Chinese city to launch artificial moon in hopes of replacing street lights

19 October, 2018, 16:12 | Author: Harriet Bell
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In fact, light from the artificial moon is expected to save the city money by doing away with the need for streetlights, Chunfeng added.

One moon apparently isn't enough for the Chinese city of Chengdu, according to a report in the People's Daily.

Chengdu's artificial moon has already been met with criticism from skeptics and concerned citizens who argue that the light will have adverse effects on animals and astronomical observation, People's Daily points out.

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.

A city in China is hoping to launch an "artificial moon" to light up the night skies in 2020.

While it might sound implausible, Wu says the technology has been in the works for years and has now "matured" toward readiness.

The idea for the project reportedly came from a French artist "who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the Earth which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round".

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It also will have solar panel-like wings on its surface which can be adjusted for precise lighting.

Any concerns about light pollution or the disruption to nocturnal animals appeared to be quashed at the event.

China is planning to launch its own "artificial moon" by 2020 to replace streetlamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas, state media reported on Friday. The Telegraph's Joseph Archer reports that Russian scientists launched a mirror-equipped spacecraft created to brighten Siberia's sun-deprived streets back in 1999.

It remains to be seen whether Chengdu's artificial moon will prove any more successful.

Scientists warned the device could disturb wildlife and disrupt systems that observe the earth's atmosphere.

In the 1990s, Russian Federation carried out an experiment called Banner, testing the idea of using a mirror to reflect the sunlight to Earth.

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