Sunday 15 September 05:54 PM
What If We Terraformed Venus?
We’ve heard about terraforming the Moon and Mars as we attempt to colonize space, but what about Venus? Could we live here one day?
How different would it be from life on Earth? Believe it or not, Earth and Venus are very similar. At times, Venus is even referred to as Earth’s “sister planet.” They’re both roughly the same size, have the same mass, same gravity and are both made out of the same material: a central iron core and a rocky mantle. Unfortunately, the comparisons end there. Unlike Earth, Venus is extremely hot, has an incredibly dense atmosphere and toxic fumes on its surface.
What would we need to do to make it habitable? Scientists and astronomers have been theorizing how to terraform Venus for over half a century.
The two biggest issues that need to be solved are the atmosphere, and the temperature on Venus. Currently the surface of Venus is a sweltering 462 degrees sign C (864 degrees sign F), hot enough to melt lead.
And the atmosphere, made up mostly of carbon dioxide, is 93 times as heavy as Earth’s. One proposed way of altering Venus’ atmosphere is to bomb it with hydrogen.
Hydrogen bombs, when reacting with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, would create graphite and water. This would fall to the planet’s surface and cover 80% of it with oceans. Mind you, they wouldn’t be nearly as deep as Earth’s oceans. Venus would only have 10% the amount of water that Earth has.
This would take a lot of hydrogen. The only way we could get enough is if we were to harvest the resource from Jupiter or Saturn.
This approach would also require iron aerosol, a material that can be mined from asteroids. If all went according to plan, the dense carbon dioxide atmosphere would be reduced to being just three times as heavy as Earth’s. This would also help clear the clouds of sulfuric acid that hang over the planet.