View Full Version : November Entry: Venus Bombarded

11-02-2009, 03:39 PM
I was thinking of a way to work a space based science fiction map into the challenge, so my first thought was the "Heinlein Maneuver" where you drop some very large rocks on any planet that you don't like. (In space it's very important to have the "high ground.") Then I thought, well what if we dropped some comets on Venus and terraformed it...

I don't know if that defeats the spirit of the challenge, since in this case dropping big rocks (or balls of ice) on the planet is a good thing, well from our perspective. The Venusian warrior women probably wouldn't like it. But this is what I've come up with so far. Now only if I can figure out a good way to show some craters left behind from the bombardment. So far I've been assuming that you'd drop them on the area that would become the ocean so they wouldn't show.

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11-02-2009, 05:06 PM
If you're making an entry map in MS Paint I'm going to vote for you just for your bravery and perseverance. :)

A society that can move comets around and put them where they want them can probably target them as desired and, sure, they might put them into the low-lying areas so the collateral damage will be covered by the ocean that eventually forms. One might miss, though. Or somebody might want a lake in the highlands. :)

Steel General
11-02-2009, 05:14 PM
Interesting idea...

11-03-2009, 12:45 PM
Here are some in-progress images.

The first image is the height map for Venus that I found. I posterized it into a 4 color gray-scale by saving it as a 16 color bitmap. This formed the foundation for my map.

11-03-2009, 12:50 PM
http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs146.snc1/5408_1197201126915_1135104191_30611934_6685137_n.j pg

11-03-2009, 12:50 PM
Here is the end result.

I decided that the mid sized island on the south pole was pretty much obliterated by large impactors, so it's gone. There are a couple of stray impact craters where some engineer somewhere forgot to carry the one. And we have some data details and a short terraforming history. Oh, also a hemispheric view above the data values.

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11-03-2009, 12:58 PM
Oh, and in case anyone thought that the Venus height map looked useful, here's one for mars too.

11-03-2009, 12:58 PM
This is looking pretty hot (literally).

On a scientific-ish note. Isn't the theory that you'd bombard a planet like Mars to add volatiles that have effervesced/boiled off/whatever, over the years? For a planet like Venus, with plenty of them, I'd think the goal would be to get the heavy stuff out of the atmosphere and lower the albedo, consense some water into oceans, and get rid of the various things we can't breathe somehow. I'm not a planetologist, though, so I'm not 100% sure of the details :)

Not that it really matters. Even with that nibbling some neuron in the back of my brain I still like your map and am buying your backstory.

11-03-2009, 01:19 PM
Well Venus has several problems from a human colonist's perspective.

1.) Temperature is much too high.
2.) Atmosphere is much to heavy. (pressure)
3.) The rotation is much too slow. (and retrograde, the sun rises in the west, though that isn't really a problem.)
4.) The atmosphere is pretty much all carbon dioxide.

The temperature is pretty much a factor of being closer to the sun and getting more energy that way and a very thick greenhouse gas atmosphere. If you can get the atmosphere down to maybe 1/10th of what it is now you can begin to drop the temperature rapidly. You also need to cut the solar energy incoming as well or the problem starts taking off again though.

So step one is to use some large asteroids to make very close passes over the planet. (close enough to speed up the rotation and draw off some of the atmosphere.) Then you can start bombarding the equator with largish asteroids to continue to speed up the rotation and blast off more atmosphere. It would take thousands of these impacts to significantly reduce the atmosphere though.

Once you've reduced the atmosphere to maybe 1/5th of what it is normally you can then start dropping smaller volatile bodies (water and hydrogen ice. The hydrogen will combine with the carbon dioxide to form water further reducing the pressure of the atmosphere and forming an ocean.)

Eventually you get to about 1/10th of the planet's normal atmosphere (or roughly 10 times earth's atmosphere) so you can start dropping some shiny balloons into the upper atmosphere to reflect enough of the sunlight to continue to reduce the surface temperatures. Then drop some single celled plants into the oceans to start converting the remaining carbon dioxide into oxygen.

The final steps would be to build some processing plants on the surface (now that it's no longer hot enough to melt lead and humans could probably survive with minimal protection) to sequester even more of the carbon dioxide into inert carbon compounds.

Eventually it's cool enough to start moving in multi-cellular life, and some time later, humans.

Of course this all as some problems. It would be horribly expensive and would take technology we do not have, nor will we have in the next hundred years or more. Also it would take a long time. 500 years would be very optimistic. Finally, all the resources you put into this could have been used to make orbital habitats that would have much greater economic advantages than the surface of a planet.

It's still a neat idea though.

11-03-2009, 02:00 PM
Ah, I see you are, in fact, more of a planetologist than I. :) I didn't know about the asteroid flybys to remove atmosphere. Cool concept...though maybe wasteful throwing a lot of "good stuff" out into space.

Terraforming could the the boondoggle of the millennium! Government contractors' coffers would be overflowing. Can you imagine how much it costs to move even *one* asteroid? Let alone thousands...

Anyway, sounds like you've done your research and are on the right track. And, I'm serious, you're getting my vote for making this in MS Paint. You're CRAZY, but you're still my idol! It's like painting the Mona Lisa with sticks and mud on zebra skin.