Have you ever wondered what would it be like to have two moons or even more in the sky. Well it seems Republic of China is going to do something that never have been achieved before. China is planning to launch its own ‘artificial moon’ by 2020.
According to china daily, Chengdu a city in southwestern sichuan province is going to develop these fake moons which are basically reflecting surfaces in tandem with the real moon. They are supposed to be eight times brighter than the real moon. They are often termed as “illuminating satellites”. They will be basically reflecting sunlight just like the natural moon in night. But with more intensity and brightness.
WHATS THE MOTIVE BEHIND IT?
If these fake moons or illuminating satellites comes in action, they could replace the street lamps in the urban areas saving an estimated 1.2 billions yuan (170 million USD) a year in electricity cost in Chengdu. It is assumed that these artificial moons can illuminate an area of 50 square km. The reason may not be found strong one by many but reducing cost of electricity is the main reason behind these man made moons.
They would be orbiting about 500 km above the earth in geostationary orbit.
The first man made moon will launch from Xichang satellite launch center in Sichuan with three more to follow in 2022 if the first test goes well.
It is not the first time that someone had come up with this idea of putting an artificial moon in the space. In 1990’s Russia had made an attempt to achieve this but failed drastically.
It will be interesting to note if China gets successful in this mission. However some have pointed, the bright light in the night may cause confusion among nocturnal animals and may also effect the sleeping cycle of various birds and animals. While others say light pollution is already a big issue in megacities of China. Because it would be nearly impossible to observe stars when you will be having a eight time brighter moon than the original one lighting up in the sky.