Earth wants to hide from the Sun under a space umbrella on an asteroid: it's real, but there's a problem
The problem of global warming on Earth has become so urgent for mankind that it will probably have to be solved by some rather absurd method. One such option is a space umbrella, which would be tethered to a rather massive asteroid, and would reflect part of the sunlight directed towards our planet.
A study on the realization of this idea was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Despite the fact that the idea sounds quite fantastic, scientists do not rule out that it is quite realistic to implement it, but there is a problem weighing 35,000 tons.
Astronomer Istvan Sapudi from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii believes that mankind could catch an asteroid, park it between the Earth and the Sun and, by tying an umbrella to it, block some of the sunlight.
The idea of such a solar shield is not new, but the option proposed by Sapudi is much cheaper and easier to implement.
The idea came to the scientist when he saw people walking in the afternoon under the Hawaiian sun, covered by an umbrella.
"I wondered if we could do the same for Earth and thus mitigate the impending climate catastrophe," the scientist explained.
Such an umbrella would not block all the sunlight, but only a small part of it. This could be enough to counteract the rising temperatures on the planet. Even if it didn't solve the problem completely, it might give humanity more time to deal with climate problems caused by humans themselves.
The problem with the shield idea was that it needed ballast massive enough to keep the shield from being blown away by solar wind and radiation pressure. Creating it on Earth and then lifting it into space was too audacious, but not a feasible idea. So Sapudi thought it would be logical to use asteroids that were already in space.
According to his calculations, if you place such an umbrella at the Lagrange point (the place where the gravitational pull of the Earth and the Sun has the same strength and allows a third object to be in a constant state. - Ed.), the mass of the shield and counterweight could be reduced to only 3.5 million tons.
That weight may be shocking, but it's 100 times less than previous estimates for an untethered shield, Science Alert notes. Plus, the umbrella shield itself would weigh just 1% of that mass - 35,000 tons. The rest of the mass is an asteroid that just needs to be captured and pushed into the right place. Especially since NASA already knows how to change the asteroid's trajectory.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL also told about scientists who propose to fight global warming with the help of space catapults.