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Nazi Mile Wide Mirror in Outerspace


Joshcitylife
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13 minutes ago, Joshcitylife said:

I heard the Nazis where trying to implement a mile wide mirror located in outerspace to direct heat to a certain area causing severe climate change. 
 

Is this even possible? How would you test this?

The first satellite was only launched over 10yrs after the end of WW2. So it sounds to me like nonsense. Where did you hear this story?

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Discovery Channel- Secret Nazi Bases S2 E1 Inside The Terror Factory.

This was while they were creating the V-2 rocket. Blueprints of that design (mile wide mirror in outerspace) was eventually confiscated by the allies. This also gave everyone insight of capabilities to place devices and satellites and rockets etc. into our orbit. 

I am NOT A NAZI, however their understanding of science at that time was head and shoulders above everyone else. 
Thank God for Bletchley park who were able to eavesdrop and crack codes on Nazi agendas.

Edited by Joshcitylife
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3 hours ago, Joshcitylife said:

Discovery Channel- Secret Nazi Bases S2 E1 Inside The Terror Factory.

This was while they were creating the V-2 rocket. Blueprints of that design (mile wide mirror in outerspace) was eventually confiscated by the allies. This also gave everyone insight of capabilities to place devices and satellites and rockets etc. into our orbit. 

I am NOT A NAZI, however their understanding of science at that time was head and shoulders above everyone else. 
Thank God for Bletchley park who were able to eavesdrop and crack codes on Nazi agendas.

Thanks very much for that. I have found this reference: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nazi-sun-gun-space-mirror_n_3015475. So my scepticism was misplaced. 

It seems this story goes back to a Life magazine article in 1945. I can't find anything more authoritative, but it does seem the Germans entertained a number of highly speculative ideas and impractical technical ideas around that time.  All rather reminiscent of that James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever", chiefly notable for Charles Grey as Blofeld and the rather gorgeous Jill St. John as Tiffany Case.     

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A mile wide mirror in Earth orbit would capture about as much as a mile width of area on the surface of the Earth.

hardly enough additional heat to cause climate change.
( maybe local weather change, at best )

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On 7/28/2022 at 3:17 PM, MigL said:

A mile wide mirror in Earth orbit would capture about as much as a mile width of area on the surface of the Earth.

hardly enough additional heat to cause climate change.
( maybe local weather change, at best )

What if that mile wide mirror was focused on at point on the earth's surface? wouldn't that do some environmental damage? 

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43 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

What if that mile wide mirror was focused on at point on the earth's surface? wouldn't that do some environmental damage? 

Yes. It could raise the temperature of the focused spot up to about 6000 degrees C. 

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1 hour ago, Moontanman said:

What if that mile wide mirror was focused on at point on the earth's surface? wouldn't that do some environmental damage? 

Depends on the size of the 'point'. And the quality of the mirror. And the orbit. I remember seeing the space station one night, and it passed over pretty quickly, so at that orbit, you would need some pretty clever positioning to keep the beam on one point. And the space station was TINY, even at that low orbit. So a mile wide mirror isn't going to look very big from Earth at that altitude. 

But with pretty phenomenal accuracy, you could theoretically station a mirror far enough away for it to orbit slowly, and be used as some kind of weapon. The cost would be astronomic though, and would be wasted just doing environmental damage. Maybe it could be used against other satellites, especially those in a similar orbit.

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22 hours ago, swansont said:

Yes. It could raise the temperature of the focused spot up to about 6000 degrees C. 

 

21 hours ago, mistermack said:

Depends on the size of the 'point'. And the quality of the mirror. And the orbit. I remember seeing the space station one night, and it passed over pretty quickly, so at that orbit, you would need some pretty clever positioning to keep the beam on one point. And the space station was TINY, even at that low orbit. So a mile wide mirror isn't going to look very big from Earth at that altitude. 

But with pretty phenomenal accuracy, you could theoretically station a mirror far enough away for it to orbit slowly, and be used as some kind of weapon. The cost would be astronomic though, and would be wasted just doing environmental damage. Maybe it could be used against other satellites, especially those in a similar orbit.

Some place many years ago i read of such a mirror, not sure how big, but it was proposed to be a spherical mylar balloon, half or more transparent and the rest mirrored. Supposedly at the focal point it would be equivalent to a continuous nuclear explosion.  

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3 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

 

Some place many years ago i read of such a mirror, not sure how big, but it was proposed to be a spherical mylar balloon, half or more transparent and the rest mirrored. Supposedly at the focal point it would be equivalent to a continuous nuclear explosion.  

Thermodynamics limits you to transferring heat from a higher temperature to a lower one, so you’re limited to the sun’s surface temperature, which is about 6000 degrees.

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7 hours ago, swansont said:

Thermodynamics limits you to transferring heat from a higher temperature to a lower one, so you’re limited to the sun’s surface temperature, which is about 6000 degrees.

Im sure 6000 degrees is ample energy for this to be a weapon.

2 minutes ago, Joshcitylife said:

Im sure 6000 degrees is ample energy for this to be a weapon.

Imagine launching a mirror into space that can reflect the suns energy towards a specified target. You could have enormous power until someone shoots your mirror down.

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...or until it failed under internal stress, or until it was shattered by random space debris, or ...

it would be an absurd undertaking on logistical terms alone, even before considering actual use. the largest artificial satellite that we have ever launched is the international space station, which is 73 meters by 109 meters. you're talking about a mile wide object. that's 1609 meters.

then you have to consider the feasibility of using a mile-wide mirror. that is, you need a properly curved, smooth, reflective surface that achieves a specified position in orbit above earth.

 

and I'm pretty sure swansont meant 6000 degrees as an absurd upper limit, not a reasonable estimate, although i'm not sure that all of the necessary assumptions for that theorem are met (i haven't checked thoroughly, though, so i'd default to trusting him!)

Edited by uncool
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54 minutes ago, uncool said:

...or until it failed under internal stress, or until it was shattered by random space debris, or ...

it would be an absurd undertaking on logistical terms alone, even before considering actual use. the largest artificial satellite that we have ever launched is the international space station, which is 73 meters by 109 meters. you're talking about a mile wide object. that's 1609 meters.

then you have to consider the feasibility of using a mile-wide mirror. that is, you need a properly curved, smooth, reflective surface that achieves a specified position in orbit above earth.

 

and I'm pretty sure swansont meant 6000 degrees as an absurd upper limit, not a reasonable estimate, although i'm not sure that all of the necessary assumptions for that theorem are met (i haven't checked thoroughly, though, so i'd default to trusting him!)

Well now that space x has the technology for reusable rockets in theory you could just refill and send more mirrors by the payload. Perhaps even have a mini station in there as well like the iss. Hopefully we can design the mirrors to fold in during turbulent times like space debris or storms. 

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18 hours ago, Moontanman said:

Some place many years ago i read of such a mirror, not sure how big, but it was proposed to be a spherical mylar balloon, half or more transparent and the rest mirrored. Supposedly at the focal point it would be equivalent to a continuous nuclear explosion.  

The focal point of a hemisphere would be halfway towards the centre so it wouldn't be a lot of use on the Earth. It could be used to generate power in space, but the equipment would have to be inside the balloon, which might get a bit hot.

To focus on a spot on Earth from orbit, the mirror would have to be almost perfectly flat. The radius of curvature would have to be twice the altitude of the orbit. 

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9 hours ago, uncool said:

and I'm pretty sure swansont meant 6000 degrees as an absurd upper limit, not a reasonable estimate, although i'm not sure that all of the necessary assumptions for that theorem are met (i haven't checked thoroughly, though, so i'd default to trusting him!)

It's an upper limit - you'd lose energy to scattering and absorption in the atmosphere - but I was also pointing out that it would not be like a "continuous nuclear explosion." Thermodynamics limits you to the surface temperature of the sun.

10 hours ago, Joshcitylife said:

Imagine launching a mirror into space that can reflect the suns energy towards a specified target. You could have enormous power until someone shoots your mirror down.

As uncool has already noted, this would be much bigger than the ISS, which was assembled in parts over a long period of time. So the mirror assembly would be known and an easy target - big, trackable, and on a well-defined orbital trajectory. 

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