Some plants will need to adjust to the new environment. When the plants are spread all over the Moon, it won't matter, anyway. While plants on the lit side produce oxygen, the plants on the dark side won't. No need to artificially lighting them.

The Lunar core is solid and dead. The faster rotational rate won't change it. Besides the cost and dangers envolved are too high.

As for the magnetic field - it will have to be done artificially, still much more realistic and feasible within a couple of decades than spinning up the whole moon.

As for the flooding of the moon, this is how I view it, you can see the Aitkin basin flooded as well on the right at the bottom (I will add some polar caps later):

Asside from the Human Genome Project, now many projects in other-species` genomics are going. As someone said it took decades and billions of dollars to fully decode just one genom - the human one -- in the near future it will take about $10 US and mere seconds to be scanned the genetic sequence of any species... The total number of genes in plants appear to be bigger than in animals` chromosomes -- may be because the synthesis of chemicals is more complex than the animal chemical cycles - partally fulfilled by the plants-- but more and more easily shall be to transcribe genes from one organism to another, or to arrange allelic combinations so to tickle the natural genetic clocks in the plants for living in shorter or longer diurnal cycles. BTW, already having naturally such adaptational range organisms could be find in ready state here in the polar regions of earth. During the two weeks ( the Moon) or two months ( Venus ) long nights, the introduced there plants wouldn`t photosynthesize, but the same lenghts of daylight would compensate the losses in oxigen and biomass production.

I order to avoid the 'artificial illumination' you don`t need to spin a whole planet faster -- it is enough to redirect some of the naturally lit by the Sun 'natural' sunlight -- by one or several mirrors rotating in proper polar orbit, alwais perpendicylar to the Sun, providing the custom 24-hours cycle of day and night, even simulating seasons if decided necessary -- not only for moon, but for any slower rotating planet -- some human societies could even decide to use up the rotational energy of the bodies which they inhabit and to replace the 'natural' diurnal cycle with more economical and easily controlable 'soleta' one. Such orbital reflecting structures made of flimsy light 'solar-sail' material should be durable as water-dam in the space, and in a case of catastrophic failure, could be replaced or repared in mere days, months or years... Replacement ones could even wait in halo orbits and to sail to the places of the damaged ones...

Indeed the lunar core will remain almost in the present state, but the linar crust and upper mantle will be devastated by enormous cracking and moon-quakes... making the settlement and terraforming and habitation even more difficult. The geological 'coma' or death of the Moon is indeed one of it advantages. One of the unexpected results of the cracked Luna should be enormous increase in the water requirements for terraformation flooding -- the water from the water tables simply will sink in the bone dry mantle through the sea and ocean bottoms cracks. The present ones now could  be easier sealed before the flooding.

A magnietic field could be made in more usefull manner than earth one by artificial methods. Superconducting ring aroud the moon`s equator, as shown, could serve simultaneously as
power storage and transport facility, and to generate magfield for atmosphere retention and radiation protection. Such artificial magfield can have better form and intensity... BTW, the Moon lacks of iron core, so even if we manage to spin it very fast such natural dynamo as the supposed earth`s one wouldn`t work at all.

About the lunar water flooding -- indeed seas and oceans on different altitudes would occur. Lunar world ocean will be linked in a whole by net of rivers, dams, watyerfalls, also cannals and tunels, and by the general hydrological cycle of water evaporation and raining. The Aitkin basin will be the deepest sea/ocean there -- 13 kilometers!!! it could be linked by horde tunels to any other basin -- to serve as main reservoir of coolant and other purposes... I think with these short distances and due to the more effective heat redistribution than on the Earth no ice cups would form on Moon. Other question is that if they occur and it is considered usefull they could be removed with lunar mirror statites...

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#68 2004-07-18 12:33:15

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Splendid terraformed Luna topography image, Anatolii!

Thanx!

I`m waitng for the polar cups.

BTW, on what latitude is the effective polar circles of the Moon? Or tropics -- could you sign them?

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#69 2004-07-20 10:48:35

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Good pic of the moon, the small land mass in the first image reminds me of Antolia "Turkey" down a ways it looks like the meditrean cost of syria and palinstien.
Given the lower gravity the moon would make a great retirement home for the old, easy to exerise. The could hop around or fly with wings. I think people will find hopping will be more effeint than walking on the moon.


I love plants!

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#70 2004-07-20 16:41:59

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
Website

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Sorry, but no, plants won't grow under lunar day/night conditions. Plants simply won't grow furthur north than where the Sun's gone for more than a week around the winter solstice. That's half the time they'd be exposed to complete darkness on the Moon. Also, the only way these plants can survive these kinds of conditions is by practically dying every year. Leaves fall off, bark drys up, they go into suspended animation. Doing that once a year is possible but strenuous, doing it once a month is ridiculous. As if that weren't enough, the only kinds of plants that can tolerate those comparatively paradisical (Does this word exist or am I making it up?) terran conditions are scrubs, bushes, and tumbleweeds. You can't support an entire ecosystem based on Speedy Gonzalez-level horticulture.

I must admit, the prospect of looking up at night and seeing a full, blue Moon is quite exciting, but why would you do it? By terraforming the Moon you're destroying the most perfect astronomy site in the solar system, not even the Bush adminsitration is that environmentally trigger happy.


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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#71 2004-07-20 18:48:28

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

If their was oil or evil ones their maybe! big_smile
I know a lot about plants, reason being I am working on getting a BS in plant science in urban horticulture. As for the types of plants the can stand the moon day/night cycle, their gens can be transferd to other, or as people have done since the stone age, grow plants under increasing long day and night, select the seeds of the plants that do best, and grow again. In a short time plants could be developed that can stand these condictions. Bio tect way would be faster, but nothing  is impossible when it comes to plants!
FYI arid lands, cold and other harsh landsacpes can be very rich in plants in animals, for example Arizona is home to over 10,000 native plants, and thousand of endemics. All life needs is a little water sunsine and good clean air to prosper. Beyond the earth we may have too alter worlds to a great extent to live their but those worlds don't have to be mini earths in every detail. Life will change and become native to it new home and become total different from their ansecters that we brought, all we have to do is provide a home that stay hapital for millions of year so life can change its new home.
Anways I suggest that you go to the desert botanical garden, in the fall or spring and see how strong life can be.
Students get a discount cost 5$. I have been their 10 tens and see somthing neww every time!


I love plants!

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#72 2004-07-21 17:21:46

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Sorry, but no, plants won't grow under lunar day/night conditions. Plants simply won't grow furthur north than where the Sun's gone for more than a week around the winter solstice. That's half the time they'd be exposed to complete darkness on the Moon. Also, the only way these plants can survive these kinds of conditions is by practically dying every year. Leaves fall off, bark drys up, they go into suspended animation. Doing that once a year is possible but strenuous, doing it once a month is ridiculous. As if that weren't enough, the only kinds of plants that can tolerate those comparatively paradisical (Does this word exist or am I making it up?) terran conditions are scrubs, bushes, and tumbleweeds. You can't support an entire ecosystem based on Speedy Gonzalez-level horticulture.

I must admit, the prospect of looking up at night and seeing a full, blue Moon is quite exciting, but why would you do it? By terraforming the Moon you're destroying the most perfect astronomy site in the solar system, not even the Bush adminsitration is that environmentally trigger happy.

Through selection and little genetic engineering thousands of species could be adapted even with the nowaday knowledge to cycle of two weeks of darkness and two weeks of sunlight. Even longer periods of 4 - 6 month`s sol , like on Venus and Mercury, could be 'conquered'.

If as you think the plants should die out during the long night -- Earthfirst is right -- the desert species literally burst in super-fast full lifecycle vigorously when after years of awayting the right conditions come.

If we have only shrubs and grasses possible for growing there -- remember the G.Nordley oppinion, that the plants and animals in lower G environments, would be not only higher but generally with bigger volume ( made from the same tissues) -- imagine bushes dozens of metters high and with branches dozens of cantimeters thick = something resembling more to Amazonia, rather than to common bushy land. The bananas and bamboo are grassy species, they grow very fast and become very big and tall... The pines don`t loose their leaves... AS already was pointed out the Moon will have single planetary celled climate - as slowly rotating body, quite well distributed heat, hence moisture will occur. The darkened polar areas on Earth are also very cold, due to the Coriolis force effects blocking the equatorial warmth to reach the poles. On Moon during the two weeks of night the temeratures should not fall bellow the freezing point of the water. During the night all the plants could do other chemical processes like most of the earth one do, and photosynthesize wildly in the long day.

As on Earth when new species are introduced in an ecosystem - rabits in Australia or Kerguelen - they rapidly are included in the system, of course often on account of the existence of some of the older. On the terraformed Moon we`ll implant thousands of species - selected, altered or in original form - THEY will find the way for communication, establishing links, and making many to die out... and to evolve in the new conditions as well as the humans do or do not intervene...

About the 'best astronomical site' -- the best such is the open space itself. The only advantage of the Moon is the exagerated isolation from the Earth`s artificial radiosignals -- soethiong absolutelly emulable in open space without to be necessary to use trillions of cubical kilometters of rock to achieve it. WE could mine from the Moon only some metals and only as counterweight of the imported carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, cause in ready and more accessible for we find them in the NEAs. These metals - titanium, alluminium + oxigen and silicium could be exported through atmosphere the same way, as it isn`t there. So, it appears more and more clearly that the Moon has value only as real estate, which have to be developed, i.e. terraformed.

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#73 2004-07-21 17:27:08

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

If their was oil or evil ones their maybe! big_smile
I know a lot about plants, reason being I am working on getting a BS in plant science in urban horticulture. As for the types of plants the can stand the moon day/night cycle, their gens can be transferd to other, or as people have done since the stone age, grow plants under increasing long day and night, select the seeds of the plants that do best, and grow again. In a short time plants could be developed that can stand these condictions. Bio tect way would be faster, but nothing  is impossible when it comes to plants!
FYI arid lands, cold and other harsh landsacpes can be very rich in plants in animals, for example Arizona is home to over 10,000 native plants, and thousand of endemics. All life needs is a little water sunsine and good clean air to prosper. Beyond the earth we may have too alter worlds to a great extent to live their but those worlds don't have to be mini earths in every detail. Life will change and become native to it new home and become total different from their ansecters that we brought, all we have to do is provide a home that stay hapital for millions of year so life can change its new home.
Anways I suggest that you go to the desert botanical garden, in the fall or spring and see how strong life can be.
Students get a discount cost 5$. I have been their 10 tens and see somthing neww every time!

I agree with every point!

Indeed the Moon could become more lushy and desertless than Earth. Because of the slower axial rotation and smaller circumference, perhubs quite evenly distributed climatological and meteorological conditions would occur: no bad weather, no bad climates...

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#74 2004-07-21 17:35:35

karov
Member
From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Good pic of the moon, the small land mass in the first image reminds me of Antolia "Turkey" down a ways it looks like the meditrean cost of syria and palinstien.
Given the lower gravity the moon would make a great retirement home for the old, easy to exerise. The could hop around or fly with wings. I think people will find hopping will be more effeint than walking on the moon.

Yes!

It`s like a map of the Eastern Mediteranean! Bellow 'Anatolia' - some islands ( like Cyprus), left from 'Palestine' - Egypt ( even with spots resembling Nile delta and Kathara valey depression ), furher left - 'Lybia' ( without Kadafi  :-)  ...)

The scale of this 'map' also seems to be in scale after rough estimation -- 'Anatolia' there is about 1/3th of the lenght of the shown hemisphere.

Anatolii, please tell us your oppinion about the possible climate on the Moon.

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#75 2004-07-21 19:32:38

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Terraforming the Moon - Your opinion, please

Good pic of the moon, the small land mass in the first image reminds me of Antolia "Turkey" down a ways it looks like the meditrean cost of syria and palinstien.
Given the lower gravity the moon would make a great retirement home for the old, easy to exerise. The could hop around or fly with wings. I think people will find hopping will be more effeint than walking on the moon.

Yes!

It`s like a map of the Eastern Mediteranean! Bellow 'Anatolia' - some islands ( like Cyprus), left from 'Palestine' - Egypt ( even with spots resembling Nile delta and Kathara valey depression ), furher left - 'Lybia' ( without Kadafi  :-)  ...)

The scale of this 'map' also seems to be in scale after rough estimation -- 'Anatolia' there is about 1/3th of the lenght of the shown hemisphere.

Anatolii, please tell us your oppinion about the possible climate on the Moon.

I agree with Earthfirst that plants could be adjusted to long absence of light - in fact, I am very optimistic that could be adjusted even for longer - months long absence of light. We have very hardy plants, algae, moss, lichens in the Terran poles, which can handle 6 months' long darkness. The Moon will have better environment for those - brighter light when it's daytime.

As for the climate on the terraformed Moon, well it depends where we stop and what will be done.

This is just my rough estimate of what it could be like:
If we have an artificial magnetic field in place, about 1 bar(?) ntrogen/oxygen atmosphere, about 40-60% of water surface with huge cold salty water and ice reserves in the Aitkin basin (max. 13 km deep) but an evenly spread salty(!) ocean and seas (relative to the size of the Moon, lets' call it an ocean) on the near side of Luna, then having the same sol as it is now will leave us with 50-60 C max at noon at equator in the dryest areas and 40 C on the coast. The night temperatures (towards the dawn) may fall to -20 on the coast and -45 in the depth of the continent around equator, ocean surfaces may start to freeze. Winds will be raging but will smoothe out the temperature differences. Hot weathers will cause evaporations and clouds and rains. The wetter the Moon gets, the milder its climate is going to be. I'd prefer not to use mirrors and shields but people may decide to use them.

EDIT:
Estimating the future climate is hard but one can assume that the average temperature should be equal to Earth if most of the other parameters are similar - albedo, insolation, air pressure. Closer to poles the climate will be even more similar to Earth.
END EDIT:

To Mad Grad Student, I understand your opinion, a very common one but I don't agree with you. If you take part in this forum, you already think outside the box. Even an experienced scientist will have trouble saying that something is impossible -otherwise he is a bad scientist. Let's say the plants can't live without the sunlight for a week - but that's on Earth, man. We are talking about the Moon. Even if the plants hibernate for 2 weeks that's fine with me and I don't think it's ridiculous - if that's the way the evolution will go.

As for the reason for terraforming the Moon - I can ask you the same question about why terraforming Mars. Not interested in the ethical discussion sorry. In my opinion, we settle where we can and terrafrom where it's possible. Settlement will happen whether we decide here or not but terraforming or maybe let's call just changing the environment for better is obvious - you want your home to be better, safer and more beautiful. I don't see why we should protect dead rocks on the Moon - 99.99999... % of the Universe is dead, we want to add some life to it.

BTW, the side benefit: you will not only enjoy the Blue Moon but you will be able to save power during the moon nights. The albedo will triple, allowing people on Earth to read books in the moonlight.


Anatoli Titarev

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