Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Eliminate Night

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(+3, -2)
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Enormous geostationary mirrors are launched and placed around the Earth. Quite an engineering task, but I’m sure we can figure out how to do it. The mirrors will be placed so that they illuminate the part of the Earth that experiences what we now call “night.”
The purpose of such an undertaking is to find out what exactly would happen if it were implemented.
snarfyguy, Nov 20 2002

Space Mirrors Attack Atlanta! http://www.heavens-...tlanta&TZ=EST&Dur=7
All this week. [Amos Kito]

Space Mirrors http://www.retrofuture.com/weather.html
slightly more updated link but not much. Underscores concern for weather control abuse. [Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Space Mirrors http://www.retrofuture.com/weather.html
slightly more updated link but not much. Underscores concern for weather control abuse. [_Mowgli_, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Okay, it's not a Wibni, it's http://www.space-fr....org/Events/Znamya/
Baked (or at least in the oven) - the Russians have been working on it for yeaars. [Nick@Nite, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

More on the Znamya, project http://news.bbc.co....sci/tech/271224.stm
"Turning Night Into Day" [Nick@Nite, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       A lot of money would be spent, and large mirrors would be sent into space. Thats what would happen.
tyskland, Nov 20 2002

       I recall an sf story about this. will try to find it. asimov or clarke I suspect.   

       Ever been in the arctic in the middle of summer? There you have it, it is very hard to sleep when the sun won't go down. I spent two weeks north of the arctic circle in June.
rbl, Nov 20 2002

       This is a WIBNI because enormous geostationary mirrors cannot be launched into space? This is technology we do not have?
snarfyguy, Nov 20 2002

       WIBNI applies to things in sci-fi that are not obtainable, however this is obtainable.
tyskland, Nov 20 2002

       not a WIBNI but not really desirable. what would be nice is if daytime went on a *wee* bit longer in the winter. so programme these mirrors for the desired effect in each country. we would probably need a referendum on the subject. like it snarfy, croissant.   

       hey I am a rebel today.
po, Nov 20 2002

       What it says in help is: "The idea describes something widely known as desirable, but unobtainable, without giving any new clues as to how it could be done. "   

       This idea certainly isn't desirable, so if that's a WIBNI criterion, then yeah. And I certainly don't have any clues as to how it could be done, not knowing anything about satellite technology. But I still don't think it's a WIBNI. If we really had nothing better to do, and we wanted to do it, I bet we could get this done.
snarfyguy, Nov 20 2002

       Yeah, well you could be right, waugs. Fortunately, it's a really terrible idea.
snarfyguy, Nov 20 2002

       Make big-ass mirrors.   

       Put them in a big-ass rocket.   

       Using a Canada Arm, position the big-ass mirrors accordingly.   

       On a related note, maybe a large number of small numbers would be sufficient instead of a small number of large numbers. If the mirrors were convex, they'd scatter the light more effectively than flat mirrors, and thus cover more earth surface area, and reducing the number of 'small' mirrors needed.
tyskland, Nov 20 2002

       See, we're halfway there already. It may be easier to simply coat the moon with reflecty stuff. Maybe aluminum foil.
snarfyguy, Nov 20 2002

       does my ass look big in this big ass mirror.   

       idea in itself - big ass mirrors.
po, Nov 20 2002

       Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Why... it's those darn mirrors! No cool nights, because, *Hello!* there's no night!
thumbwax, Nov 20 2002

       Mylar balloons? Lots of them. I'll bet we have the technology to build and deploy those.
bristolz, Nov 20 2002

       "Simpsons did it!" - Butters side kick - Southpark
Supercruiser, Nov 20 2002

       I don't know but we keep satellites in place without any scotch tape. Assuming a few balloons tied together with string could be placed in geo stationary orbit. Big ones. Maybe they could be clustered into a parabolic shape, even.
bristolz, Nov 20 2002

       Attach dichroic reflectors to the Iridium satellites. (Are they still up there?)
angel, Nov 21 2002

       //How do you keep them in place?// - space string, of course [waugs].
PeterSilly, Nov 21 2002

       They're held in place by a cassette tape - this actually happened - In this particular case, I was in space foiling villains (when I wasn't covering the moon with foil) and later, I was chintzed out of a fortune when Broccoli stole my voluminous autobiography - one of those numerous volumes which comprises my epic adventures became known as *Diamonds Are Forever*
thumbwax, Nov 21 2002

       "It is better to launch an enormously expensive orbital space vehicle than curse the darkness". ?
8th of 7, Nov 21 2002

       What the hell? Our planet is probably fucked anyway.
muppetboy, Nov 21 2002

       Yeah, that's just what we need; to accelerate the ice cap melting. Goodbye coastal vacationlands! Perhaps it would be easier to live (ala "The Truman Show") in a controlled environment. Or the cheaper way: Wear a welder's mask during the day until your eyes adjust. Then just take the mask off at night, and voila! It's daytime 24/7. If it's warmth you're after, you could consider buying a coat...
fullybaked, Nov 21 2002

       Yeah, why bother inventing anything?
bristolz, Nov 21 2002

       I prefer we try to eliminate the need for SLEEP!
drfowler, Nov 22 2002

       una: even if a mirror reflects other parts of the e.m.-spectrum, they'd be exact same as the ones you'd get when the earth was facing the direction that the mirrors are reflecting...   

       practicality: slim now, i suppose. all in one shot: pr'y not. but give some time for established space stations, inner-space way-points, etc. & it's not that implausible for at least small area.... OR: if the mirror were concave, ("bowed out"), in the right way: a smaller mirror would spread (less) light out over a larger area; maybe if this were just infrared, winter nights could be a little warmer.   

       I get the feeling tho, that snarfy was just launching a disagreeable idea, which of course i instinctively agree with.
redundantly_redundant, Nov 22 2002

       (red_red) This wouldn't eliminate the need for night time lighting. However, It could influence the way commercial and public use lighting schemes are designed. The link I added indicates the "beam" of light would be 5 miles in diameter. The light itself from such a reflector is free. User fees would reflect technology's construction of it.   

       Imagine the energy costs saved if Salt Lake City's Olympic committee rented time from a series of reflectors for lighting the past Olympics held there. The reflected light would be more diffused, less glaring than "light plant" generators, thereby adding to the ambience. New York City could save a tremendous amount subscribing to "satel-light" while changing to low voltage supplemental street lights where possible. Also consider military benefits literally changing warfare by reducing fuel transported for light plants and the space consumed by transporting them when establishing camp units in theaters of war. In contrast, it could be used to hinder or thwart enemies movement   

       I don't care for the idea of turning night into day just because it can be done. I agree with the person who said "we need night." Yes, and we need to reduce the light pollution we have for our esthetic well being also. However, there seemed to be some advantages that I hadn't considered the first time I read this. I'm cautiously open to "considerations" for it.
_Mowgli_, Nov 22 2002

       While were making this mirror we can also make a giant magnifying glass and burn the person who made it, similar to how you would burn an ant
reheated, Nov 23 2002

       IV is right, I love the stars. MY problem is I just want to stay awake and enjoy it. So let's keep the night and lose the sleep...perhaps i.v. injections of caffeine would help.
drfowler, Nov 23 2002

       [IVnick8or], [drfowler], I wasn't suggesting the addition of more night light. I'm sorry for giving you that impression.   

       I was discussing the possibility that diffused light, as from a hypothetical space mirror, may allow reduction in glaring municipal light fixtures currently used due to the nature of "diffused" light such as that created by a full moon, but coming instead from space mirrors in this hypothetical discussion.   

       The potential savings along with the benefits of moderated lumens of diffused light could allow public venues to recoup costs from retrofitting old light schemes with more eye friendly low voltage "high cut-off" lighting.   

       "High cut-off" is a lighting industry term describing the angles of light beams from lamp sources specifically as it relates to aesthetic goals. In very general terms, it's a gauge for the degree of "glaring" light any particular fixture and lamp create.
_Mowgli_, Nov 24 2002

       Late note: I just saw the new James Bond movie and this idea is featured in it. Bastards stole it from me. BTW, anyone who took this idea as a serious proposal needs to relax. It's just a lark...
snarfyguy, Dec 02 2002

       Oh! okay. Well, I feel much better now, thanks.
bristolz, Dec 02 2002

       One of the few benefits of setting up mirrors is to aim it at some cities, this would save a ton of energy. ( no streetlights, etc.) "granpa, what was Vegas like before the mirror?"   

       Drawback: evil genius can take control of several mirrors, focus them all on one spot & fry a city. (ala "diamonds are forever")
the great unknown, Jan 14 2003

       baked. Your idea highlights the problem with watching too much of the simpsons.
phlegm, Oct 16 2003

       Don't know why people are nervous about frying the earth. If we can put mirrors on one side, we can certainly put blinds on the other.
Worldgineer, Oct 16 2003


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