Mars experienced two powerful marsquakes

Originally published at: Mars experienced two powerful marsquakes | Boing Boing


This is how it starts…


I think we may have found the planet that houses the Krell machine. Any signs of Dr. Morbius?


It’s interesting, though does confirm Mars is thoroughly dead. Two small quakes in 24 days is not a lot of seismic activity. For comparison, Earth gets almost 60 a day.

Chin up! It’s not unreasonable that you might experience LEO in your lifetime. Costs are coming down quickly with all the commercial endeavours.

Forget about Mars though. We don’t even know how to get there yet. Six months each way of radiation and microgravity are killers that we don’t have answers for yet. NASA’s current best idea on that is “get there faster to minimize the damage”. Everyone’s sci fi ideas about water shields and spinning ships don’t actually work*.

*Since someone will ask:

  1. Water is a good shield, but the amount you need would require billions of gallons of fuel to get into orbit and accelerate. Totally impractical. We have no other reasonable ideas on this beyond “get there faster” or “genetically engineer radiation-tolerant astronauts”. Yes, that last one is serious. It may be the only way.

  2. A spinning ship is an idea dating back to the 50s (by real scientists, not comic book authours). The problem is, it has to be a kilometer long or else the coriolis effect between your head and your feet makes you impossibly nauseous (to a fatal degree). We have no way to build something that large in space that can fly to Mars. Magnetic boots also don’t actually work, FWIW. You can’t walk in zero G with only your feet anchored. They also do nothing for the health problems, of course.


Regarding these points:

  1. For water absorption, since it absorbs it must also re-emit some other form of radiation, and that different radiation may not be good for you either. So yeah, not happening.

  2. The gravity boot scene in movies do make me laugh. Practically either your feet would be moving forward and your body would be dragging behind like a streamer, or you’d have to lean ridiculously far forward all the time (like trying to walk on the bottom of a pool). Would make for good comedy though.


Those Martians are up to something, I tell ya.


All night long the Martians were hammering and stirring, sleepless, indefatigable, at work upon the machines they were making ready, and ever and again a puff of greenish-white smoke whirled up to the starlit sky.


Wow…some really sinister speculation in this thread. What if it’s just Dropo messing around with the controls again?



Not necessarily the case. Absorbed radiation may just be turned into heat or into less energetic forms of radiation, which would be further attenutated by also having to travel through water. By your reasoning Earth’s atmosphere shouldn’t protect us from cosmic rays, but it does.


I remember New Mexico looks a lot like Mars

Next best thing?

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launch two spacecraft, run a kilometer-long cable between them, and “hang” each capsule beneath their common center of rotation when they’re not accelerating


Anything which absorbs must also re-emit (or transmit) otherwise it is a Black Body

Heat is a form of radiation, although a non-ionizing form of radiation.

Which again is exactly what I said.

Here it is distance that is your friend. A very thick atmosphere absorbing many chains of absorbtion and re-emission ending up with heat. In a spacecraft it isn’t practical to haul around many miles of atmosphere for shielding.


Re shielding
One word: Bremsstrahlung.

A combination of light composite shielding and lots of water should do the trick.
The catch, as always, is how to get everything out of the gravity well we’re in.


That’s a very easy thing to say.

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Heat is molecular motion. Perhaps you’re confusing it with infrared light, which is a kind of electromagnetic radiation good at inducing heat in materials but which also tends to be non-damaging to biological organisms (the worst it can do is overheat them).

What you were implying is that secondary radiation from interactions with water would still be dangerous, which is generally not true; the water will absorb or dissipate many kinds of biologically damaging forms of radiation rather than re-emit it (the kinds of things we’re talking about here are UV, X-rays, gamma rays, and high-energy subatomic particles like electrons, protons, or neutrons; high-energy photons may ionize the water and lose their energy, which is better than ionizing the biological material you’re shielding, and high-energy particles will scatter kinetically, also losing energy and becoming less dangerous). The reason water makes better shielding than air is that it is more dense and has a higher cross-section for interaction with radiation, so it attenuates radiation more quickly than air and you need less distance in water to get the same level of protection.

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I think you’re just expanding on minutea that I had left off in the interests of brevity.


yes it is easy to post words on the internet

So, Mars shook?

Sounds delicious: A Mars Milkshake.

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