Humans have a sense of exploration in them, and after exploring almost all the lands on Earth, it was time for us to explore what’s out there in space. Since the first day of space exploration and up until this day, the scientific discoveries related to space have been breathtaking.
Some things do not work in space the same way they do on Earth, are mirrors one of them? No they aren’t
Mirrors work in space the exact way they work on Earth. Light exists in space, and it can be reflected using mirrors the same way it can be reflected by mirrors on Earth. There have been many cases in which humans have used or planned to use mirrors in space.
But why do mirrors work exactly the same way in space? To answer that, we need to know how mirrors work in general.
How do mirrors work?
Mirrors are just reflective surfaces that bounce off the light that hits them and only absorbs a very tiny amount of it.
Since mirrors do not absorb high amounts of light, the light that hits the mirror will bounce back nearly unchanged which allows us to see a reflection of ourselves or anything else standing in front of a mirror.
When light hits your body, then hits the mirror and bounces back to you again without being changed, you’ll be able to see yourself. This is exactly how mirrors work.
Now let’s take a mirror to space. Light exists in space. The Sun is one of the primary sources of light in the space around Earth and it sends beams of light to space the same way it does to Earth.
With that said, mirrors will reflect the light that exists in space the same way it does on Earth, because from the perspective of the mirror, nothing has changed. Light still exists, and objects that can be reflected still exist.
Thus mirrors won’t change the way they work if they were sent to space. Here’s a great video of an astronaut teaching you how to shave your beard in space in case you go there someday.
You may have noticed that he has a mirror, and he wouldn’t be using it if it didn’t function properly would he?
I have mentioned before that space contains light and yet the sky is dark at night.
Why is the sky dark at night?
It’s true that space is full of light. However, the light usually travels in infinite straight lines in space and most of that light is not reflected to Earth because it doesn’t hit anything that changes its direction and sends it towards Earth.
So even though light exists in space, we won’t be able to see it because it is not reflected towards Earth.
I believe the article has already answered the intended question, however I would like to add some interesting scientific suggestions that have to do with mirrors in space.
Did you know that scientists were seriously considering sending giant mirrors to space to fix the global warming issues that we are facing today?
Yes, you read that right. This is not science fiction, this happened in real life.
Climate change and global warming are causing a lot of fires and a lot of trouble. Finding a solution for the problem should be one of the highest priorities today.
Some scientists suggested that humans should send some giant mirrors to space in order to block part of the sun’s energy that is moving towards Earth.
With the rise of the CO2 emission on Earth, the energy that comes from the sun is being trapped in the atmosphere and that is causing a lot of troubles for most of the living things on Earth.
Preventing part of the sun energy from reaching Earth can solve the global warming issue. According to the scientists mentioned in the linked article above, mirrors can do just that. They can reflect part of the sunlight away from Earth.
There are many complications to this global warming solution however. How can humans send a giant mirror to space? What are the consequences? And so on…
So, sending giant mirrors to space might not happen soon, but who knows what the future is hiding.
To wrap up
Space has always been one of the most interesting things to explore. We have reached the moon, and who knows if Elon Musk could take us to Mars very soon.
Part of the human exploration of space is to check whether or not things on earth will act the same way if they go to space, and apparently mirrors do act the same in outer space.