Unleashing Curiosity, Igniting Discovery - The Science Fusion

Lifeless Planets Society is a podcast that takes outlandish concepts about how one can tinker with the cosmos – from snapping the moon in half to inflicting a gravitational wave apocalypse – and topics them to the legal guidelines of physics to see how they fare. Hear on Apple, Spotify or on our podcast page.

A complete photo voltaic eclipse is likely one of the most unbelievable cosmic occasions we are able to witness from Earth – however they will also be inconvenient. Any explicit location solely experiences a photo voltaic eclipse about as soon as each few hundred years or so, and travelling to the trail of totality isn’t all the time possible.

On this episode of Lifeless Planets Society, hosts Leah Crane and Chelsea Whyte are joined by astronomer Bruce Macintosh on the College of California, Santa Cruz, of their makes an attempt to repair this downside and conjure up a complete photo voltaic eclipse that’s accessible to all.

Pure photo voltaic eclipses happen when the moon passes in entrance of the solar, casting a shadow on Earth’s floor. To create a man-made eclipse, our hosts must put one thing else between Earth and the solar. A comparatively small sunshade might work, nevertheless it must be pretty near Earth’s floor to dam out your complete solar – and to remain that shut, it might have to orbit at extraordinary speeds. The eclipse from such a small, fast-moving shade would solely final a number of seconds.

As an alternative, our hosts are taking up the problem of parking one thing a lot bigger in entrance of the solar to dam it. A planet may work, however none in our photo voltaic system are fairly the right measurement – plus it might be troublesome to maneuver a complete world, and the implications for Earth could be dire. In actual fact, altering how a lot daylight reaches the bottom in any respect could possibly be an issue…

The answer could also be a collection of small panels, blasted into house individually and flown in formation to dam the solar. There would should be a complete lot of them, however altering their orientation in flight might present photo voltaic eclipses on demand – with out essentially destroying all life on Earth.

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