Sci-tech

China plans to replace streetlights with ‘artificial moon’ by 2020

China plans to replace streetlights with ‘artificial moon’ by 2020

The artificial or man-made moon is a satellite carrying a huge space mirror, which can reflect the sun light to the Earth.

The man-made moon is essentially an illumination satellite created to complement the moon at night, though it is predicted to be eight times brighter, the scientist added.

A Chinese aerospace company has announced an ambitious plan to launch a fake moon into orbit in 2020.

Wu Chunfend, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., Ltd, revealed the plan at an event in the city on Oct 10, People's Daily reports. The satellite could be picked up on a telescope, Fortune reports, if you don't want to make the trip to Chengdu.

Although Chengdu, capital of China's Sichuan province, is set to be the man-made moon's focus, astronomers across the globe will reportedly be able to spot the satellite's glow as they search the night sky.

Some expressed concerns about light pollution and potentially negative impact on animals.

More news: Germany: Train station closed in Cologne after suspected hostage situation

Apparently the necessary technology has already been tested and the satellite itself could be ready to take to orbit as early as 2020.

According to the International Dark Sky Association, which advocates for the protection of night skies, living under light-polluted skies is a grave health hazard as our biological clock evolved to match the day-night cycle, and exposure to artificial light at night has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, sleep disorders, depression and more.

This isn't the first time researchers have tried to illuminate the skies with artificial rays.

In 1999, a Russian experiment to deploy a large mirror in space created to function like an artificial moon was unsuccessful after it failed to unfold properly.

The device, dubbed Znamya 2, collapsed soon after take-off and was subsequently abandoned. The real moon, of course, can usually be seen from anywhere on Earth.


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