Chengdu launches the “artificial Moon”: satellite in orbit by 2020

16/10/2018

 

The lighting satellite is designed to integrate the brightness emitted at night from the moon

 

According to Wu Chunfeng – president of the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., Ltd. – the city of Chengdu, in southwestern China, plans to launch its satellite for lighting, also known as “artificial moon”, by 2020.

The lighting satellite is designed to integrate the brightness emitted at night from the moon. Wu has specified that the brightness of the “artificial moon” is eight times greater than that of the real moon, so that it will be bright enough to replace the street lamps.

The satellite, in fact, will be able to illuminate an area with a diameter between 10 and 80 km, while the precise lighting beam can be controlled in a few tens of meters.

 

Satellite tests started years ago and now the technology is ready to be put into practice

 

It was a French artist who gave the idea of the “artificial moon”. The artist, in fact, imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the earth, which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round. Now this fantasy is becoming reality.

Tests on the functionality of the lighting satellite began years ago and now, Wu makes clear, the technology is finally ripe to be put into practice.

 

The satellite light will be like a twilight glow

 

Although the idea of an “artificial moon” is exciting for many, there are also other people who are worried. A perpetual light from space, in fact, could have negative effects on the daily routine of some animals and on astronomical observation.

Kang Weimin – director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology – tries to calm the concerned animalists and explained that the satellite light will be like a twilight glow; therefore it should not affect the routine of the animals.

 

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