Is Mars a Friend of the Earth?

I heard they didn’t like us. They might even invade us and take over, and then we’d have a War of the Worlds.

Turns out My Favorite Martian isn’t so friendly after all!

We sure spend a lot of money sending robots there. Some idiots are thinking about sending people there.

We can’t live there. The atmosphere is too thin, and it’s poisonous. There is no hot core to the planet anymore because the planet is too small. The core cooled off. We know there used to be a hot core because of all the dead volcanoes.

Because there’s no hot core anymore, there’s no organized magnetic field.

Without a magnetic field, there’s nothing to shield people from harmful rays. Even spacemen in colonies would have to live indoors and still be subject to bad stuff coming from the sun.

I think it’s a waste of money to send people there, and it’s no friend.

Can Going to Mars Fix Earth?

Mars is cool. Isn’t it? Well, spoiler alert: neither you nor I are going to settle on Mars.
It’s inhospitable and has no benefit. It’s not a safe haven if we screw up Earth. Why? Because Mars lost its hot core billions of years ago. Without a hot core Mars lost the magnetic field shielding it from the sun. The atmosphere blew away, the volcanos dried up, and there’s nothing protecting any people there from the dangerous rays of the sun. It has no value for humans to go there, what to speak live there, and NASA has a whole department dedicated to making sure we don’t bring germs to other planets or from other planets back to Earth. That means we’ll never terraform Mars. We will never grow stuff there, and we will never survive there. Mars is useless except, maybe, for rovers to rove.
Same goes for the moon. No point in going back to the moon. Anything you want to do there you can do without human hands. That’s what robots are for, and if a robot dies it costs money but no lives.
We were born on this Earth. We will die on it. We’ve got stuff in orbit, and robots on Mars and in space, but that’s it. Maybe SpaceX or somebody will put some poor souls on the surface of Mars, but they will either die or have to come back to the safety of Earth.
There will be no Star Trek Enterprise. There will never be a spaceship that can go “warp” speed. There will never be a Federation of Planets. Get real. Sorry if it’s upsetting. Great TV, great movies, but it’s science fiction.
We won’t be able to visit those 7 “earthlike planets” recently discovered over 40 light years away, 10 times further than our closest stellar neighbor.
We’ve got one place to live. Earth. Screw it up, and the future’s screwed. We have the science to sustain it, but greediness and politics, international conflicts and third world governments, big industry and you and me in our cozy environment choking homes, will not allow us to save it. Gradually a wide variety of species will go extinct, both plants and animals. Gradually the food chain will be disrupted. Not for you, probably not for your kids, but down the line it’s coming.
Sometimes Earth people go “green” – reducing their “environmental footprint.” Yeah, you can try. You can even succeed if you try really hard. You can live off the grid, by candlelight or self generated electricity, don’t buy any food in containers or wrapped in plastic, make compost and grow food.
I know people who live like that and it’s great for them.
However, let’s get real here. Out of billions of people, if a few people leave less of an environmental footprint than most of the others, it might make them feel good but will it really save the world? No it won’t, because at the core of the problem is humanity itself. We are the polluters of our own planet. We are not likely to stop as a whole. We are not one world government, one people and one culture. We are diverse and dream of going to other planets if this one gets screwed up.
Is this a pessimistic view? Probably. I’m going to be 64 years old in a few months. This is the world the boomers and those before us are leaving behind. See if you can fix it.

Venus, Mars and Uranus

If you look outside just after sundown, you will see tonight a very bright star towards the east. That’s not really a star. That’s Venus!
Venus is called our sister planet because it is very near the size of Earth and is on the inside edge of the Goldilocks zone. Scientists believe that if life exists on other planets then those planets must be within a certain Goldilocks zone from their sun.
Just above the bright light of the planet Venus, and a little bit to the left, you will see a very tiny point of light which is slightly orange in color. That’s Mars.
And just above Mars also to the left is Uranus. Of course, you can’t see Uranus with the naked eye. You need a very powerful telescope for that. But it’s there tonight and if you’ve got a telescope like the one below go have a look!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkLRmQC7fR4&w=560&h=315]