Shield of asteroid dust could protect Earth from the sun

While politicians tiptoe around climate change, scientists are coming up with more and more mind-numbingly cool ways to mitigate its causes and effects. Falling along the lines of other geo-engineering projects, a new approach suggests using asteroid dust to block and absorb solar radiation well before it can reach the Earth.

The idea to use an asteroid to mitigate the impact of the sun's rays on Earth sprung from Glasgow's University of Strathclyde. The approach is interesting enough to be adapted into a Hollywood screenplay. Humanity would band together to attach a mass driver to an asteroid and move it to Lagrangian Point 1. LP1 is where the sun's gravity well acts in concert with the Earth's, creating a balancing point. Once there, the mass driver would move to its second task, spraying asteroid dust into the surrounding area.

That dust would be held in place by the asteroid's gravitational field, creating an orbiting bastion of solar defense. The dust would be capable of blocking or absorbing as much as 6.58 percent of radiation making its way to the Earth. The science, engineering skill, and creativity behind asteroid wrangling is impressive, but it's another solution that deals with the effect, rather than the cause of climate change — a sort of inverted Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

LiveScience, via The Atlantic

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