ISTR reading some years ago about the Russian space agency’s plan to put a giant mirror into geosynchronous orbit. The mirror could reflect the rays of the sun onto northern Russian cities during the winter, thus providing extra daylight during the otehrwise short winter days.
Since I haven’t heard any more about it, I’m assuming the project was scrapped.
However, I’d like the City of Springfield to give it a try, as I’m rather sick of getting off work at 5:00 and it’s already dark. The Springfield metro area could use a little extra sunlight during the winter months. Putting aside the political implications (namely, giving 140,000 some-odd people extra daylight whether they want it or not) and the cost (billions), I’m curious as to whether or not this would work, and what (if any) harm it would do.
First, how big would this mirror have to be? The Springfield metro area is roughly 15 miles in diameter. I’m assuming a concave mirror would work better than a flat one.
Secondly, what harm would it do to the native flora and fauna? Would the local wildlife just be confused and thus have their mating cycles thrown off? Would the trees not shed their leaves properly? Finally, would all that reflected light appreciably warm up the area in question? Not that I’d mind-- average winter temperature in Springfield: pretty damn cold. If it did heat up the area, even a degree or two, would that mess up the ecosystem?