Night skates may soon have a company: Chinese scientists plan to launch an artificial moon in circulation by 2020 to…
Night skates may soon have a company: Chinese scientists plan to launch an artificial moon in circulation by 2020 to illuminate the city streets after dark.
Researchers hope to hang the artificial moon over the city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwest Sichuan province, according to a report in Chinese state media. The imitative celestial body – essentially an illuminated satellite – will carry a reflective coating to throw sun rays back to earth, where it will complement streetlights at night.
Researchers estimated that it could be eight times lighter than the original original moon. It will also circulate much closer to the ground. about 500 km away compared to the moon’s 380 000 km (236 000 miles).
But the ambitious plan would still not “light the whole night sky”, Wu Chunfeng, director of the Tian Fu New Area Science Society, told China Daily. “The expected brightness of the human eye is about one fifth of normal streetlights.”
Wu estimated that new moons could save Chengdu’s city around 1
.2 billion yuan (173 million dollars) in electricity costs annually, and could even help first responders during blackouts and natural disasters. If the project proves successful, it can be combined with another three additions to the night sky in 2022, he said. Read more : Science: Space Mirror
But much more testing has to be done, said Wu, to ensure that the plan is viable and will not harm the natural environment .
“We will only carry out our tests in an uninhabited desert so our light rays will not interfere with any people or terrestrial space observation equipment,” he told Daily .
China’s space goal is not uncommon. In the 1990s, Russia experimented using an orbital mirror to reflect sunlight on some of its sun-drenched northern cities, according to New York Times . The project was abandoned in 1999 after the mirror failed to burn out and burned in the atmosphere.
In January, the American company Rocket Lab launched an artificial star in space, Times reported. But researchers criticized the “Humanity Star” as the reflective mini satellite was called to contribute to artificial light pollution and cluttering in the earth’s orbit.