Astronomy 330 Terraforming Assignment Astrobiology is a difficult subject for several reasons, one of them is that we don’t
know if there is an alien life. So the amount of case studies that can be done is limited.
If we survive, humans will live on other worlds.* We will not be Space Amish in the 25 th
century, as we are too energetic and vibrant a species for that. In that future, humans
that live elsewhere will take a look back at the Mother World. What will they think?
More importantly, what might they do?
Terraforming is a topic that has come up before in this class, usually in the
context of Mars. Some even want to terraform Venus (good luck with that). But if we
develop this technology, might our space faring descendants not want to terraform
Earth? If humans have done such harm to its environment, shouldn’t we try to mitigate
it for those still living here? Astronomy 330 Terraforming Assignment
Terraforming Mars will take centuries at best and more likely millennia. But
making Earth less damaged should take far less time, no? After all, it’s already
habitable. Any changes needed here will be far slighter and take much less time than
As you might expect, there’s already a word for this: geoengineering. In reality, it
may happen even before humans live on Mars and may have to happen. What systems
or principles (biological, geological, astronomical) based on what we now know in
astrobiology will let us do this? What danger exist given the fact that this has never
been done before? These questions are just a start. When you do your own research,
you will find new questions to address in your case study. Do so.
Specifics: This is a research project that you have a month to do. It will be at least
2500 words with references. Astronomy 330 Terraforming Assignment
*We could also end ourselves, but that is less likely than many think
Start here (Note: These links are only a beginning):