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Scientists came up with a crazy plan to make Mars habitable

Published Dec 10th, 2021 10:52AM EST

There’s a new plan could make life on Mars more of a possibility.

The plan is built around the idea of giving Mars an artificial magnetosphere. The planet currently lacks a strong magnetic field and creating one could be the only option to help make life on Mars a stronger possibility. Of course, there’s a lot to unpack with the idea, but if successful, it would make the planet more habitable.

Why we need a magnetic field for life on Mars to be a reality

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A photo of Mars from the UAE’s Hope probe. Image source: UAESA

Life on Mars has been a goal for humanity for a number of years now. In that time, we’ve discovered tons of things beneath the surface of the planet. We’ve also sent a multitude of rovers and other machines to investigate its surface. Despite all that we know about the Red Planet, though, there’s still a lot we need to determine if we’re going to make Mars habitable.

One of the first things we have to do is look into creating a safe environment for humans to live and thrive. While there are plans to terraform, if we want to make life on Mars a reality, we’re going to need a magnetosphere like the one we have on Earth. That magnetic field will help protect the surface of the planet from harsh solar winds, like the ones that scientists believe helped create life on Earth.

A strong magnetic field offers more protection for the surface of Mars. With one in place, we could then start to build colonies and expand our exploration of the planet. Unfortunately, accomplishing this is much easier said than done.

The new plan

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NASA’s Mars helicopter sitting on the surface of the planet. Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

According to a recent study (via Universe Today), scientists have proposed a new plan for how to create an artificial magnetic field around Mars. The basic idea is to use charged particles to create a ring around the planet. Scientists want to do this by ionizing particles from Phobos, the largest of the Martian moons. Phobos makes a trip around Mars every eight hours. That means it would create a constant ring of charged particles around the planet.

Scientists then want to accelerate the particles to create what they call a plasma torus along the orbit line of the moon. This should theoretically create a magnetic field strong enough to protect life on Mars from solar winds and other things.

It’s unclear how much energy the field might need to operate. However, scientists say that right now is the perfect time to come up with new ideas. If any of these ideas prove fruitful, we could end up with higher chances that life on Mars could succeed.

Joshua Hawkins fell in love with writing and technology at a young age. Eventually he decided to combine the two and started writing about video games, the latest tech, and all the cool gadgets he could find. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.