- China is planning to launch 3 artificial moons in space to supplement street lights at night.
- The first of the 3 artificial moons is set to be launched into orbit by 2020.
- The artificial man-made moon will orbit 500 km above the city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province.
- As a result of being close to the earth the artificial moon it will be 8 times more luminous than the moon.
How will it work?
- The artificial moon will work on the same principle as moon.
- It essentially is an illuminated satellite. Thus it will reflect the sunlight to earth.
- The space mirror with a reflective coating is thus present which will cast sunlight to Earth.
- The reflected sun light can cover an area of 3,600 sq km to 6,400 sq km.
- The artificial moon may interrupt the normal day-night cycle of animals and plants.
- A similar effort by the US called “Humanity Star” was criticized for contributing to artificial light pollution and cluttering in Earth’s orbit.
Other efforts of artificial moon
- Earlier the US and Russia have explored man-made moon.
- In the 1990s, Russia carried out an experiment called Banner with idea of using a mirror to reflect the sun light to Earth.
- However the mirror failed to unfold in space and the experiment was halted.