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#1 2007-08-27 06:21:39

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Ceres

First off I would like to tell everyone that I have claimed all the astroids. I did it before Ceres became a dwarf planet so I own it as well.

What would I have to do to terraform Ceres? And what about terraforming smaller asteroids to provide food to the rest of the system?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#2 2007-08-27 16:00:37

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Ceres

I think Ceres is too big to spin. The kind of asteroids that you'd want to spin are probably a few miles at most in diameter. I think Ceres is a rounded body held together by gravity, if spun to produce 1g at its equator, it would probably break apart long before it reached the required velocity just as would happen to the Moon if you tried this. Also Ceres is very massive, much more massive than an asteroid a few miles across. For the purposes of spinning Ceres, I think we ought to treat it as a small planet and forget about it. There are many more small asteroids than large ones anyway, we don't need one this massive.

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#3 2007-08-28 07:14:50

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
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Re: Ceres

Spinning it would just fling you off.

Would it be possible to replace say about half, maybe all of, the Ice mantle with iron (molten or otherwise.) Not only as Ceres rotates would it provide a magnetic field, it would also make Ceres heavier (more gravity?)


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#4 2007-08-30 03:28:40

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Ceres

First off I would like to tell everyone that I have claimed all the astroids. I did it before Ceres became a dwarf planet so I own it as well.

What would I have to do to terraform Ceres? And what about terraforming smaller asteroids to provide food to the rest of the system?

Build a superconducting ring around the equator and trap a comet in high orbit around ceres.  The sun will vaporise the comet and ionise the comet gases into H20, O2, H2, dust and various other minor gases.  The ions will spiral down the field lines of the magnetic field onto the poles, gradually building up an atmosphere.  The sun does all of the hard work of creating the atmosphere, so all you need do is provide the comet and the superconducting magnet.  The H2 will escape into space and the water will freeze out onto the surface, giving you a thich, almost pure oxygen atmosphere with a little nitrogen and a trace of various other gases.  Make the atmosphere thick enough and the greenhouse effect will keep the surface warm.  I'm not so sure about growing crops though.  Insolation at Ceres' orbit is about 1/9th that at Earth, making Ceres a very dark, cold and miserable little planet.

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#5 2007-08-30 05:07:41

nickname
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 354

Re: Ceres

Antius,

How about we find another decent sized object for Ceres, orbit it so we get tidal flexing and let that natural process warm up the surface and create an atmosphere?

With enough warming from tidal flexing we might even get a magnetic field for Ceres.

Yet another option for those cold ice blocks smile

Growing things at 1/9 the distance of sunlight is another can of worms, we do have things that will grow at that light intensity here on earth.

It's still going to be a pretty dismal ice block though.


Science facts are only as good as knowledge.
Knowledge is only as good as the facts.
New knowledge is only as good as the ones that don't respect the first two.

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#6 2007-08-30 05:09:41

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Ceres

What about replacing the ice with iron. Then the rotation will give you the magnetic field. You won't have to keep power going to it. Making the planet heavier must be good, to.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#7 2007-08-30 05:15:00

nickname
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Re: Ceres

Terraformer,

Quite possible to add mass to it in that region of space.
Only down side is the wait for recovery from impacting other bodies to build up mass.

Long wait is an understatement smile


Science facts are only as good as knowledge.
Knowledge is only as good as the facts.
New knowledge is only as good as the ones that don't respect the first two.

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#8 2007-08-30 05:22:51

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Ceres

Build a space elevator and pump iron/nickle into the mantle. Maybe with radioactive waste we can keep it liquid. If we replace the core with Iron we'll get a magnetic field. Water vapor for warming is no object.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#9 2007-08-30 08:42:23

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Ceres

What about replacing the ice with iron. Then the rotation will give you the magnetic field. You won't have to keep power going to it. Making the planet heavier must be good, to.

Sure, why not.  The idea of terraforming Ceres is already rather ridiculous.  So i suppose yanking out its core and replacing it with hundreds of trillions of tonnes of iron is only slightly more so.

As for tidal flexing, the best bet would be use magnetic sails to place it in close orbit around Jupiter.

Another way of reactivating the interior would be to 'sink' a fission reactor through the mantle.  As the ice melted, it would moderate the fission process, providing a positive feedback effect.  This would melt its way down to the core of the planet and the trapped heat would eventually melt the lower regions of the icy mantle.  You would need a lot nuclear haet to actually melt the core and probably hundreds of gigawatt sized nuclear units would be required, but the heat would be trapped by hundreds of miles of ice and rock, so the heat would build up gradually with time.

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#10 2007-08-30 09:34:12

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
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Re: Ceres

Simply coating the rocky core with Iron (or Nickle, if it's magnetic) would make a magnetic field.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#11 2007-08-30 18:12:38

nickname
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Re: Ceres

Antius,

That and a few million years and i think we could start to settle the place.
Bring led boots for the first few 100,00 years as radiation protection?
I would also recommend night vision glasses for day walks. smile

Your idea is short term compared to mine though smile
Mine involves finding and moving other objects 1/2 the size of ceres as tidal flex partners.
Yeah it might be a bit of a tech challenge and a tad expensive on the rocket fuel budget, but then again what else you going to do out there.?

It's probably easier to terra form a bottle of liquid nitrogen smile

Ceres maybe has some potential as raw materials for Mars, but i don't see it as a candidate for any sort of terra form.


Science facts are only as good as knowledge.
Knowledge is only as good as the facts.
New knowledge is only as good as the ones that don't respect the first two.

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#12 2007-08-31 06:17:57

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Ceres

Antius,

That and a few million years and i think we could start to settle the place.
Bring led boots for the first few 100,00 years as radiation protection?
I would also recommend night vision glasses for day walks. smile

Your idea is short term compared to mine though smile
Mine involves finding and moving other objects 1/2 the size of ceres as tidal flex partners.
Yeah it might be a bit of a tech challenge and a tad expensive on the rocket fuel budget, but then again what else you going to do out there.?

It's probably easier to terra form a bottle of liquid nitrogen smile

Ceres maybe has some potential as raw materials for Mars, but i don't see it as a candidate for any sort of terra form.

All of this is highly speculative and loaded with BS.  But radiation isn't likely to be a problem for three reasons:

1) the radioactive, nasty fission products has a relatively short half life;
2) They would trapped under hundreds of miles of ice and rock;
3) Space is a high radiation environment already - a few extra microsieverts won't do anyone any harm.

A bigger question is why anyone would bother trying to melt Ceres mantle.  A far more effective approach would be to construct an artificial superconducting magnetic loop close to the surface.  This would allow the planetoid to capture an atomosphere from the ions escaping from a comet.  The sun does all of the hard work.

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#13 2007-08-31 07:33:28

Terraformer
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From: Logres
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Re: Ceres

And then you have to provide electricity. A submersible with an outside temperature of 50c should soon melt it's way down to the core. If the core's Iron it should start to spin, creating a magnetic field, once the Ice around has been melted. If it isn't then it shouldn't be to hard to give it enough Iron. Then we can take most of the water away, replace the mantle with something, and you're over half way there. Then trap a comet in orbit and your done.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#14 2007-09-02 12:03:48

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Ceres

A terraformed Ceres could not hold onto any atmosphere without being bagged, and in any case it would not be a fit place for humans as the gravity would be too low.

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#15 2007-09-06 02:14:19

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Ceres

A terraformed Ceres could not hold onto any atmosphere without being bagged, and in any case it would not be a fit place for humans as the gravity would be too low.

We have been through the 'terraforming small bodies' concept before.  It would work and Ceres could hold onto an atmosphere without being bagged, for geological timescales.  The column density of the atmosphere would need to be 40 times higher than Earth for the same surface pressure, so terraforming may not be economic.  But it could be made to work in principle.

The physiological problems of living in such greatly reduced gravity problem have no easy answer and would no doubt create additional health problems for anyone attempting colonise small worlds.  Whether this is a show stopper or not, I am not qualified to say.

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#16 2007-09-06 07:39:08

Austin Stanley
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From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
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Re: Ceres

The physiological problems of living in such greatly reduced gravity problem have no easy answer and would no doubt create additional health problems for anyone attempting colonise small worlds. Whether this is a show stopper or not, I am not qualified to say.

To me the best solution for dealing with long term stays on low-now gravities worlds like Ceres is to engineer humans to be reistant to these conditions.  With genetic engineering it should certianly be possible to develope bones that remain strong long term in 0g.  Failing in that research into cures for osteoporosis might eventual develope solutions as well.


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#17 2007-09-08 18:01:24

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Ceres

The physiological problems of living in such greatly reduced gravity problem have no easy answer and would no doubt create additional health problems for anyone attempting colonise small worlds. Whether this is a show stopper or not, I am not qualified to say.

To me the best solution for dealing with long term stays on low-now gravities worlds like Ceres is to engineer humans to be reistant to these conditions.  With genetic engineering it should certianly be possible to develope bones that remain strong long term in 0g.  Failing in that research into cures for osteoporosis might eventual develope solutions as well.

Engineering Humans is a Brave New World. We must be careful that we don't engineer a caste system as well with certain people engineered to perform certain jobs while others are engineered to do other tasks.

How would you like to be born as an engineered human with gills to extract dissolved oxygen in the water you live in? You'd have aqua-humans and astro-humans. Some humans might be engineered with enourmous lungs and tough skins so they can survive out in the vacuum of space for long periods just on the oxygen contained in their lungs.

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#18 2007-09-09 07:19:16

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Ceres

A terraformed Ceres could not hold onto any atmosphere without being bagged, and in any case it would not be a fit place for humans as the gravity would be too low.

You seem big on the bagging idea. Titan isn't bagged and it's got a really thick atmosphere.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#19 2007-09-12 09:40:35

Austin Stanley
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From: Texarkana, TX
Registered: 2002-03-18
Posts: 519
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Re: Ceres

The physiological problems of living in such greatly reduced gravity problem have no easy answer and would no doubt create additional health problems for anyone attempting colonise small worlds. Whether this is a show stopper or not, I am not qualified to say.

To me the best solution for dealing with long term stays on low-now gravities worlds like Ceres is to engineer humans to be reistant to these conditions.  With genetic engineering it should certianly be possible to develope bones that remain strong long term in 0g.  Failing in that research into cures for osteoporosis might eventual develope solutions as well.

Engineering Humans is a Brave New World. We must be careful that we don't engineer a caste system as well with certain people engineered to perform certain jobs while others are engineered to do other tasks.

How would you like to be born as an engineered human with gills to extract dissolved oxygen in the water you live in? You'd have aqua-humans and astro-humans. Some humans might be engineered with enourmous lungs and tough skins so they can survive out in the vacuum of space for long periods just on the oxygen contained in their lungs.

No doubt there could be some moral issues with human genetic engineering, but hopefully our society will develope to the point (or may has reached the point) that these could be managed.  I don't think its is inevitable that engineering human will automaticaly result in Epsilons and Alpha Plus Plus's.  If nothing else the expense involved will tend to perclude the creation of servent classes when more productive strains could be engineered instead.


He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.

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#20 2007-09-12 20:48:25

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Ceres

If you could terraform Ceres, you could terraform nothing. In otherwords, you'd have to put a gas bag around Ceres to get it to retain atmosphere, so if you could do that, you could have just the inflated gas bag with no asteroid inside, thus you terraform nothing by giving nothing an Earthlike atmosphere in which you could breath while floating in near zero g.

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#21 2007-09-14 05:01:37

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Ceres

If you could terraform Ceres, you could terraform nothing. In otherwords, you'd have to put a gas bag around Ceres to get it to retain atmosphere, so if you could do that, you could have just the inflated gas bag with no asteroid inside, thus you terraform nothing by giving nothing an Earthlike atmosphere in which you could breath while floating in near zero g.

Sure.  But you do not need gas bags to terraform small worlds like Ceres, although it may turn out to be economically desirable.  The atmosphere will evapourate into space slowly at the upper ionosphere levels, where individual ions have a free path that allows them to escape the 'planet's' gravity without being deflected by collision with another molecule/ion.  This ensures that loss of atmosphere will be a slow process, taking hundreds of years even on a very small body.

Given that the species escaping are charged ions an atmosphere can be retained almost indefinately by surrounding the planet with a magnetic field.  This indefinitely recycles the escaping atmosphere, with escaping ions re-entering the atmosphere at the poles.

The smallest bodies that it might be practicle to terraform are set by economics, not physics.  When the terraformed body is less than a few hundred km in diameter, the mass of gas needed becomes a significant fraction of the mass of the body being terraformed.  Even for Ceres, the largest of asteroids, a mass of gas equivelent to 1% the mass of the dwarf planet would be needed to produce a 1 bar surface pressure.  You would need a large chunk of the Earth's atmosphere to terraform a body with surfcae area a lot less than one percent of earth's.  So whilst it is possible to naturally terraform Ceres, the question is, why anyone would go to the expense.  Long before Ceres (or Mars) are extensively terraformed, large areas of their surfcae will have been incrementally terraformed using glass/plastic domes.

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#22 2007-09-15 09:46:51

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Ceres

That would be so cool to have gas bags that you could just float in. If you stuck little islands in to live on...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#23 2007-09-29 19:32:38

RickSmith
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From: Vancouver B.C.
Registered: 2007-02-17
Posts: 244

Re: Ceres

Simply coating the rocky core with Iron (or Nickle, if it's magnetic) would make a magnetic field.

Hi all, Terraformer.
  Nickel is a magnetic metal.  However, a cold iron or nickel will not make a magnetic field.  What you need is flowing conductor (such molten metals, flowing metallic hydrogen or salty water).  As this flowing conductor moves thru the sun's magnetic field the dynamo effect will induce currents which will then form your magnetic field. 

  Rick

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#24 2007-11-17 07:19:22

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
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Re: Ceres

So melting the undergroound water and adding salt on Ceres would create a magnetic field.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#25 2007-11-17 18:55:11

RickSmith
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Posts: 244

Re: Ceres

The other thing you would need would be circulation (presumably by convection).

Basically the salt would dissolve making ions.  Let us say that you make an nuclear furnace at the bottom of some area.  The heat would cause convection circulation cells.  As the ions flow, the orbit of the asteroid would carry the cell thru the suns magnetic field.  This would induce a current flow. 

When you have a current it will generate a magnetic field.  This is called the dynamo effect (but you need a tiny amount of current to get it started).

So what is happening is the energy from your reactor is moving a lot of salty water in a big circle.  This generates a magnetic field as it moves thru the sun's field.

However, if you have a nuclear reactor, it would likely be more efficient to put bands or superconductor around the equator and run current that way.  The magnetic field that you get would be more direct than going the salty water route.

Warm regards, Rick.

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