Scientists are hopeful that lasers could be used to guarantee a cloudless sky – and will gather next month to discuss the possibility of shooting pulses of light into the heavens to control the weather.
In laboratory tests Swiss researchers have succeeded in using the technology to promote cloud formation. In theory, it could be used to trigger rainfall far out at sea or over uninhabited land – and keep it away from a major event.
The technique has also been used to control lightning, with the long-term aim of diverting it away from built-up areas.
Controlling the weather has been attempted before, most famously during the 2008 Beijing Olympics when scientists apparently fired chemicals into the sky to disperse cloud for the opening ceremony.
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