I was surprised to see a very measurable difference in temperature at my home during the recent solar eclipse. The temperature was about 93 degrees fahrenheit but dropped to around 86 degrees. It made me wonder how an unusual eclipse might affect a planetary body.

  1. If there were a situation where someone had put an object into a stable synchronous orbit that would block a percentage of solar radiation, how big would it have to be for an appreciable effect? An example would be from Futurama's Crimes of the Hot episode Wernstom's giant parabolic mirror that reflected 40% of all sunlight.
  2. If an effect similar to a solar eclipse would be prolonged over a specific area, how would that effect the local atmosphere? I would assume it would create a stable "cold front" in that area. Is there any information on how that would affect other passing cold or warm fronts?
  • $\begingroup$ Volcanic eruptions that throw significant amounts of ash into the upper atmosphere can have extremely serious implications for the global climate because the ash blocks the Sun and lowers the temperature - see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer for instance. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 '17 at 20:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Temperature Change during Totality: eclipse2017.nasa.gov/temperature-change-during-totality NASA saw a 14°F drop during the 2001 eclipse in Zambia. Looks like the temp. only partially recovered the rest of the day. $\endgroup$ Aug 23 '17 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ 1. Too big: hundreds of km across. which makes 2. hypothetical Earth Science. I'd just note that there are no exceptional weather that occurs during the daily "terrestial eclipse" (ie nightfall) $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 23 '17 at 17:07

It was suggested that we could cool down Venus by putting a powder cloud in the Lagrange point between it and the Sun. This will cool Venus in a few months to the point where its atmosphere will start liquify, creating a global CO2 ocean. The surface of an ocean is much easier to colonize than creating flying cities.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.