Boffin to save planet with asteroids carrying huge parasol to block Sun’s rays

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    A boffin plans to save the planet from global warming by deflecting the Sun’s rays with a giant parasol tethered to asteroids.

    The idea involves deploying a 400mile-wide umbrella weighing 3.5million tonnes a million miles away in space.

    It will deflect the Sun’s rays from Earth lowering temperatures and reducing the effects of climate change.

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    Dr Istvan Szapudi, of the University of Hawaii, said the umbrella made from an ultra-lightweight material could reflect light back at the Sun.

    He wants it placed near a space region known as the first Lagrange, point – or L1 – where the gravitational forces of the Earth and Sun are in balance.

    To prevent it being blown towards Earth like a sail by pressure exerted by solar radiation, the scientist suggested it could be anchored to a collection of asteroids using 600,000 mile-long tethers.

    In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he said the move could cut the amount of solar energy reaching Earth by 1.7%.

    "You would not notice anything on Earth except heatwaves becoming less frequent,’’ he said.

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    "Clearly it would be costly. This is a science paper. This is planting the seeds.

    “It would take a lot of R&D to turn it into engineering."

    Other experts agreed his findings were valuable but mostly because they highlighted how difficult it would be to put them into action.

    Professor Stuart Haszeldine,of the University of Edinburgh, who was not involved in the work, said: “I think it is worthwhile doing this kind of intellectual research because we need a spectrum of options.’’

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    • Space
    • Heatwave
    • Asteroids
    • Science

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