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(IAAC) NOT off-topic: Consortium Wishes to Light Up Night Sky!?



Forgive me if this wild scheme is already generally known,
and far be it from me to be alarmist, BUT...
The following excerpt is from the online pages of "New
Scientist" magazine. Review their complete article at:
http://www.newscientist.com/cgi-bin/pageserver.cgi?/ns/980620/nspacemirror.html
     "London, Brussels, Seattle and Kiev will be
     just some of the cities lit up from space in
     November if an ambitious Russian experiment
     goes to plan. A consortium of aerospace companies
     intends to launch a giant mirror that will reflect
     sunlight down to Earth, appearing up to **ten times
     as bright as the full Moon**. [!]
     "The experiment, called Znamya 275, is the
     brainchild of the Space Regatta Consortium
     (SRC). The companies involved, led by Energia of
     Korolev, near Moscow, hope that a successful test
     will drum up interest in their plan to use up to 200
     such reflectors to bring sunlight to the Arctic
     during the dark days of winter.
     "Astronomers are aghast. If the idea catches on,
     they say, it could spell the end of ground-based
     astronomy by dazzling their telescopes. "I cringe to
     think that we could lose the night sky because of
     all these companies with their brain-dead ideas,"
     says Daniel Green, an astronomer at the
     Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in
     Cambridge, Massachusetts."