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Vehicle: Hovercraft
Fake Planetary Alignment Event Orrery   (+1)  [vote for, against]
This may require a massive conspiracy of silence.

Owing to a coincidence of timing, four planets aligned in roughly the same patch of sky this morning. Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Mars all appeared low in the northeastern sky just before dawn.

What I'm proposing is a number of very large mylar mirrors, printed with features that appear to be existing, or fake, planets and arranged in unusual patterns. Propulsion provided by their solar sails.

Fun for "educating" children. (Another such confluence is not due until Sept 2040) and for freaking out astrologers.
-- infidel, May 13 2011

Nanosail D
Visible from earth, just needs the design and some stabilizing propulsion. [tatterdemalion, May 13 2011]

Wouldn't it be funny if we could actually realign the planets. If an astrologer got hold of such a system they could control the horoscopes!! Think of the power!! An Arian Supremacist could make sure every new birth was under Aries, giving them a global army!

If we had one to control stars, we could even fast-forward to the end of the age of Pisces and usher in the age of Aquarius! And when we get bored of that, just fast forward to Capricorn! Spiritualism just got ADHD.
-- idris83, May 13 2011

Depending on how close the mirrors are to Earth, wouldn't your viewpoint position result in differing alignments? And if you put them too far away to minimise this effect, they'd have to be reeeally big...
-- idris83, May 13 2011

I was sorta figuring on REALLY BIG, [idris].
-- infidel, May 13 2011

It occurs to me they may need to be tethered in pairs, so as to provide an anchor against which each can be weighed, to prevent their takeoff into deeper space.
-- infidel, May 13 2011

[linked] Nanosail D's 100 sq ft sail gives you a visible object from the ground, though the magnitudes are far fainter than the big sky players, Jupiter and Venus. It might suffice to stand in for Saturn on a dim night, perhaps Mercury. Hard to keep it still, however, it needs an orbital path in order to stay up.
-- tatterdemalion, May 13 2011

[Idris] - this is something that has occurred to me on more than one occasion.

A friend who practices palmistry spent half an hour telling me about the significance of my ring finger being shorter than my index finger. I let her finish before pointing out the lump in my hand where the ring finger had been broken.

There is also the practice of reverse phrenology. Based on the supposition that the bumps on ones skull are an indicator of character, desired character traits may be generated by adding bumps with a mallet. (Credit to Terry Pratchett)
-- Twizz, May 13 2011

Yes, [mouse], with the components hanging out in space, reflecting light into the eyes of astronomers everywhere.
-- infidel, May 13 2011

random, halfbakery