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If governments and their space agencies are serious about protecting Earth from solar storms, one team of researchers argues a giant space shield is the most logical solution.
When a massive geomagnetic solar storm struck Earth in 1859, the only observable effect was a spate of vibrant auroras. If a similarly powerful storm hit Earth today, the global economy could suffer losses totaling in the trillions of dollars.
To protect the planet -- as well as its technology and economy -- a group of scientists have proposed installing giant magnetic reflector between Earth and the sun. The reflector would be positioned at the Lagrange L1 point, roughly 205,000 miles away. A series of satellites would create a loop of electric current capable of deflecting solar particles back into space and away from Earth.
originally posted by: neo96
And just what would they use to power such a thing when most of the world is still using fossil fuels, and hates nuclear power?
Big dream that ain't gonna happen for at least another 1000 years.
It's up to Siobhan McGorran, England's Astronomer Royal, to stave off panic by spearheading an attempt to do something, anything, to deflect the oncoming horror. But it's not as if you can do anything about the sun, after all. Finally the decision is made to embark on the most ambitious project in history, the construction of a shield as wide as the Earth's diameter. Stationed at LaGrange Point 1, directly between the Earth and the sun, it will be contructed of a fine prismatic filament that will deflect most of the worst emissions from the ejection. It can't do anything about x-rays or gamma rays, but perhaps the worst of the heat and other radiation can be kept from sterilizing the planet.
... Dr. Jim Green – the Director of NASA's Planetary Science Division – and a panel of researchers presented an ambitious idea. In essence, they suggested that by positioning a magnetic dipole shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, an artificial magnetosphere could be formed that would encompass the entire planet, thus shielding it from solar wind and radiation.
This new research is coming about due to the application of full plasma physics codes and laboratory experiments. In the future it is quite possible that an inflatable structure(s) can generate a magnetic dipole field at a level of perhaps 1 or 2 Tesla (or 10,000 to 20,000 Gauss) as an active shield against the solar wind."