Does Mercury have enough mass/raw elements to construct an Inverse Dyson Swarm/Bubble (for lack of a better term)?

Inverse Dyson Swarm/Bubble Wiki -- a lot like the Dyson Bubble around the star, but instead it is wrapped around an individual planet.

Is there enough of Mercury to create a bubble around Venus, Earth, and/or Mars?

The idea has been thrown around that we could potentially create robots that will harvest Mercury to create megastructures. Instead of wrapping the sun, this thought experiment is could we mostly surround a planet with panels (in low orbit)?

The panels potentially could transfer power; and, direct the sunlight towards or away from a planet to help regulate temperatures closer to livable ranges (warm up Mars vs cool down Venus and potentially simulate 24 hour days).

If Mercury was harvested for something like this, how much of Mercury would it take for each planet? How much of Mercury would remain?

  • $\begingroup$ For directing sunlight towards or away from a planet, mirrors positioned at L2 or L1 respectively would likely be an easier solution. Though possibly there are better options if day night cycles also need to be simulated. $\endgroup$
    – Lex
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


It probably wouldn't take Mercury for such purposes. Let's say you wanted to put this at geostationary orbit. Let's say you also wanted a 1 m wide amount of material on average, which is probably way higher then is needed. 1.2069727e+16 cubic meters is what would be needed for such a structure. Mercury has about 3.648735e+20 m^3 of material, so only a small chunk would be needed.

The volume of the asteroid belt is about 4.87e8 km^3, or about 4.87e17 m^3. That is enough for about 40 of these domes that you are discussing, which could be enough for the 4 rocky planets and several moons of Jupiter and Saturn of interest.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you :) It seems that the more I look into things like this, the first question should almost always be "why not the asteroid belt?" $\endgroup$
    – Doug
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ I'm almost certain any large scale structure built in space will start with the asteroid belt, if nothing else then to clear it out of the potentially damaging junk. $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 14:12

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