Meet the Higgs Bubble That Will Destroy the Universe. Maybe.


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Meet the Higgs Bubble That Will Destroy the Universe. Maybe.

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Meet the Higgs Bubble That Will Destroy the Universe. Maybe.

An artist’s conception of the Higgs boson.

Credit: Shutterstock.com

Scientists say they know how the universe will end. It won’t be a cosmic collapse but rather a giant cosmic bubble that devours everything in its path.

According to a recent paper, published on March 12 in the journal Physical Review D, the final moment for the universe will be triggered by a bizarre consequence of subatomic  physics called an instanton. This instanton will create a tiny bubble that will expand at the speed of light, swallowing everything in its path. It’s only a matter of time. [Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth]

“At some point you will create one of these bubbles,” study lead author Anders Andreassen, a physicist at Harvard University, told Live Science. “It will be very unpleasant.”

By “unpleasant,” he means the end to all life — and, indeed, chemistry — as we know it.

Very little is known about instantons, which are the solutions to equations governing the motion of tiny subatomic particles, but Andreassen loosely compared them to the phenomenon of quantum tunneling, whereby a particle seemingly defies physics to pass through an otherwise impenetrable barrier. But instead of crossing a barrier, the instanton forms a bubble within the Higgs field, the field that gives everything mass and gives rise to the Higgs boson.

Interestingly, this universe-ending bubble would never have been possible were it not for the particular mass of the Higgs boson in relation to another heavier particle, called a top quark, which comprises many atoms. If either the quark or the Higgs particle had been a little lighter, these universe-destroying bubbles couldnꞌt form.

Alas, that is not the case and so after some amount of time, a destructive bubble will form. The team calculated the shelf life of the universe as between 10 quinquadragintillion years (one with 139 zeros after it) and a mere 10 octodecillion years (one with 58 zeros after it).

“That is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very long time,” Andreassen said. “Our sun will burn up and many things will happen in our solar system before this is very likely to happen.”

It’s like the milk in your fridge. The sell-by date is the earliest conceivable deadline, but chances are you can drink it after that without a problem. Of course, there’s always the outside chance that something went wrong at the bottling plant and it’s sour the minute you buy it. Similarly, Andreassen said, it’s possible that a bubble has already formed and is hurtling toward us at the speed of light right now.

There’s comfort in knowing how everything ends, but Vincenzo Branchina, a physics professor and researcher at the University of Catania in Italy who was not involved in the study, said not to start crying over sour milk just yet.

“The claim that Anders Andreassen and company are making for this number has to be taken, as they say, with a grain of salt,” Branchina said.

Branchina said the Harvard team only accounted for the standard model of physics and not all the new and confusing branches, like quantum gravity and dark matter, that are still completely mysterious. In order for the universe to be consumed in an expanding ball of chaos, dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that exerts a gravitational pull but emits no light, cannot interfere. Which is unlikely, since it might comprise 80 percent of our universe.

Similarly, Branchina has shown that quantum gravity ­— a bizarre part of physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity, that we have barely glimpsed —  could make the universe far more stable or unstable, depending on its rules. He said that since nobody understands this new physics, we cannot know anything about the universeꞌs ultimate end.

Andreassen agreed.

“I wouldnꞌt put my money on this being the end of the story. I would expect dark matter to come kick in and change the story,” Andreassen said.

Originally published on Live Science.

Sprawling, 2,000-Year-Old Desert Carvings Show Up in Drone Photos


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Sprawling, 2,000-Year-Old Desert Carvings Show Up in Drone Photos

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Sprawling, 2,000-Year-Old Desert Carvings Show Up in Drone Photos

Some of the new Nazca Lines discovered on a hillside in Peru. These particular lines have already been restored by archaeologists. “Prior to that it was almost unnoticeable,” said archaeologist Charles Stanish, who visited the newfound lines last week.

Credit: Charles Stanish

Drones hovering and darting over the mountainous landscape of Peru have spied some amazing ancient “artwork”: previously unknown and sprawling geoglyphs called Nazca Lines that were likely made by the Nazca people and their predecessors, some as long as 2,500 years ago.

The approximately 50 newfound geoglyphs (Greek for “Earth carvings”) give more evidence that the giant designs have a long history in the region and weren’t just the brainchild of the Nazca culture, which flourished from A.D. 200 to 700.

“[This discovery] is really quite exciting,” said Charles Stanish, executive director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment at the University of South Florida. “I’ve been working there for 30-some years, so it was fun to see something new,” said Stanish, who visited the newly discovered lines last week but isn’t involved in the new research. [Amazing Photos of the Mysterious Nazca Lines]

The newly identified ground markings are long and skinny — merely inches across and as long as a football field — and they were likely made by theParacas and Topará cultures, which prospered from about 500 B.C. to A.D. 200, according to National Geographic, which broke the story. (The National Geographic Society funded the research.)

Modern researchers have known about Peru’s Nazca (also spelled Nasca) Lines since 1927, when Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejía Xesspe came across them on foot. Soon after, the area became a tourist hotspot as airplane pilots began to purposefully fly over the etchings, giving their passengers a bird’s-eye view of the geometric shapes and ancient figures, including those of a spider, a hummingbird, a monkey, a lizard and even a pelican, Live Science previously reported.

One of the previously discovered Nazca Lines, which forms the outline of a hummingbird. The newfound Nazca Lines mostly depict people, including warriors.

One of the previously discovered Nazca Lines, which forms the outline of a hummingbird. The newfound Nazca Lines mostly depict people, including warriors.

Credit: Shutterstock

It’s unclear why the Nazca made these lines, but some theories put forth by archaeologists suggest that the lines may represent constellations in the night sky, that perhaps they played a role in pilgrimage or that the lines were part of water-based rituals for the Nazca, who had figured out how to irrigate the dry desert, Live Science has reported.

Archaeologists found the “new” lines in Peru’s Palpa province. The seeds to the discovery were planted in December 2014, when the environmental organization Greenpeace placed a huge sign calling for renewable energy next to the Nazca hummingbird design, National Geographic reported. Greenpeace didn’t have permission to enter the World Heritage Site and ended up damaging it.

Following the incident (for which Greenpeace later apologized), Peru received a grant from the United States to help restore its archaeology by hiring Peruvian archaeologist Johny Isla, the Nasca Lines’ chief restorer and protector, National Geographic said. Given that not all of Peru’s archaeological sites have been mapped from the air, Isla and Peruvian archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo Butters, of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, who co-discovered the new glyphs, partnered with Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist and founder of the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to do so.

Parcak uses aerial photography from drones and satellites to discover and examine archaeological sites. For instance, satellite imagery helped Parcak and her colleagues find potential Viking sites in Newfoundland, Canada, in 2016, Live Science previously reported.

In Peru, Parcak’s team used drones, which took images in 2017 that helped the archaeologists discover the new lines.

Many of the newly found markings portray human figures, including warriors, and are a bit smaller than other Nazca lines, Stanish told Live Science. [Gallery: Aerial Photos Reveal Mysterious Stone Structures]

Moreover, “the Nazca Lines are all on the flats, and most of the Paracas ones seem to be up in the hilly parts,” Stanish said. Perhaps, people in towns below these hills could see them, he said.

The Paracas culture, which emerged about 800 B.C., was ruled by priests, Johny Isla, who is also the head of Peru’s Ministry of Culture in Ica province, previously told Live Science. The Paracas also constructed pyramids and made key advances in the production of ceramics and textiles.

In 2015, Isla rediscovered a Paracas geoglyph of a killer whale that had originally been found in the 1960s but couldn’t be found again until Isla began researching it.

Archaeologists hope to preserve all of the Peruvian geoglyphs, including the newfound ones, as more people move to the area.

“The lines are being destroyed,” Stanish said. “Peru has a booming economy.”

Original article on Live Science.

10 True Stories Of Karma Providing Instant Justice


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10 True Stories Of Karma Providing Instant Justice

SHANNON QUINN

http://listverse.com/2018/04/07/10-true-stories-of-karma-providing-instant-justice/

Unfortunately, the legal system is set up in such a way where it doesn’t always provide adequate justice when someone commits a crime. Good lawyers and legal loopholes make it possible for criminals to get away with their crimes—if they’re even caught in the first place.

The idea of karma is that a person’s actions, positive or negative, will accumulate and result in what will happen to them in the future. Even if we don’t prescribe to this belief system, most of us would hope that a criminal will somehow end up punished for their crime someday, no matter how long it takes for that to happen. Thankfully, the universe has answered our hopes and wishes because sometimes, it provides incredibly satisfying karmaalmost instantly.

10A Punishment That Fits the Crime


A 19-year-old man named Terrion Pouncy was living in Chicago in 2017 when he decided to rob multiple stores at gunpoint. He approached a hot dog vendor in the city because they usually deal in cash. One of the vendors was holding a bucket of hot grease when Pouncy held a gun to his head, demanding his cell phone, wallet, and all of the money in the cash box.

The hot dog vendor dropped the grease to reach for his wallet. The molten hot liquid spilled over Pounch, and the dollars flew all over the ground. He tried to holster his gun and bend over to pick up the money and accidently shot himself . . . in the penis.

Pouncy survived, but he was held in police custody without bail as he awaited trial for multiple counts of armed robbery. He will definitely go tojail, and considering where he got shot, he should at least win an honorable mention for a Darwin Award, because the likelihood that he will pass on his DNA is now incredibly slim.

9Mine Is Real

In January 2018, two California teenagers attempted to rob a 7-Eleven convenience store with a fake gun. Security camera footage captured the teens wearing hoodies to conceal their identities. The cashier put his hands in the air as they threatened him with the weapon and demanded the money from the cash register.It turns out that a security guard was sitting in a car in the parking lot, and he was armed with a real gun. Since the guard saw the gun pointing at the cashier, he walked inside and shot the teens in their arms. They told the guard that the gun was fake, to which he replied, “Oh well. Mine is real!”

The 16-year-olds didn’t die. In the video, one of them even asks, “Am a shot?” as if he couldn’t tell. They were brought to the hospital for their injuries. The teens were held without bail for the attempted robbery.

8A Bad Taste In Your Mouth


Gas prices have skyrocketed all over the world in the past ten years, but that doesn’t mean most people would resort to stealing. In case you aren’t aware, siphoning gas is a method of taking fuel out of the tank of a car by inserting a plastic hose and sucking on one end until the gasoline begins to pour out. Unless you’re in a post-apocalyptic world, siphoning gas is an awful thing to do, because it often leads travelers stranded with an empty tank of gas.

In 2016, a man in Australia spotted a large tour bus. He knew that these buses had large gas tanks, so he attempted to siphon the fuel. Little did he know that he’d inserted the hose in the sewage tank instead. So, when he sucked, he got a mouthful of human excrement instead. The police were called, but the owners of the bus decided they didn’t want their property back.

7Hear Me Roar


One night in 2005, a South African man robbed a couple who were out on a date. He held a knife to them, demanding that they give him their money. Security guards spotted him committing the armed robbery and started to chase after him. He needed to get away quickly with his loot, so he began running through the city. In the darkness, he climbed a fence and jumped over.

Without realizing it, he had just jumped directly into the tiger’s den of the Bloemfontein Zoo.

The next morning, a visitor at the zoo noticed something strange at the bottom of the tiger’s cage. It was the body of a dead man. Luckily for his family, who needed to bury him, the tiger was well-fed and decided to just kill him without eating his corpse.

Funnily enough, this was not the first time this sort of thing had happened at the Bloemfontein Zoo. In 1997, another criminal jumped the fence to the zoo, but he was apprehended by a gorilla. He tried to shoot the gorilla twice, but it bit him in the buttocks and pinned him up against the wall until the police could arrive.

6Sober Up, Buddy

Drunk drivers are incredibly selfish, and they are responsible for a huge number of car accidents every year. In March 2018, a man was driving drunkin Fairfax, Virginia. He was spotted by police, and they put their lights and sirens on to pull him over. The driver panicked and tried to escape. He slowed the car down. Instead of putting it into park, he jumped out of the driver’s seat while the vehicle was still moving. He ran in front of his owncar in attempt to flee, and the automobile hit him, knocking him into the ground. He probably goes down in history as the only person who has ever run over himself while drunk driving.The entire ordeal was captured on a police car’s dash cam. They arrested the drunk, and it turns out that this was the man’s third time being caught while driving under the influence. Since he already had a record, he could face up to ten years in jail, which will give him plenty of time to sober up.

5Patience Is A Virtue

All of us have probably experienced an impatient driver cutting us off, and they almost never get caught by the authorities for their aggressive behavior. In February 2018, someone was recording their commute with a dash cam as they waited to merge on a highway in Pennsylvania. A line of cars was stopped at a yield sign, with a white SUV in the front of the line. They were waiting for cars to pass before they could safely merge.One driver in a black vehicle was a couple cars behind in line. He was incredibly impatient, so he began honking for the cars to go, despite the fact that the highway was still full of traffic. The black car drove on the shoulder to cut off several cars and zoomed out onto the highway in front of the white SUV, which was still waiting.

It turns out that the SUV was an undercover police officer. He turned his lights and sirens on and pulled over the aggressive driver immediately. The man who recorded the dash cam video screamed in jubilation, “Instant karma, motherf—er!”

4New Wheels Shouldn’t Cost A Life

Photo credit: KCRA-TV

Replacing tires and wheels on a van can be incredibly expensive. Four tires alone cost at least $400, and the wheels themselves can bring the total cost well over $1,000. One December night in 2017, a thief living in Pittsburgh was so desperate for cash that he decided that he wanted to steal the tires and wheels from a Chevrolet Express van.

He jacked up the van with cinder blocks, since he was trying to pull this off in the dark in a parking lot. Unfortunately for him, the bricks did not hold up. They slipped out from under the van, crushing the thief under the vehicle, which weighed thousands of pounds.

The next morning, the owner of the van found the thief’s body crushed underneath the van. The would-be robber did not have a driver’s license or any form of ID on him, and the police could not immediately identify him.

3Caught Red-Handed


A pair of thieves in Seattle, Washington, thought they were sneaky by stealing everything they could carry and slipping out the rear fire exit door of a Costco. In March 2018, however, the security officer recognized the man, who he had witnessed carrying a knife and successfully slipping out the back door with stolen goods in the past. He knew that the man was back to strike a second time and called the police immediately.

This time, the 30-year-old man had a 21-year-old woman with him as his accomplice, and an 18-year old man was sitting in a car as their getaway driver. The man and woman were holding over $2,000 worth of laptop computers and vacuum cleaners. Little did they know that police officers had already arrived, and the back door had been barricaded with their cars.

As the couple burst through the fire exit, the police greeted the them with big smiles on their faces. The thieves were completely shocked to come face-to-face with the cops. They dropped the boxes and didn’t even try toescape. They were arrested immediately, and everything was captured on body cameras.

2Late-Night Snack

Going to a 24-hour Denny’s can be a fun time with friends, but venturing out in the middle of the night also comes with the added risk of running into criminals. In March 2017, a group of four people were getting into a car to leave a Denny’s parking lot in Hawthorne, California, when an armed gunman ran up to them and pointed his gun at the driver, demanding their money.The thief never anticipated that these people wouldn’t go down without afight. One woman in the back seat opened the car door and bolted for the Denny’s so that they could call the police. The driver put the car in reverse and put his foot on the gas. The thief realized that things had already gone south, so he tried to run toward his accomplices in their getaway car, which did not stop for him.

The victim driver did a quick turn and ran over the thief at high speed. The thief was holding the gun as he ran, and the impact of being hit by the car caused him to pull the trigger, and he shot himself in the head. Somehow, the thief survived, and he was taken to the hospital in police custody. None of the customers or employees were hurt, and everything was caught on the security cameras.

1Auld Lang Syne


On December 31, 2010, a female suicide bomber was preparing a terrorist attack during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Moscow’s Red Square, where thousands of people gather in the streets each year around theKremlin to watch a beautiful fireworks display. Along with two accomplices, this woman planned to push her way into a crowded area. Her partners would send a text message to her cell phone at midnight, which would trigger the explosion in the crowd, killing hundreds of people in close proximity to her. Just a few days earlier, the same terrorist group had killed 35 people at an airport, and they were trying to strike again.

As this woman prepared the attack, her cell phone carrier sent her a “Happy New Year” text message a few hours before midnight. This triggered the bomb early, and it exploded. The two accomplices were able to escape the explosion, but the authorities were able to identify them.

10 Things We Know About Elon Musk’s Future Colony On Mars


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10 Things We Know About Elon Musk’s Future Colony On Mars

C.C. BAGULEY

http://listverse.com/2018/04/07/10-things-we-know-about-elon-musks-future-colony-on-mars/

Twenty years ago, if someone had said they were going to colonize Mars, society would have laughed in their face and said it’s impossible. Even today, many doubt the idea of moving mankind to a new planet or moon. Elon Musk wants to prove not only that it can and will be done but that this planetary migration could save the human race.

If there is a World War III, Earth and human life could become extinct. Mars is a proposed backup plan for when our home planet is no longer habitable. The self-made billionaire, entrepreneur, and CEO of SpaceX has already begun his mission, and he’s sharing updates with the world every step of the way. Here are ten things we know about Elon Musk’s future colony on Mars.

10Mission To Mars Announced In 2016

Photo credit: NASA

In September 2016, Elon Musk first painted the picture of a human colony on Mars. His goal was to make us an “interplanetary species” and colonizethe Red Planet. The biggest problem standing in his way at the time was finding the financing to make his dream a reality. One year later, he returned with a polished copy of his painting. During a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk presented his revised plan along with his newest space transportation, the BFR.

The original details of the idea weren’t changed dramatically (a few dates shifted forward a couple of years, and the rocket got smaller) but one of the things Musk did address was how he would afford the cost of colonizing another planet. Like any good entrepreneur would do, he came up with a business plan that turns his space vehicle into an investment that will be utilized by SpaceX for future partnerships.

9The BFR Transportation

The BFR is an updated rocket design set to eventually replace Falcon 9,Falcon Heavy, and Dragon. Replacing these will be crucial for the affordability of the missions. This switch will solve multiple problems while continuing to service orbital needs from the Earth, the Moon, and Mars. It will, of course, be protected with a heat shield as it enters Mars’s hot atmosphere at 7.5 kilometers per second. While they do expect wear and tear over time, the BFR be able to complete multiple flights.The BFR is reusable, resulting in lower costs than other rockets and space vehicles. It’s also large enough to carry 100 passengers. This rocket will also be used to launch satellites and space telescopes, clean up space debris, and deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). We can even expect to see future flights around the globe using the BFR instead of a commercial airline. The goal of replacing the need for other rockets and planes is to increase revenue.

8The First Mission To Mars Will Be In 2022

Photo credit: SpaceX

SpaceX has announced their goal to complete an unpiloted cargo mission toMars in 2022. Their first set of priorities will be to confirm water resources and identify potential threats to their colonization. During this time, SpaceX will also put into place initial power, mining, and the infrastructure of life support. This is will be a vital operation, and if everything goes well with the first mission, we will all bear witness to a historic moment for mankind.

To stay on track, they’ll need to build their ship in 2018 so that it may run practice orbits in 2019. These short trips are crucial to guaranteeing the rockets’ ability to launch correctly. After these practice orbits have been completed and the BFRs have proven themselves worthy of carrying life, the next mission to Mars will be the one that changes everything for the human race. It will be the one that makes us the interplanetary species Musk is hoping for.

72024 Is The next Mission To Mars

Photo credit: Hazegrayart

The success of the first mission will help us take the first giant leap for mankind to Mars. In 2024, SpaceX will launch piloted BFRs to transport both cargo and the first settlers of the Red Planet. The mission would take months, but the passengers will have plenty of room on the rocket. A single BFR has enough space to accommodate 100 people with its 40 cabins, large common areas, and entertainment systems.

How many people will be on the first flights hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s likely that this trip will only be for astronauts. Upon arriving, these first settlers will build a propellant depot to act as a gas station for space vehicles and prep for crews to come in on future flights. This fuel plant and the ships used for the initial missions will serve as the beginning of the first Mars base. From there, they aspire to build a self-sustaining civilization on a planet currently uninhabitable for humans.

6Elon Musk Has An Idea Of How To Make Mars Fit For Human Habitation

The Red Planet is lethal for the human race, for the moment. We can’t breathe the air, the soil is toxic, and the water is trapped in ice deposits below the planet’s surface. Musk has addressed the problem with a solution to transform Mars into an Earth-like planet so that it may support human life. By terraforming Mars, it could become habitable for humans. The question is how do we go about transforming a planet to be like ours?

Musk suggested nuking the poles to release the water trapped below the surface. The idea was referred to as deeply flawed and catastrophic for anylife-forms that may be residing there already. While Musk hasn’t stated that this is, in fact, what he intends on doing, SpaceX has confirmed that once the landing pads have been built, they will begin constructing an urban environment similar to Earth. These same landing pads will also give BFRs the opportunity to travel to a future lunar base and beyond.

5There Will Be An Outpost On The Moon

Photo credit: Elon Musk/SpaceX

On December 11, 2017, President Trump signed a new directive for the NASA administrator to refocus on the Moon. This directive will send American astronauts to the orbiting satellite for the first time since 1972. This mission will enable them to establish the foundation needed for further exploration of Mars and beyond.

Upon learning the news, Musk responded by stating that, “We should have a lunar base by now.” This isn’t the first time that the SpaceX CEO has shared his thoughts on building our presence on the Moon. At the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, in September 2017, Musk addressed the lunar base issue and discussed how the BFR could easily land on the Moon to deliver cargo or people.

4Colonizing Mars Isn’t Going To Be Cheap

Photo credit: sknews.ru

Becoming an interplanetary species is going to cost SpaceX and future travelers. Musk had estimated the cost of developing the BFR would be around $10 billion. SpaceX has financed development costs in the lower millions per year, meaning they will eventually need to seek a public-private partnership. This partnership could help cover the cost of colonizing and terraforming another planet for the one million residents expected by 2060.

To establish a self-sustaining civilization on Mars, they will need to send around 10,000 flights in the BFRs, not including the ones carrying equipment and other supplies. The first tickets will be “fairly expensive,” but over time, single ticket prices could drop to $100,000 to $200,000. If you’re one of the ones eager to join the Mars colony, you’ll want to start saving now.

3It’s Already Begun

Photo credit: SpaceX

We’re in the very early stages of colonizing Mars, but we have already heard and witnessed some incredible things. One of those was watching as Elon Musk sent his own car into space. In February 2018, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket with the Tesla and camera attached. While they were aiming for Mars’s orbit, it was overshot and is currently stuck orbiting theSun until we can retrieve it.

This could be a lesson learned for SpaceX as they review the information for future test flights with the BFR. Musk revealed at SXSW festival in March 2018 that they’ve already begun building the first interplanetary rocket. The goal is to have this BFR prototype ready for short up-and-down flights in the first months of 2019.

2What Else We Have To Look Forward To

Photo credit: SpaceX

The outpost on the Moon and the colonization of Mars isn’t all we have to look forward to. The same rocket that will be transporting passengers to other planets and moons will also have the ability to take travelers around the world in less than an hour. The BFR will carry those aboard into space, where there is hardly any friction, no bad weather, and zero turbulence. This will enable it to cut travel time and, for example, make a trip between Los Angeles and Tokyo in 32 minutes.

Imagine being able to travel anywhere in the world in less than an hour. Once NASA builds the lunar base, we’ll be able to take our trips further than we ever could imagine. Continuing with Musk’s dream of becoming an interplanetary species, the BFR will carry passengers to the Moon, Mars, and, maybe one day, even further. While we wait for our long-distance travel dreams to come true, we can watch as Elon Musk and SpaceX create and test the interplanetary vehicle needed to get us there.

1The Potential Health Risks Of Human Life On Mars


As we all know, Mars today is toxic for human life. Those who decide to go would be doing so at the risk of space radiation, weaker muscles, and a weaker immune system. As you travel through space on your journey to Mars, you’re going to be exposed to radiation that could lead to cancer and eye damage. Travelers to Mars will be in a microgravity environment on the way there, and the Red Planet only has one third of what our muscles are used to fighting against on Earth. As a result, your muscles will weaken and waste away.

That won’t be the only thing that changes in the human body. Traveling in space changes factors in the immune system that can lead to an illness because our cells don’t put up as strong of a fight. Without medical help nearby and the inability to perform CPR in space due to zero gravity, something as simple as the flu has the potential to turn deadly.

Human life on Mars poses risks for the Red Planet, as well. There is a possibility that by forming a colony or visiting, we are contaminating the planet and eliminating any life-forms currently residing there. These are things that will need to be addressed before we can begin the transformation into an interplanetary species.