• Edward Wechner's patents

    My husband Edward Wechner's work - 2011 version.....

  • Chainless Biycle

    Edward 愛看Tour d' France, 每次看到看到那些賽手因為 jamming the chain, 而lose the race又或跌倒甚至傷得很重! 這是他自此而很大願望設計出一款比chain drive 鏈條單車更可reliability賴性, 更安全safety, without losing performance and without increasing the weight of the bicycle, but also inprove the efficiency...

  • Trench Casting Machine

    It does dig a trench 300mm wide and 6000mm deep and fills it with concrete simultaneously at an advance rate of 20m/hour....

  • 歐洲之旅, 第13天, 奧地利

    早上起來, 我們想再去 Buch 探 Heini, 因為 Heini 個仔 Simon 會回來 Buch. 於是我們由Lans 出發, 開去 Buch ...

  • 歐洲之旅, 第12天, 奧地利

    早上起來, 已是下雨天, 但是已到了 Fussen 了, 硬著頭皮都要去廸士尼用它做LOGO的 Schloss Neuschwanstein 天鵝城堡....

  • 歐洲之旅, 第7天, 瑞士, 德國 – part 2

    Rhine falls, 真是印象深刻和很壯觀. 玩完後, 我們驅車前往 Schaffhausen : Schaffhausen (German: Schaffhausen (help·info)) is a city in northern Switzerland and the capital of the canton of the same name; it has an estimated population of 34,587 as of December 2008....

  • 瑞士, 德國 – part 1

    早上起來, 車開出Zurich 市區, 再開去 Winterthur, Winterthur (pronounced: Ger. /ˈvɪntɐtu:ɐ̯ /, Eng. /ˈvɪntərtʊər/) is a city in the canton of Zurich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth largest population with an estimate of more than 100,000 people. In the local dialect and by its inhabitants, ...

Guano 海鳥屎–War of the Pacific太平洋戰爭

昨晚睇咗一套非常好的紀錄片Chris Tarrant Extreme Railway Journeys Series 2  Crossing the Andes 安地斯山脈.

在影片開頭,  Chris 介紹了他要去睇 Nitrates Mine, 在19世紀Nitrates又叫white gold, 非常值錢是用來製造 gun powder 的 guano (海鳥屎含豐富的硝酸鹽). 

guano:  The word "guano" originates from the Andean indigenous language Quechua, which refers to any form of dung used as an agricultural fertilizer.
就是裡d 海鳥屎引起了War of Pacific,
自1883年後, 玻利維亞失去出海口,成為內陸國.
我知道雀屎都有用的時候, 是我睇咗 Nauru: An Island Country Destroyed by Phosphate Mining:  
不過, 佢地叫雀屎為phosphate, 唔係guano.

The atmosphere of Earth


Scientists think that the climate on Mars 3.5 billion years ago was similar to that of early Earth.
So, if you don’t know the history of Earth, you will not understand why Mars has lost its atmosphere as it looks like, right now!
https://youtu.be/mDBQk5tOVlU ( time start from 10:00) Mr Sui, in this video says:
“Mars lost its atmosphere, because the iron on mars is only on it’s surface, not in the core of the planet, that causes the loss of its magnetic field, and the solar wind is so strong that it blew the atmosphere away.”;
“Iron could not condense because there was not enough heat to penetrate into the centrosphere of Mars”;
“because Mars is not like earth, which is full of solid iron in the centrosphere, it does not have a magnetic field, so it could not retained the atmosphere, and let the solar winds blow it away.”…..!!!
As what I write on my blog before :  “Why is Mars Red?” ;  “How did the core of Mars form?”; “Why did Mars’s core cool down.”  all these articles are telling you the same thing, in our solar system, all the rocky planets were formed in the same way and what Mr Sui says is wrong!

Let’s have a look, how the atmosphere of the early Earth was formed:
The Early Atmosphere:
The first atmosphere 4.55 billion years ago:

When the Earth first formed, the solar system was a violent place.   Giant hunks of rock, metal and ice slammed into the Earth's surface.  As material collided and fused, there is intense heat and pressure. Matter vaporized on impact leaving puddles of magma. Many of the collisions released water vapour and other gases, which gradually formed a blanket of steam around the early Earth.  This thickened over time becoming the first atmosphere.  Some of the lighter gases like hydrogen leaked into space, but the denser steam collected and had a greenhouse effect insulating, heating and melting the surface of the planet.
(Mei :  Thus, Mars would also have an atmosphere, during the violent, early period of the forming of our solar system)

The Oceans and the Moon 4.53 to 4.5 billion years ago:

Over time, the Earth, in a process called differentiation, separated into layers and it's crust cooled.  Steam in the atmosphere condensed and formed the oceans, covering much of the planet in chemical-rich waters.
The young Earth settled down, but then something about the size of Mars is thought to have slammed into the planet, causing immense changes.  The two bodies coalesced and material was blasted outward.  Debris from the impact formed a ring of matter that orbited the Earth and eventually became the moon.  The surface of the Earth became molten again from the intense heat, and the oceans reformed as a steam atmosphere.
When things finally cooled down again, the Earth's crust hardened and steam settled back down to reform the oceans againThe moon stabilized the Earth's tilt and helped to regulate the climate.
(Mei:  We know, from the debris left over from the collision with the other planet, that the moon was formed from earth material because all the material we found in our moon is exactly the same as the material of the earth’s crust!  Our moon is round because it is large enough that gravity shaped it spherically, whereas the two moons of Mars have an irregular shape because they are too small that gravity could force them into a spherical shape and we do not know how the Mars moons have formed.) 

The Hadean Eon 冥古宙 4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago:
This part of Earth's history is uncertain because there is no surviving sedimentary rock to offer clues about the environment.  There may have been several large asteroid or comet impacts, but none as big as the one that formed the moon.   Molten rock or magma oozed in some places and blasted out in others.   Volcanic activity released heavier gases like carbon dioxide and methane.  There was still very little oxygen in the atmosphere. 

  The Archean Eon 太古宙 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago:

The oldest sedimentary rocks found in Greenland tell us a lot about the Earth at that time.  There were oceans, lands, rivers, and beaches.  Deep in the ocean, chemical-rich hydrothermal venting may have contributed to the first forms of life on Earth.  These first microbial organisms are thought to have eventually spread throughout the Earth's oceans.   Some microbes consumed hydrogen gas and others produced methane as a waste product.  Biology began to affect the atmosphere. 
By about 3.5 billion years ago, stromatolites mounds made by microbes-- populated the world's beaches.  Some early microbes used the sun's energy for photosynthesis, but the first photosynthesizers didn't release oxygen.  However, by 2.8 billion years ago, life forms evolved that could use sunlight to split water molecules and release oxygen as a waste product.   These were the cyanobacteria that still prosper in today's oceans.
Most of the new oxygen combined with organic carbon to recreate carbon dioxide molecules, and some was used up by other chemical reactions.  But eventually, oxygen flooded the atmosphere and touched off a mass of ecological disaster from many of the anaerobic life forms that were poisoned by the abundance of oxygen.
Other life forms adapted to thrive in the new conditions.  The rock record offers proof.  Oxidized iron compounds are reddish and rust colored.  In certain layers of sedimentary rock, they demonstrate the predominance of oxygen after 2.4 billion years ago.
At this time, oxygen formed the ozone layer about 20 to 30 kilometres above the ground, protecting life on the Earth's surface from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. 

Snowball earths雪球地球 2.4 billion years ago to 2.2 billion years ago :


The rise of oxygen was coupled with the reduction in greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, so the Earth retained less of the sun's heat, and the global climate became significantly colder. There was mass glaciation and the Earth was encased in ice, often called a snowball Earth.  The icy shell reflected sunlight, making it colder and colder, but volcanoes punched through the ice and volcanic carbon dioxide gradually built up in the atmosphere. When the greenhouse effect became strong enough, the planet warmed and the ice melted.
Scientists think that there were three snowball Earth cycles over a period of time from 2.4 to 2.2 billion years ago, and then a period of about one billion years in which the atmosphere and climate were fairly stable.
More recently, the planet experienced other snowball Earth events, but some life forms were able to survive the cold.     
The Phanerozoic Eon Begins 542 million years ago:

The current eon, the Phanerozoic, brought a proliferation of plant and animal life.  Vascular plants with tissues for conducting water and nutrients colonized the land about 400 million years ago and their photosynthesis caused oxygen levels in the atmosphere to rise.
By about 300 million years ago, extensive forest covered the Earth.  They pushed the oxygen levels higher and enabled an even greater diversity of life.   Biology, geology, astronomical events and periodic changes in the Earth's position in orbit influenced the climate, but overall, the atmosphere remained stable enough for life to persist.
(Mei:  Scientists believe that as the earth’s core is cooling down over time, our planets atmosphere could be similar to that of Mars eventually.)

Next, we will look at  hypotheses that could have caused the loss of the heavy atmosphere on Mars.   To be continued……

For your information:




Why did Mars’s core cool down



The reasons are:


1.  After the Big bang, the energy burnt out, the whole universe cooled down gradually :  The truth is, not only Mars was cooling down, even our Earth is cooling down too.

ref:  no. 1


2.  Obviously , Mars is further away from the Sun, and also it is  a lot smaller than the Earth, that is why it is cooling down more quickly.


Planets2013mars's size



3. Mars has a lot less green house gas .

ref:  no. 2





ref:  no. 1

The cosmic background radiation is radiation left over from early development of the universe, and is a landmark proof of the Big Bang theory. Before the formation of stars and planets, the Universe was smaller, much hotter, and filled with a uniform glow from its white-hot fog of hydrogen plasma. As the universe expanded, both the plasma and the radiation filling it grew cooler. When the universe cooled and stable atoms could form, they eventually could no longer absorb the thermal radiation and the universe became transparent instead of being an opaque fog. The photons that from that time have been propagating ever since, growing fainter and less energetic. The CMBR has a thermal black body spectrum at a temperature of 2.725 K, so it peaks in the microwave range frequency of 160.2 Ghz(1.9 mm wavelength).






ref:  no. 2

scientists believe, Mars must have lost its most precious asset: its thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide. CO2 in Mars's atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, just as it is in our own atmosphere. A thick blanket of CO2 and other greenhouse gases would have provided the warmer temperatures and greater atmospheric pressure required to keep liquid water from freezing solid or boiling away.


How did the core of Mars form?

To understand how the core of Mars has formed, we need to look at how the whole solar system did come to be, the inner, rocky planets like Earth and Mars and the outer, gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.  The picture below does show the whole history of the formation of our galaxy the Milky Way and our solar system.




Here is a picture zoomed in at our solar system as it is now.




And here is the theory of how our planets have formed:




inner rocky planetsouter gassy giants


Our solar system, consists of:

The inner, the Rocky, or Terrestrial planets  :   Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.   

The outer planets, the Gassy Giants:  Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

How the rocky planets formed:

1.  The material that formed our solar system originates probably from a supernova explosion somewhere in our Milky Way. It formed a cloud that collapsed due to gravity and started to spin and as it spun it slowly flattened out to form a disk. Astronomers call such a disk a protoplanetary disk or short a proplyd, and as it collapsed it got hotter and hotter until fusion occurred and our sun was born. About 99.9% of all the material in the proplyd went into the sun, the 0.1% of the proplyd’s leftovers formed the rest of the solar system, the planets and planetoids.

2. The intense heat of the young sun drove away gassy materials (a lot of hydrogen and helium) from the inner parts of the solar system.  Making this region deprived of hydrogen and helium and formed the outer planets, the gassy planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These gas giants contain 99% of the leftover material, so what we're left with is a tiny residue of a tiny residue to form the inner rocky planets, including our Earth.

3. Closer to the sun, from that tiny residue of a residue, you find material orbiting, orbiting in the inner orbits, and that material is less gassy. There's more sort of solid stuff. You have little dust motes that eventually will gather together through electrostatic forces or collisions to form little rocks. You have particles of ice that will eventually form snowball-like objects, and eventually they form things like meteorites or asteroids, and they're getting bigger and bigger and bigger and they're colliding with each other. And in each orbit, you eventually get large objects that finally sweep up through their gravitational pull, everything else that's in the orbit. And so, eventually, over a hundred million years, in each orbit you have a rocky planet. Now, this process is called accretion.




Since the four rocky planets were created with the same process there structure is very similar and varies only due to their different sizes , their distance from the sun and the time lapsed since their creation.




Very little is known about the core of Mars, but we can project the probability of the structure of its core from the knowledge we have gained about the Earth’s core.




reasons of hot earth


The early earth was extremely hot for a number of reasons :  

1. Radioactivity:  The supernova that blew up just before the solar system was formed created a huge amount of radioactive material, the radioactivity generated a lot of the heat. 

2. Accretion: The violent collisions of materials like meteorites and asteroids in the early Earth created huge amounts of heat.

3. Pressure: As the clouds of dust from the supernova became denser and denser due to gravity, an enormous amount of heat was generated particularly at the centre where the highest pressure occurred. 

In fact, the early Earth did get so hot that it melted, and that is really important. Because if it hadn't melted, today's Earth would be very different from the way it is.  To get a sense of what happened and why this was so important, let's imagine a kind of absurd cooking experiment. 


Put some stuff in a sauce pan. You're going to put in some coins. You're going to put in some rice. You're going to put in some plastic. Let's add a bit of mud. 

Let's put in some ice and you can chuck in one or two other things.  And now, we're going to heat that stuff up to several thousand degrees. Don't stir, just let it simmer. 

Finally, what we'll see is that the whole thing is going to melt.  The heavy stuff, such as the coins, are going to sink down to the bottom, lighter stuff is going to rise to the top, and some stuff is going to evaporate and boil above the sauce pan. 


Now something very like this seems to have happened to the early Earth.  It melted and because it melted, it formed a series of layers and they give it the structure we have today. Let's look at the four main layers. 


core of earth1 core of earth2


1. The Inner and the Outer Core :   The first is at the centre and is mainly iron and nickel because they are heavier than most other materials and therefore sank to the centre of the Earth.  And the fact that the centre of the Earth is full of magnetic metals (iron and nickel) is really important because this gave the Earth its magnetic field, and the magnetic field deflects some of the sun's rays that would be harmful to living creatures such as us.  So that's the first layer, the core. 


core of earth3

2. The Mantle : The lighter stuff-- lighter rocks-- float above the core and form a layer that's called a mantle.  Now, the mantle you can think of as a sort of hot sludge of rocks.  These rocks are so hot they're sort of semi-molten and they're actually moving around in convection currents inside the mantle. 


core of earth4

3. The Crust : At the very top, we have a layer called the crust.  Very light rocks such as basalts and granites stayed on the top, they cooled down and formed a thin solid layer, the crust.  That's where we live.  The crust is pushed around by the convection currents from underneath.  You can think of the crust as a tiny, thin layer a bit like a sort of egg shell. 


core of earth5

4.  The Atmosphere : Finally, the fourth layer, the atmosphere.  Some of the gassy stuff bubbles up to the top, it evaporates.   The very light gases such as hydrogen disperse into space, but a lot of other gases like Nitrogen and Oxygen, just hang around the Earth held by its gravitational pull.


And that's how the Earth acquired the structure it has today.  All of this happened about ten million years after the creation of our solar system.






A new animation by NASA scientists illustrates what Mars – the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System – may have looked like billions of years ago.

Billions of years ago when the Red Planet was young, it appears to have had a thick atmosphere that was warm enough to support oceans of liquid water - a critical ingredient for life. The animation shows how the surface of Mars might have appeared during this ancient clement period, beginning with a flyover of a Martian lake. The artist's concept is based on evidence that Mars was once very different. Rapidly moving clouds suggest the passage of time, and the shift from a warm and wet to a cold and dry climate is shown as the animation progresses. The lakes dry up, while the atmosphere gradually transitions from earth-like, blue skies to the dusty pink and tan hues seen on Mars today.

Today, Mars is a cold, desert world. Liquid water cannot exist pervasively on its surface due to the low atmospheric pressure and surface temperature, although there is evidence for spurts of liquid flow that perhaps consist of a briny solution with reduced freezing temperature. Water under current conditions can be ice or sublimate directly into vapour without staying in a liquid phase.

Now a day, scientists are not yet certain if the core of Mars is solid, liquid, or in two distinct sublayers, like Earth.  Future measurements will tell us more.