Mars is one of the very few cosmic objects from our Solar System that has some chances, at least theoretical, to host life forms. But among the conditions needed, it also lacks a strong magnetic field. UniverseToday.com writes about the importance of creating an artificial magnetosphere on the Red Planet and about a new study that says how it could be done. It’s an important part if astronomers really want to make Mars a second home for humans.
Magnetic fields are very efficient against the solar wind and ionizing particles, as the shield deflects them. Mars once had an atmosphere, but with the lack of a strong magnetic field, it disappeared.
Creating an Earth-like magnetic field on Mars is impossible
It’s not possible, at least judging by the current scientific progress, to create a magnetic field on Mars that’s similar to the one of Earth. But a new study shows that it’s possible to create an artificial magnetic field on the Red Planet.
To make it possible, you need a strong flow of charged particles placed either around or within the planet itself. Scientists would prefer the former variant. Phobos would help a lot in the process, meaning one of the two moons of Mars. Phobos is the larger from the two natural satellites of our neighboring planet.
Since Phobos orbits around Mars very close, the idea is to ionize particles from the natural satellite’s surface. Accelerating them would be the next phase so that they’ll create a plasma torus along Phobos’ orbit. That would assure a magnetic field around Mars that’s strong enough to protect the planet even in a terraformed state.
Feel free to tell us in a comment when do you think that humanity will be able to terraform Mars!