Artificial Moon Is A Bright Idea For Replacing Street Lights

Artificial Moon Is A Bright Idea For Replacing Street Lights

Is China the First to Launch an Artificial Moon?

China is planning to launch its own "artificial moon" by the year 2020, it has been reported.

What's happening: Scientists hope they can hang the artificial moon above Chengdu, the capital city in the Sichuan province, China Daily reports. It would orbit 500Km above our planet, it would reflect sunlight across an area of 10km to 80km and would be eight times brighter than the real Moon with the ability to control that intensity as well.

By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas, saving an estimated 1.2 billion yuan ($170 million) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50 square kilometers.

According to Tian Fu New Area Science Society head Wu Chunfeng, the artificial moon is scheduled to be launched by 2020, and three more might be launched in 2022 should the first one prove successful. "Its expected brightness, in the eyes of humans, is around one-fifth of normal streetlights".

Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang, China, said that the light of the satellite is more of a "dusk-like glow", said Fox News, so it should not affect the welfare of animals.

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The "moon" will also be able to aim light in different directions, which could be a "possible aid in times of disaster", said The Daily Wire.

The artificial moon will have a coating that can reflect sunlight back to Earth, similar to the way the real moon shines, he said. If it succeeds, it will be the first rover to explore the "dark side" of the moon. The 2022 satellites "will be the real deal with great civic and commercial potential", Wu added. If all goes to plan, the satellite will illuminate an area on earth of up to 130 square kilometres.

Chengdu officials expect the city to reel in more tourists when the artificial moon is up and shining. On this regard, Wu notes that the tests will only be done in uninhabited deserts where it will not interfere with any people.

The satellite was created to complement the moon, with the goal of helping with nighttime illumination in the area.

The project has already being developed by the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Corporation and the institute have claimed that the plan is already "mature in technology". People in China will be able to definitively see the moon, but to other locations on Earth it will look like a bright star.

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