Moon dust could protect Earth from global warming – study

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 Moon dust could protect Earth from global warming – research

A new study has found that dust could be spread from the moon to block enough sunlight to mitigate the effects of global warming. In the peer-reviewed study, published in the journal PLOS Climate, researchers used a technique used to study planet formation around distant stars.

Planet formation generates large amounts of dust that can form rings around a star. The rings reflect the star's light, allowing researchers on Earth to detect it.

“If you take a small amount of material and put it in a special orbit between the Earth and the Sun, we could block a lot of sunlight with a little mass,” – explained physics and astronomy professor Ben Bromley.

“A particle orbiting the Sun can shield the Earth by absorbing or scattering radiation. The overall effectiveness of the shield depends on its ability to maintain an orbit that casts a shadow on the Earth”,– the study notes.

“Because we know the positions and masses of the major celestial bodies in the solar system, we can simply use the laws of gravity to track the position of a simulated sunshield over time for several different orbits,” – Samir Khan, co-author of the study, said.

It is noteworthy that launching dust from the Moon will cost much less energy than launching it from Earth. The researchers, however, noted that the amount of energy needed to mitigate the effects of global warming would be about 10¹⁰kg of dust per year, or “about 700 times the mass that humans have launched into space”.

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