Terraforming: The Creating of Habitable Worlds
The word ‘‘terraforming’’ conjures up many exotic images and p- hapsevenwildemotions,butatitscoreitencapsulatestheideathat worldscanbechangedbydirecthumanaction.Theultimateaimof terraforming is to alter a hostile planetary environment into one that is Earth-like, and eventually upon the surface of the new and vibrant world that you or I could walk freely about and explore. It is not entirely clear that this high goal of terraforming can ever be achieved, however, and consequently throughout much of thisbooktheterraformingideasthatarediscussedwillapplytothe goal of making just some fraction of a world habitable. In other cases,theterraformingdescribedmightbeaimedatmakingaworld habitablenotforhumansbutforsomepotentialfoodsourcethat,of course, could be consumed by humans. The many icy moons that reside within the Solar System, for example, may never be ideal locationsforhumanhabitation,buttheypresentthegreatpotential for conversion into enormous hydroponic food-producing centers. The idea of transforming alien worlds has long been a literary backdrop for science fiction writers, and many a make-believe planet has succumbed to the actions of direct manipulation and the indomitable grinding of colossal machines. Indeed, there is something both liberating and humbling about the notion of tra- forming another world; it is the quintessential eucatastrophy espoused by J. R. R. Tolkien, the catastrophe that ultimately brings about a better world. When oxygen was first copiously produced by cyanobacterial activity on the Earth some three billion years ago, it was an act of extreme chemical pollution and a eucatastrophy. The original life-nurturing atmosphere was (eventually) changed f- ever, but an atmosphere that could support advanced life forms came about.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - billsearth - LibraryThing
This book gets my highest rating because it goes into much more than its title suggests. It describes principles and processes that have gone on with the earth, not just other planets. It describes ... Read full review
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albedo asteroid astronomers atmo atoms billion biosphere carbon dioxide carrying capacity Ceres Chapter cloud cometary nuclei courtesy of NASA crater density described diagram distance dwarf planet Dyson sphere Earth Earth’s atmosphere Earth’s surface ecopoiesis effect energy Equation escape velocity Europa eventually exist exoplanets Figure future Galilean moons gases global gravitational greenhouse habitable zone heating helium human hydrogen Image courtesy impact increase indicates interstellar Jupiter KBOs km/s Kugluktuk Lander Lily World liquid water live located luminosity lunar Martian atmosphere massive Mercury meteorite meteoroid microbes molecules Moon Moon’s nitrogen oceans Oort Cloud oxygen panspermia parent star partial pressure perhaps phase planet’s surface planetary polar cap population present produce radiation radius region regolith researchers result rock Sagan Solar System spacecraft spin suggested Sun’s surface gravity surface pressure surface temperature terraforming Mars terraforming of Mars terrestrial planets Tikopia tion Venus warming water vapor wavelengths