March 2, 2021

A mega satellite orbiting the planet Ceres could be humanity’s new habitat • Trends21


A new theory establishes that the conditions of the planet Ceres would be the indicated ones to build around it a great structure that, in principle, could house 50 thousand people. It would function as an artificial mega satellite orbiting the dwarf planet.

A gigantic dish-shaped structure, which would function as an artificial satellite of the planet Ceres, could be the destiny of humanity in the not so distant future. This is established by a new theory by physicist Pekka Janhunen, from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, which highlights the ideal conditions of the dwarf planet for an undertaking of this magnitude.

Ceres is the largest astronomical object in the so-called asteroid belt, an area of ​​the Solar System positioned between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. With a diameter of approximately 945 kilometers, it can only be observed with the naked eye from our planet in exceptional conditions.

It was discovered on January 1, 1801, but 220 years later it has returned to the news: now, a theory as stimulating as it is risky indicates that it could be the right place for humanity in the future, when the conditions of our planet and the intense environmental deterioration make it impossible to inhabit.

A new home

According to a Article from Phys.org, Janhunen argues that Ceres could host a man-made super structure. This building would function as an artificial satellite, orbiting the dwarf planet and in turn housing a human population that, at first, would be 50 thousand people.

While most efforts are aimed at colonizing the Moon or Mars, or even setting up huge habitable structures in the middle of space, Janhunen has thought of Ceres as the solution for humanity. In addition to being a physicist, Janhunen is also an astrobiologist and inventor. He earned his doctorate from a thesis on simulations of space plasma physics in 1994.

He is known for his innovative solutions and theories, such as electric solar wind candles, steam balloons as rocket launch pads, a natural lighting technique for rotating space settlements, and a complex theory on the origin of multicellular life.

A sustainable mega structure

In the new research, published in arXiv, Janhunen argues that Ceres has the necessary amount of nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide that are required to support the construction of the artificial mega satellite, which would surround the planet like a huge plate or disk rotary.

The theory also includes the use of a space elevator about a thousand kilometers long, intended to transport material from the surface of Ceres to the artificial satellite, for its construction in the initial stage and for its resupply once it becomes operational. According to the Finnish physicist, the structure could be the new home of thousands of people.

The scientist believes that the gravity in the new structure could be simulated by spinning the artificial satellite at the indicated speed. On the other hand, he thinks that much of the construction of the mega satellite could be carried out using materials obtained from the dwarf planet itself. In this way, the building would be sustainable and would not consume a large amount of resources from the Earth.

With around 1.6 kilometers long and thousands of interconnected cylindrical structures, the super structure would contemplate specific spaces for agriculture and recreation. In addition, a pair of giant mirrors would make it possible to harness the sun’s energy on both sides of the artificial satellite.

Will this new structure be the solution for a humanity that, in the coming decades, will begin to see the need to leave a planet afflicted by multiple environmental problems as more palpable?

Reference

Terraforming the dwarf planet: Interconnected and growable Ceres megasatellite world. Pekka Janhunen. arXiv (2021).

Photo:

Natural-color photograph of Ceres taken by the Dawn space probe in May 2015. Image: Wikimedia Commons.



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