China to replace streetlights with artificial moon by 2020
China to replace streetlights with artificial moon by 2020
That’s no moon, it’s a Chinese space light
19 October, 2018, 12:52
Officials in Chengdu, a city of 14 million people in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, announced plans to place a satellite in orbit by 2020 capable of reflecting sunlight onto its streets at night, claiming it will be bright enough to entirely replace street lights.
Other users invoked Hou Yi, from Chinese mythology, who shot down nine suns, to come and shoot down the extra moon.
The thinking is to save a hefty sum in electricity costs, according to Wu Chunfeng, chairman of the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., who is behind the scheme.
Speaking at an entrepreneur conference, Wu said the satellite will allow the light to be carefully controlled and kept to an area 10-80 kilometres (around 6-50 miles) in diameter. If all goes well, the fake moon will produce enough light to replace Chengdu's street lamps.
Wu said they have been testing the illumination satellite for years, and they now feel it will be ready to launch in two years.
Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology, tells People's Daily that "the light of the satellite is similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not affect animals' routines".
The moon orbits the Earth about 380,000 km from the Earth, while the man-made moon is expected to be put on an orbit within 500 km from the Earth, the state-run China Dailyreported.
There's also been some very real concern that the mirror's never-ending glow could seriously impact natural cycles of animals.
Officials in the city hope the artificial moon will bring in more tourists once it is in the sky. The artist imagined a mirrored necklace around the Earth to reflect sunlight onto Paris year-round.
In the 1990s, Russian Federation carried out an experiment called Banner, testing the idea of using a mirror to reflect the sun light to Earth.
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