Saturday, October 13, 2012

Asteroid Dust May Help Combat Global Warming

One of mankind's greatest challenges is surviving global climate change. To that end, scientists have been hypothesizing, experimenting and researching various methods of geoengineering. The latest suggestion involves parking a near earth asteroid between Earth and the sun and spraying dust particles into the space surrounding the asteroid. The resulting cloud of dust could help shade the earth and reduce the amount of radiation that reaches earth. The gravitational pull of the asteroid would trap the dust and prevent it from floating out into space.

Source: LiveScience

The idea would be to place an asteroid at Lagrange point L1, a site where the gravitational pull of the sun and the Earth cancel out. This point is about four times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

The researchers suggest outfitting a near-Earth asteroid with a "mass driver," a device consisting of electromagnets that would hurl asteroid-derived matter away from the giant rock. The mass driver could serve both as a rocket to push the asteroid to the L1 point and as an engine to spew out sun-shielding dust.

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