Moving to Mars
Ever since the industrial revolution, beginning in the 1870s, humans have been trashing Earth and increasing pollution. As we continue to take for granted the environment we live in, the earth becomes a harsher place to live, and eventually our world will be uninhabitable. Many came to the conclusion that if we cannot reduce pollution then our best bet is to move to Mars, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. But why Mars of all the planets in our solar system? How is Mars similar to (or different from) Earth?
How Mars is Like Earth
Tilted on its axis
Very much like Earth, Mars is tilted about 25 degrees on its axis, and Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees on its axis. Why does this matter? The tilt causes Earth to have the beautiful seasons that we have every year: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. So, if Mars is tilted, then we will also have seasons there as well, which is important for growing food, different types of work, and, if we take other animal species with us to Mars, the animals too will change their ways depending on the season.
On Earth, one day is about 24 hours, and it’s such a coincidence that one day on Mars is also about 24 hours. This is extremely useful since we can just use the time systems that we have here on Earth and use them on Mars, and we could stay synchronized in both planets regarding time.
Mars also has ice caps on both its south and north poles, just like on Earth (for now). These ice caps are important for life because they help regulate the temperature on the planet, helping regulate global climate. In addition, ice reflects the sun's light energy and prevents an increase in temperature.
How is Mars NOT Like Earth?
From images we can gather from the internet, Mars looks like a warm, desert-like planet, thus giving us enough heat to survive. However, Mars is not at all warm, where here on Earth the average surface temperature is a comfortable 14°C (57.2°F) whereas on Mars the average surface temperature is -60°C (-81°F).
Contrary to what we have seen in movies (cough The Martian cough cough), food doesn’t grow at the same rate as Earth’s environment. Given that Mars is farther away from the sun, it takes longer for sunlight to reach Mars, which takes longer for food to grow. Potatoes, for example, takes about 10 weeks to grow on Earth, where on Mars it would take 30 weeks.
It’s Far Away
If you were to grab a 12-inch world globe seen in many school classrooms, Mars would be a little over 1 mile away from that globe. Mars is far! Depending on the orbit of both Earth and Mars, the trip would take around 6 to 8 months.
But what do you think? Should we move to Mars? Is it a habitable (enough) planet for us to live there? Or Maybe should we treat our planet better, and not pollute it into a radioactive ball floating in space? Perhaps we should change our planet before we begin changing others.
“Climate change will not make Earth uninhabitable. Climate change will make Earth a living hell.”
-Neil deGrasse Tyson