“Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing: Block it out!” –Mr. Burns
Gentlemen, we can do this. In 1995, nuclear power plant tycoon Monty Burns deployed a giant dish over Springfield to deprive citizens of free sunlight and energy. Springfield citizens eventually dismantled the dish, but last week’s eclipse showed us how to do this in a tamper-proof way: BUILD A SECOND MOON.
Eclipse totality lasted only two minutes, but that’s because our existing moon can’t keep still. We can create a stationary moon by launching it into a Lagrangian point.
Any two-body orbital system creates five Lagrangian points, where the combined gravitational forces of the large bodies cancel out the centrifugal force felt by a smaller object, suspending it in place. Anything deployed at these five spots remains parked indefinitely.
One such point happens to sit just between the earth and the sun: L1. We already have a Solar Observatory and Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) parked there, but neither one is big enough to cover the sun. Something moon-sized should do the job nicely.
All we need now is a rocket and a giant balloon. Hey Elon Musk, got any spare SpaceX launchers lying around?