Slightly lighter than my usual entry.
I have this idea that in Star Trek, the character Q is really Lt Barclay, and all that you see on-screen in any episode featuring Q is one of Barclay’s holodeck fantasies.
Idle thought at this stage.
The Kessler syndrome (also called the Kessler effect, collisional cascading or ablation cascade), proposed by the NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, is a scenario in which the density of objects in low earth orbit (LEO) is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade where each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions.
If all objects in Earth orbit were required to have an electrical charge (all negative, let’s say), how strong would that charge have to be to prevent collisions?
Also, how long would they remain charged, given the ionosphere, solar wind, Van Allen belts, etc?
Also, how do you apply charge to space junk already present? Rely on it picking up charge when it collides with new objects? Or is it possible to use an electron gun to charge them from a distance? And if so, what’s the trade-off between beam voltage, distance, and maximum charge (presumably shape dependent)?
And if you can apply charge remotely, is this even the best way to deal with them, rather than collecting them all in a large net and de-orbiting them?
Megastructures are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are. I mean, you may think you live in a big city, but that’s just peanuts to even the smallest megastructure.
Three of the more famous megastructures:
Oh, and the Sun for scale. It’s at the end of the video, the small white dot in the middle of the Ringword’s… er… ring. Radius 695,700 km.
Rendered with https://threejs.org/editor/
¹ Do not put a big ring this close to the ground. If you do, the heavy stuff of the ring will pull on the big deep water between land, making the water go very high and over everything, and everyone will have a bad day and not go into space ever.
² A Dyson sphere is the same size, but fully encloses the star instead of just encircling it