Difference between revisions of "Why we need Mars to save humanity"

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A major reason why some of us what to colonize Mars is to save our species. At least 5 times in Earth’s history events have happened that destroyed almost all life. Each time more than 75% of species disappeared from the Earth.[1] Scientists do not totally agree on the causes of all the mass extinctions, but the fact remains that they did happen.[2] [3] [4] [5] It could happen again! Past extinctions have been caused by asteroid impacts and maybe even by a supervolcano.[6] [7] These circumstances can end human life. The most predictable life-ending event will occur when the sun nears its end. After billions of years, the sun will exhaust much of its hydrogen and become a red giant. But, even before that, it will get brighter. Long before reaching a red giant stage, the sun will cause our ice caps to melt and then the oceans to boil.[8] In the red giant phase the Earth may actually be orbiting inside the outer atmosphere of the sun. [9] [10] Gamma ray bursts can destroy life.[11] Such bursts may have cause the Ordovician extinction.[12] These are rare.[13] The burst has to be directed in our direction. While they may affect several planets, Mars may not be affected if it were on the other side of the solar system. A scary scenario is being swallowed by a wandering black hole.[14] Such things do exist, based on observations.[15] https://www.space.com/43024-rare-black-hole-in-milky-way.html</ref> [16] There are also a huge number of rogue planets.[17] They are not attached to a star. Instead they are just traveling in the darkness of space. Scientists have estimated that there could be one Jupiter sized planet wandering around for every 4 stars. They are created by gravitational interactions between stars. Also, there may be as many rogue moons as stars.[18] [19] [20] A strike by a body over 50 miles across would be a great disaster. Estimates for the size of the asteroid that wripped out the dinosaurs range from 6 to a little over 50 miles across.[21] [22] [23]

An asteroid destroyed the dinosaurs and most life.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag [24] It could happen again, even though there are not as many asteroids left in our solar system. Most have already collided with solar system bodies.

  1. https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/mass-extinctions
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/big-five-extinctions
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event
  4. Arens, N.C.; West, I.D. (2008). "Press-pulse: a general theory of mass extinction?". Paleobiology. 34 (4): 456–71. doi:10.1666/07034.1.
  5. MacLeod, N (2001-01-06). "Extinction!"
  6. Henehan, Michael J.; et al. (21 October 2019). "Rapid ocean acidification and protracted Earth system recovery followed the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub impact". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116 (45): 22500–22504. doi:10.1073/pnas.1905989116. PMC 6842625. PMID 31636204.
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/apr/14/research.science2
  8. https://www.universetoday.com/12648/will-earth-survive-when-the-sun-becomes-a-red-giant/
  9. https://www.space.com/22471-red-giant-stars.html
  10. https://www.space.com/107-life-earth-escape-swelling-sun.html
  11. Corey S. Powell (2001-10-01). "20 Ways the World Could End". Discover Magazine.
  12. Melott, A.L.; Thomas, B.C. (2009). "Late Ordovician geographic patterns of extinction compared with simulations of astrophysical ionizing radiation damage". Paleobiology. 35 (3): 311–20. arXiv:0809.0899. doi:10.1666/0094-8373-35.3.311.
  13. Podsiadlowski, Ph.; et al. (2004). "The Rates of Hypernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts: Implications for Their Progenitors". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 607 (1): L17. arXiv:astro-ph/0403399. Bibcode:2004ApJ...607L..17P. doi:10.1086/421347.
  14. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/apr/14/research.science2
  15. https://www.space.com/43024-rare-black-hole-in-milky-way.html
  16. https://phys.org/news/2020-01-astronomers-massive-black-holes-dwarf.html
  17. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wandering-in-the-void-billions-of-rogue-planets-without-a-home/
  18. https://www.space.com/40016-rogue-exomoons-may-be-common.html
  19. Hong, Yu-Cian, et al. 2018. Innocent Bystanders: Orbital Dynamics of Exomoons During Planet–Planet Scattering. The American Astronomical Society. The Astrophysical Journal. Volume 852. Number 2
  20. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aaa0db
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_crater
  22. Durand-Manterola, H. J.; Cordero-Tercero, G. (2014). "Assessments of the energy, mass and size of the Chicxulub Impactor". arXiv:1403.6391 [astro-ph.EP].
  23. https://www.psi.edu/epo/ktimpact/ktimpact.html
  24. Henehan, Michael J.; et al. (21 October 2019). "Rapid ocean acidification and protracted Earth system recovery followed the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub impact". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116 (45): 22500–22504. doi:10.1073/pnas.1905989116. PMC 6842625. PMID 31636204.